As I have shared with my Amsterdam News readers, I extend Black History Month in February and combine it with Women’s History Month in March to make a super powerful two months of celebrating Black women. Well, I have decided to extend the celebrating into April and May as well. With so much sadness and mayhem still plaguing far too many families in this country and abroad, I am always searching for ways to find joy around me. Luckily, DeNora Getachew has swooped in and made it easy for me to find joy, celebrate Black Women’s History Month, and show the rest of us how we can continue to empower our young and our communities.

DoSomething.org, the largest not-for-profit exclusively for young people and social change, has announced the appointment of DeNora Getachew as its new chief executive officer. I first became acquainted with Getachew’s work when she served as the New York executive director of Generation Citizen, a national nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to reinvigorating civics education in secondary schools in order to educate and empower the next generation of young people. 

In her role as CEO at DoSomething.org, Getachew will usher in a new era of youth engagement and leadership. Using a digital platform, DoSomething members join volunteer, social change, and civic action campaigns in order to make real-world impact on causes they care about. The causes are diverse but the mission is clear, to do something to make our society a better and more inclusive space.

Some of the campaigns are: Teens for jeans (Donating over 1 million pairs of jeans in a single year, enough to clothe half of all U.S. youth in homeless shelters); Voter registration (registering 118,706 new voters in 2018 alone); Get the Filter Out (cleaning up 3.7 million cigarette butts to protect the planet); Sincerely, Us (making and mailing 41,287 Happy Ramadan cards, which were distributed to every mosque in the U.S.); Power the period (donating 585,965 period products to shelters in the first-ever national period product drive); and Celebrate Pride (creating the largest crowdsourced LGBTQ+ ally guide). These are just a few of the campaigns DoSomething teens have created, and I am so excited to see what the post-Covid creativity brings out in our youth.

DeNora Getachew has spent her entire career working on local democracy and government reform at various levels in a myriad of organizations. Ranging from the New York City Council, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, and at nonprofit Citizens Union, to name just some. It is important we celebrate the people, and especially the Black women, who are working tirelessly to lift as they climb, especially as it pertains to our youth.

I would like to extend our sincerest congratulations to DeNora Getachew in this new endeavor.

Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC and also What’s in It for Us podcast.