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Portrait by Devi Pride Photography.

Keisha Browder

(pronouns: she/her/hers)

Keisha Browder has a legacy of breaking barriers. From her early years as a member of one of the first African American Girl Scout Troops in Compton to serving as the first African American CEO in United Way’s 80-year history in Santa Cruz County, Keisha is a courageous leader who adeptly navigates challenges while taking advantage of opportunities in order to pave the way for communities of color. 

Growing up in South Los Angeles, Keisha’s parents instilled the importance of community engagement and ensured that she participated in various activities that would promote dignity, integrity, and compassion. From launching the Young Black Entrepreneurs Club to receiving accolades from former U.S. President George Bush for her essay on the impacts of substance use in communities of color, her family nurtured her gift to leverage her voice for change and make space for others. 


Now an experienced nonprofit executive leader with a career spanning 20 years, Keisha leads initiatives, ranging from youth wellbeing to the Community Assessment Project, that have earned national recognition for their equity-centered approach to creating a culture of health. She co-authored a book chapter, “Leveraging Data for Meaningful Improvements: How Credible Data Enables Partnership Alignment to Achieve Well-Being at the Population Level” (Community Quality of Life Indicators Best Cases VIII, Springer). 

Keisha serves on several boards and volunteers through organizations such as the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women’s Silicon Valley Chapter, Soroptimist International’s Watsonville Chapter, and the Santa Cruz County Black Coalition for Racial Justice and Equity. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and Stanford University Graduate School of Business Nonprofit Management Institute.

Keisha, her husband and children are proud to call this region of California their home where they enjoy the great outdoors, the innovation, and the serenity of peace.

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