Lisa Cylar Barrett, Director of Policy at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Elected to USI Board of Directors

USI is pleased to announce that Lisa Cylar Barrett, Director of Policy at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) was elected to its board of directors. Her dedication to equity and education for communities of color aligns with USI’s mission to ensure all children and families are stable and thriving. USI is a national nonprofit leader with extensive experience in implementing data-driven human capital development strategies in communities that are undergoing comprehensive physical revitalization.

With over 25 years of combined experience in the legal, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors, Lisa Cylar Barrett works tirelessly to effectively execute multipronged strategies to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice. As Director of Policy at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), Lisa leads and manages the policy work for the organization and serves as a member of the Senior Management Team which develops and executes the strategic direction for the organization. Prior to joining LDF, Ms. Cylar Barrett served as the Managing Director, Federal Policy at PolicyLink where she oversaw the development and execution of strategies to advance racial and economic equity on a wide range of issues including infrastructure investment, housing, education, transportation, access to healthy food, water, and economic inclusion. She and her team led the successful efforts to formally authorize the Promise Neighborhoods cradle to career program which provides critical social and academic supports to children in communities of highly concentrated poverty; defend the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule and advance the implementation of the authorized Healthy Food Financing Initiative.

Prior to joining PolicyLink, Ms. Cylar Barrett was a Senior Associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) where she provided leadership for its efforts with federal agencies and other national organizations to advance and promote policies grounded in equity, which helped to strengthen children and families and helped them thrive. Before her time at CSSP, Ms. Cylar Barrett spent several years in philanthropy working to improve outcomes  or children, families, and communities in the City of Detroit and southeast Michigan.

Ms.Cylar Barrett’s efforts related to policy advancement, alignment of investments/leverage from other entities, and increased awareness/influence regarding challenges faced by children and families align with the heart of USI.

“We are pleased to welcome Lisa Cylar Barrett to the USI board of directors. She deeply understands and  hares our mission to help all children and families become stable and thriving,” said Esther Shin, President of USI.

“Lisa’s experience in the legal, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors has helped influence policymakers,  funders, civic leaders, and government officials to align their work to improve outcomes for children and families throughout the country,” Shin added.

Founded in 1978, USI is a national nonprofit leader with extensive experience in implementing data-driven human capital development strategies in communities that are undergoing comprehensive physical revitalization. USI supports communities while working with community partners to develop equity-centered economic opportunities, cradle-to-college/career success, high-quality health services, and a range of comprehensive service supports. The organization has been involved in neighborhood transformation efforts in more than 24 cities and more than 40  neighborhoods across the nation. USI is an organization of color led by people of color seeking equitable results for children and families.

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