“I’m thrilled to be joining the EI team at this time when the organization is changing and is destined to create a future that is more equitable for us all.” My name is Lisa Bryant and I am one of two newly hired communication managers at Environmental Initiative.
Prior to joining EI, I worked for more than 10 years as a communications consultant/manager raising awareness and visibility of several small and start-up nonprofit organizations, including Twin Cities Mobile Jazz Project, Youth and Families Determined to Succeed, and the Rondo Commemorative Plaza.
Before working as a consultant/manger, I led communications strategy for Greater Lake Country Food Bank and the Minneapolis Urban League, a position I secured after graduate school. I utilized broadcast media (TV and radio), the press and community outreach initiatives to raise awareness and increase community participation at these two organizations. I am proud of my accomplishments at each non-profit: I increased funding streams by nearly $100K and doubled program enrollment by 50 percent for the Urban League; I doubled volunteer participation from 100 to 500 at one non-profit and from a handful to nearly 200 at another.
I bring a unique perspective to EI because I come to the organization from the non-profit sector that seeks to improve the lives and well-being for our low-income communities and communities of color. I have collaborated with communities and community members who live in neighborhoods where the sound of gunfire is regular and the opportunity for employment is limited, live in homes owned by absentee landlords, and attend schools that have low graduation rates for students of color.
My life growing up was very different from the lives of those who reside in the communities with which I have collaborated. I attended Woodbury Senior High School in Woodbury, Minn., my dad was a 3M executive and I attended graduate school at Temple University in Philadelphia, where I earned a master’s degree in communications.
As I walked each day to class in Philly, I saw numbers of homeless people who were forced to seek shelter on the streets. I was appalled that any human being should be shoved aside, overlooked and forgotten by the very society in which they lived. I was even more appalled that the city had a “could care less” attitude about the number of homeless people who were living on the streets. Many of the homeless were Black people — Black like me.
This point in my career, my communications focus changed.
My focus – utilizing my communications skills to give the marginalized a voice – was developed during my long walks each day to graduate school classes. This same focus I intend to bring to Environmental Initiative.
Lisa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-334-3388 ext. 8121.