With the realization that it truly does take a whole village to raise a child, Chandra Pitts has dedicated her life to mobilizing “the village” and inspiring intergenerational leadership. Throughout her career she has been known for her passion, integrity and authentic voice of advocacy for marginalized youth and families in communities around the world.
Chandra began her life’s work educating youth in Jamaica whose families could not afford to send them to school. In 2008, she developed the largest school-based mentoring program in Delaware’s Christina School District serving 247 at risk youth in just eight months. In 2009, Chandra founded The Village Learning Center, a 2.1 million dollar federally funded academic based mentoring model. Designed to bring learning to life for underachieving students, this innovative program was adopted by the Department of Education in Delaware and New Jersey and has since been implemented into 42 schools throughout the region.
Chandra’s primary work takes a gender-specific approach to healthy youth development. One of the leading women in Delaware’s responsible fatherhood movement, Ms. Pitts’ leads the development of two nationally recognized initiatives focused on the healthy development of men and boys of color. Suitable Men engages young men and fathers in man-to-man mentoring, professional development and entrepreneurship training. Raising Kings supports the mental and physical health of African American boys. The goal is to change society’s prominent image and expectations of Black males by elevating the level of positive male engagement in the lives of boys. Chandra’s commitment also includes redefining womanhood and what it means to be a girl! “Girls Can Do Anything!” an explosive healthy girl’s initiative engaging more than 700 phenomenal females in a series of powerful forums cumulating in the annual “Girls Can Do Anything!” Conference. A large piece of Chandra’s work with girls is a father led series entitled, “Daddy’s Little Girl. The monthly get-togethers and school programs educate, empower, celebrate and uplift ALL girls through genuine connections to mentors, resources and opportunities that foster healthy development.
In 2012, Ms. Pitts was honored at the United Nations Global Women’s Empowerment Forum. She is the 2012 recipient of the NAACP Youth Impact Award. Chandra spoke about her work during an appearance on CNN Newsmakers and was recently featured among African American and Latino Leaders in Ebony Magazine. A University of Delaware Women’s Studies documentary depicting the personal narrative of Chandra Pitts won the Nanú Paloma Guerrero Award for Excellence and is now archived at the University’s Special Collections in the Morris Library. She currently serves as the Hispanic Chair for the Delaware Fathers and Families Coalition and was recently appointed by the Governor of Delaware to serve as the newest Commissioner on the Delaware Commission for Women.
A dedicated visionary and philanthropist, Chandra Pitts remains committed to propelling children and their families on a holistic journey toward excellence through education through the non-profit platform she created, One Village Alliance.