Leaders of Color Alumni Profile: Asya Howlette

The Leaders of Color program launched in 2018 to elevate the tremendous talent of community-based leaders of color. Since then, 116 leaders have emerged from the program ready to bring change to their communities. These are their stories.

Meet Asya Howlette -  a Leaders of Color alum from our class of 2020 in New Orleans. 

Q: Why did you apply to be part of the Leaders of Color program? What inspires you to get involved in civic leadership?

I learned about the Leaders of Color program when I was running for school board. I wanted to join for help with my campaign, and also for the community and network.

Q: Did the program help you in your career or with leadership opportunities? How are you thinking about your future based on what you experience with Leaders of Color?

The network of people of color who are ready to make moves and provide support has been the biggest help I've had. I feel comfortable asking anyone [in the program] for help and I trust they'll do what they can.

Q: Tell us about an a-ha moment you had about your own leadership abilities and how that has changed your vision for yourself.

I've always felt like I would do things that matter, but recently I've been feeling the evolution. I'm currently serving at the Deputy Director of Youth and Families for the city of New Orleans. In this position I am able to work with dynamic organizations and people who are committed to serving kids. I care about an equitable system, and I will make sure I bring the lessons and experiences of my students, their families, our communities into every space I occupy.

Q: What advice do you have for people who are thinking about becoming leaders of their own communities?

Make sure you are leading for the right reasons. It is easy to start getting caught up in the noise, so have something that keeps you grounded and focused. Also, learn to tell yourself the truth. Feedback comes in many forms and sources, be open and honest with yourself about how you can get stronger.

Q: Please share your favorite inspiring quote!

“Everything is going to be all right.”


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