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A Special Message From the Board of Directors

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

Introducing the Next Executive Director of Community Voices Heard Power and Community Voices Heard Action


Community Voices Heard is ready to enter a new chapter of building power and creating change for New Yorkers under the leadership of new Executive Director, Juanita O. Lewis, effective September 1st, 2021.


Juanita’s outstanding service to CVH, deep commitment to building power with both CVH members and staff, as well as her vision for the next stage of growth for CVH, led the Boards of Directors of both organizations to vote unanimously to place Juanita into the Executive Director role.


“In this critical period with so much at stake for women, people of color and all people economically challenged just to survive, we at CVH and CVH Power look forward to Juanita Lewis’ strong, caring, and dynamic leadership to continue our organizations’ record of Executive Director excellence.” - Joseph Mpa, CVH Power Board Chair


"It is with great pride and delight that I share that the CVH Boards have unanimously selected Juanita Lewis to step into the role of Executive Director for CVH. Her service to CVH and our members for the last 12 years is stellar and she is prepared to partner closely with our staff and Boards to continue, leading CVH into a new moment that builds on all we have already accomplished together." - Afua Atta-Mensah, Esq., Outgoing Executive Director


“I am excited and honored to be the next Executive Director of Community Voices Heard. Over the last 12 years, we've gotten meaningful results for the communities we serve, and I'll bring that focus on getting results to my new role as CVH Executive Director. We are at an important time in New York State where the need for equitable policies, systems of co-governance and accountability is at an all time high. I am ready to work with our dedicated boards, members, and staff on building a stronger and more powerful CVH." - Juanita O. Lewis, Incoming Executive Director


Juanita joined CVH in 2009 and has played a key role in redeveloping the Hudson Valley region as an organizing center for New York State. Starting as the Yonkers organizer, she worked with members to win an Affordable Housing Ordinance ,and Ban the Box for city employees. In partnership with staff, she created and leads the organization's leadership development program called the Ella Baker School for Organizing, which is building the capacity of CVH members. Juanita has also been instrumental to CVH’s housing justice work, leading a 100+ person action and winning the campaign for a Housing Needs Assessment as part of the People’s Agenda for Westchester County. She also led and won critical electoral campaigns in Newburgh and Yonkers resulting in elected officials pushing for better housing and jobs policies.


As Executive Director, Juanita will guide the staff and Boards to build on CVH’s successes. She will immediately begin hosting listening sessions with members and stakeholders, in order to develop a new strategic plan that will continue to grow power, moving toward greater racial, social, and economic justice for all New Yorkers.


The CVH Boards look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of outgoing Executive Director, Afua Atta-Mensah, as she embarks on the next exciting step of her career (details forthcoming). Read Juanita's Full Letter Here. Thank you, Board of Directors Community Voices Heard

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