2022 Women in Economic Development & Civic Leadership Honoree: Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim

During the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 51st Annual Legislative Conference (ALC), Walker’s Legacy will be hosting our Women in Economic Development & Civic Leadership Awards Luncheon. Our annual award is given to women in recognition of the outstanding contributions they have made and their continued dedication to advancing economic development, entrepreneurship ecosystems, and job opportunities within their communities and industries. 

Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim has always been a trailblazer. Born and raised on Atlanta’s Southside, she was the first person in her family to graduate college, earning degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, and later, Goizueta School of Business at Emory University. 

Two decades after graduating college, she led the legislative process to establish the City of Atlanta’s first Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. In her role as Chief Equity Officer, a senior level-cabinet position, Qaadirah works with city leadership to develop social justice policies and programs that confront equity, diversity, and inclusion issues, particularly around the areas of workforce mobility, housing affordability, health, education, youth engagement, and LGBTQ affairs. 

A former U.S. Air Force Reservist, Qaadirah spent 17 years working at the Future Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to disrupting the cycle of poverty by helping students at  underinvested-in public schools thrive and pursue higher education. She departed as the organization’s CEO, having increased the organization’s revenue by 432% and ensured a 100%  high school graduation rate among afterschool participants.  

As a Black woman in a groundbreaking new leadership role, Qaadirah remains devoted to her personal mission to dismantle systems of injustice that marginalize people and  communities with her lived experience. She believes each one of us has a role to play in empowering voices that go unheard, leading with dignity, and uniting with each other to chart the path to a better tomorrow.

Her accomplishments include launching several COVID-19 programs focused on resident recovery that advocated for and designed the strategy for $18 million in recovery programs, including an internal and external vaccine campaign that reached two million people and resulted in above-average vaccine rates for internal employees. She also launched two programs that improved the financial security of children, including a child savings account program that ensured all Atlanta Public School children have a $50 saving account, a weatherization assistance program, and food security activities. She is currently working on launching a cross-functional reproductive rights strategy for the city.

We look forward to honoring Qaadirah for the great work that she continues to do!

Jeneé Porter

WALKER'S LEGACY IS A GROWING GLOBAL WOMEN IN BUSINESS COLLECTIVE FOUNDED TO ESTABLISH NETWORKS OF EMPOWERMENT AND ACCESS FOR WOMEN OF COLOR IN BUSINESS.

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Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.

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