Leonette Henderson (she/her/hers) serves as the Associate Director of Community Strategy for the Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship (AYLF). In this role, she oversees the day-to-day management, strategy, and relationship building that drives the AYLF presence in local communities. This role will also include building a network of local partners and advisory councils in each ecosystem, managing the annual fellow recruitment process, advancing internship and apprenticeship opportunities for fellows, and contributing to program strategy.
Leonette has spent over 15 years in higher education, education reform, and secondary education collectively, eight of which were as a nonprofit professional. Her passion continues to be in promoting a worthy cause, purpose, or movement in education, educational leadership, the humanities, or historic preservation/restoration projects with a fervent desire to propel economic and social justice. This desire is rooted in a genuine concern for the overall well-being of people and community as well as a predilection for an equitable distribution of justice. As a documentarian, she believes in shared stories that recreate narratives for individuals, communities, regions, and countries, giving light to their truth and healing.
Leonette Henderson is a native of Clarksdale, MS and most recently served as the Executive Director for Griot Arts Inc., a nonprofit empowering young people to create positive change in their lives and community by providing access to opportunities in the arts, education, and workforce development. Previously she was the Director of Development and Partnership for Higher Purpose Co., a 501c3 economic justice nonprofit, building community wealth with Black residents across Mississippi. She has also served on the Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development team for the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine. Prior to returning to the University of Virginia, Leonette joined New Leaders, a national nonprofit that develops transformational school leaders, where she served as the Program Coordinator and later the Program Manager for the Effective Practice Incentive Community (EPIC) in the Memphis City Schools District, a part of the Obama Administration’s Race to the Top Fund.
Leonette has been a guest co-lecturer at the University of Virginia on the “Obesity in the African American Community,” and as a guest speaker on “Philanthroculture” for the North Carolina Planned Giving Council. She has served as a board chair for Sisters Conquering Cancer, board member of Shelter for Help in Emergency in Virginia, Higher Purpose Co (MS), and currently Griot Arts (MS). Leonette has a Masters in Philanthropy and Development from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and is a proud HBCU alum with a BA in History from Tuskegee University.