Jenifer Wagley says she approaches community development work intensely, as if her very soul depends on it. The ordained minister and seasoned activist is deputy director of Avenue CDC, a Houston nonprofit dedicated to building affordable housing and strengthening communities. She helps lead the organization’s comprehensive community development model, which has leveraged more than $70 million in resources for the city’s Greater Northside community. This has fueled a range of important local assets like new charter schools, park and greenspace improvements, and even a home repair program that is specifically designed to help low-income, disabled and veteran homeowners. In 2017, Jenifer’s efforts helped Avenue CDC win the American Planning Association’s National Planning Excellence Award for Advancing Diversity & Social Change.
Prior to joining Avenue CDC, Jenifer was a community organizer with The Metropolitan Organization in Houston, where she engaged member institutions in a leadership development process and worked closely with residents to advocate on key issues. She also served as an associate minister for education at First Congregational Church in Houston.
Avenue CDC; Houston, TX
Research and writing to develop a series of evidence-based presentations on community development, social justice, democracy and other equity-related topics.