Giving Voice: Black CEOs in Their Own Words shares the stories behind some of Dallas’s most notable nonprofit leaders. The short films highlight the unique pressures borne by Black leaders operating in predominantly White spaces. Each episode of the series focuses on the life of a current CEO from childhood through their current work.
Conversations about inequity tend toward bleak appraisals of what is broken in American society. Leaders like Kimberly Williams, Byron Sanders, and Taylor Toynes bear witness to these shortcomings, but they also invite us to share a more optimistic vision of what is possible for future generations. This brand of hopeful leadership is urgently needed in a landscape dominated by so much bitterness and recrimination.
Made in collaboration with The George and Fay Young Foundation and produced by Universe Creative, these documentaries are meant to spur deeper conversation about the necessity of diverse leadership in effective philanthropy, not as a box to be checked, but as a key to engaging with communities authentically and meaningfully. These stories insist that those impacted by nonprofit groups be represented at the highest levels of those groups to ensure, as the adage goes, there is “nothing about us without us.”
After an early work experience prompts Kimberly Williams to rethink her assumptions about poverty and dedicate her career to others, she must reconcile her deeply internalized desire to be “twice as good” to prove her worth as a Black leader in a White-dominated space.
When Byron Sanders, a superhero-obsessed Black kid from South Dallas, seizes an opportunity to go to a predominantly White private school, his reckoning with race and class puts him on a path to becoming CEO of one of the most influential nonprofits in the city.