Aisha Nyandoro is the founding CEO of Springboard to Opportunities, a Jackson, MS nonprofit that uses a “radically resident-driven” approach to end generational poverty. In 2018, she created the Magnolia Mother’s Trust – now the country’s longest-running guaranteed income program, and the only one in the world to focus on Black women.
In addition to leading Springboard’s community work and growing the Magnolia Mother’s Trust exponentially, Aisha is focused on shifting gendered and racialized narratives around poverty and deservedness, and working to show how the success of the Trust can be scaled nationally through policies like the expanded Child Tax Credit and a federal guaranteed income.
Her expertise on economic, racial and gender justice issues is regularly featured in outlets including The Washington Post, Amanpour & Company, Essence Magazine, NBC Nightly News and CNN. She is a TEDx speaker and a fellow of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network and Ascend at the Aspen Institute. She holds a B.A. from Tennessee State University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. She lives in Jackson with her husband and two very charming sons.
Reflecting on JEI’s core values — Community, Interconnectedness, Transformation — which value speaks to you most, at this moment in time? Why?
Community resonates mostly with me… We are stronger together. The ecosystem of community creates opportunities for everyone to get what is needed. During this time of so much separation we need community more than ever to keep us grounded and secure. It is always a safe landing spot.
What are a few things about you that would surprise other people?
Because of how I show up in community people think I am an extrovert. I am not. LOL.
What movements for a just economy, past or present, inspire you?
The movement itself inspires me. I am inspired by the bold leaders who recognize that the economy as currently constructed is not working. And that these leaders are taking the bold steps to create a just economy that centers the needs of ALL of us, not just the financially privileged.