L auren Footman, knows it only takes one person to create a ripple effect, that can propel a community towards a more positive direction.
A Yeadon, PA native, Lauren is a graduate of the William Penn School District, and Bryn Mawr College where she majored in English and double minored in Political Science and Africana Studies. Her time at Bryn Mawr sparked her passion for advocacy and led her to charter Bryn Mawr’s first collegiate chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); having served as President until her graduation in 2014. Her experiences with racism and bias at Bryn Mawr inspired her to conduct a research project and online exhibit entitled “A Point of Difference,” which culminated in a series of interviews of the experiences of African and Latinx students, faculty, and staff at Bryn Mawr. Upon graduation, Lauren was the recipient of the Thomas Prize for Diversity, an award that recognizes students with a demonstrated, lifelong commitment to learning around diversity, advocacy for inclusion, and the ability to inspire others to action.
Her advocacy work has led Lauren to participate in many civic organizations. She previously served as President of the NAACP’s PA State Conference Youth and College Division; where she focused on implementing the national organization’s agenda in Pennsylvania, advocating for civil rights. During her term, she planned and served as a valued resource for several NAACP, workshops, community events, marches, and rallies—including the July 2016 march against police brutality in Center City; rendering thousands of participants from all over Pennsylvania. Lauren also served as a member of Generation Progress’ (the millennial arm of Center for American Progress) Leadership Council. She worked to address the root causes of gun violence, through grassroots organizing, and the development of policy and programmatic solutions.
Lauren is an alumni fellow of the New Leaders Council (NLC), a national leadership development training program. Her efforts and commitment led to the creation and sustainment of the New Leaders Council of Philadelphia’s Community Relations Committee, which she chaired for three years. Lauren’s service has included mobilizing volunteers for clean-up events; collecting thousands of dollars’ worth of toys for low-income children and families; organizing financial literacy and violence prevention workshops; as well as liaising between underserved community centers and city leadership. She also chaired NLC’s National Diversity Committee’s Leadership Development Committee.
Besides advocacy work, Lauren is still very involved with her undergraduate institution. She and a fellow alumna, have created a mentoring initiative, Bryn Mawr Students Committed to Opportunities Progress and Empowerment (SCOPE). The group’s objective is to enhance Bryn Mawr’s current initiatives that support students of the African and Latinx Diasporas, and aid in their retention.