Angela Glover Blackwell is founder in residence of PolicyLink, an organization she started in 1999, and she continues to drive its mission of advancing economic and social equity. Under Blackwell’s leadership, PolicyLink has become a leading voice in the movement to use public policy to improve access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color, particularly in the areas of health, housing, transportation, education, and infrastructure.
Prior to founding PolicyLink, Blackwell served as Senior Vice President at the Rockefeller Foundation, where she oversaw the foundation’s Domestic and Cultural divisions. A lawyer by training, she gained national recognition as founder of the Oakland (CA) Urban Strategies Council, where she pioneered new approaches to neighborhood revitalization. From 1977 to 1987, Blackwell was a partner at Public Advocates, a nationally known public interest law firm.
As a leading voice in the movement for equity in America, Blackwell is a frequent commentator for some of the nation’s top news organizations, including The New York Times, the Huffington Post, Washington Post, Salon, CNN and has appeared regularly on such shows as public radio’s Marketplace, The Tavis Smiley Show, Nightline, and PBS’s Now. Blackwell has also been a guest on the PBS series Moyers & Company and PBS’s NewsHour. Blackwell appears in the sixth and final segment of the PBS six-part series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., which aired in October and November, 2013.
Blackwell is the co-author of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010), and contributed to Ending Poverty in America: How to Restore the American Dream (The New Press, 2007) and The Covenant with Black America (Third World Press, 2006). In 2013, Blackwell and PolicyLink collaborated with the Center for American Progress to write and release All In Nation: An America that Works for All. Blackwell earned a bachelor’s degree from Howard University, and a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. She serves on numerous boards, including the Children’s Defense Fund and The President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.