LaVanda Brown joined YWCA Greater Charleston as executive director in February 2016. Her experience, leadership, and passion for serving others spans 30 years.
A passionate advocate for causes including gender equality, diversity, and racial equity, and a strong ally of under-resourced teens and homeless populations, she envisions a world where differences are not just tolerated but celebrated. “The mission of YWCA is one that is very much in line with my personal mission of empowering women and celebrating differences,” she says.
During her decades of on-the-ground experience in social services focused on underserved populations, she has led and advised multiple nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
Her work has garnered awards including the 2021 Trident Literacy Founder’s Award, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Best Practices Award for Transitional Housing and Case Management, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Magnolia Award for Excellence in Housing. She was also the 2018 recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Picture Award for outstanding community service, presented by Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and South Carolina Rep. Wendell Gilliard, and was named to Charleston Business magazine’s 2020 Top 50 Most Influential list.