Jada Monica Drew, 32, Diversity and Leadership Trainer
She’s a business owner, an author, and an active public speaker. But when it comes down to it, Jada Monica Drew is a teacher, training individuals and institutions.
Jada studied psychology, education and African American studies at Guilford College, where she was a Bonner Scholar.
Being a Bonner Scholar “influenced me to engage in deeper volunteerism by teaching me about civic engagement with an anti-oppressive lens.”
“I love studying people, understanding the cycle of systems, and the way people interact,” she says.
After graduation, she did a stint as a NC Campus Compact AmeriCorps-VISTA, founding literacy programs at a Kiser Middle and the Newcomers School. But she soon returned to campus to serve as Guilford’s director of Multicultural Education and adjunct professor.
She also started a business consultancy, Social Designs, which focuses on diversity and leadership training. The business works with institutions and individuals on leadership development and strategic organizational change.
“As a child, I dreamed of traveling and connecting with people,” she says. “I wanted to be the catalyst to help people find the best version of themselves.”
Social Designs’ projects have included leading the diversity strategy and training of local schools and national non-profits. Locally, Jada co-created the Senegal Global Youth Exchange, connecting students from Wiley Elementary with students in Dakar, Senegal, to explore language and culture.
This year the business turned 10 years old.
“It’s been surreal to see Social Designs expand to a team of six,” she says.
Jada is also the director of the Youth Action Project (YAP) and has been the conference organizer and facilitator since 2012. “Youth develop innovative solutions for social justice in their communities,” she says of the YAP conference.
Annually, she works with children near her hometown of Rich Square, NC, where she runs the So Fresh & So Green program, teaching kids about environmental sustainability.
Jada volunteers as co-chair of Other Voices with the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and serves on the ArtsGreensboro and the American Service Friends Committee boards.
“I’m lucky my career is my passion; helping people transform and changing systems.”