"I believe that engaged and empowered people create healthier communities."
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Who is De’Vonna

De’Vonna is a mother, wife, and active community leader committed to standing on the front line.

A skilled bridge builder, communicator, activator, and strategist, De’Vonna specializes in creating collaborations between communities and government, as well as curating spaces and programs that allow individuals, families, and communities to thrive.

Community Connector

Pittman co-founded the Minnesota Black Author’s expo with the goal of reducing educational inequities, to stimulate income, and to provide a space for community and educators to find black literature. 

De’Vonna’s 17-year career at Hennepin County is expansive. From committee clerk to the Board of Commissioners, to the department of community corrections and public works, she has been a leader people can count on.

In the Department of Corrections, she spent countless hours with community leaders dreaming of ways to re-envision a construction training program for individuals exiting prison so probationers could earn a livable wage while learning construction. 

As a contract analyst in corrections, she managed a budget of over $2.5 million and worked closely with community partners. As a project coordinator, De’Vonna was integral in major projects, including the Twins Stadium. Her work included coordinating community conversations around ADA and accessibility issues and the environmental impact study.  

Since 2013 De’Vonna has hosted countless forums focused on bringing awareness to childhood sexual abuse and to empower women, children, and their families.

As a volunteer mentor at the Hennepin County Home School, she dedicated countless hours to the well-being of county involved youth. 

Recognized Leader

De’Vonna is a recognized community leader who is passionate about connecting people to solutions and resources.

She is a Josie R. Johnson Leadership Fellow who was recently featured in Fearless Commerce, a nationally recognized magazine that elevates Black women business owners through the production of books and live events. 

She currently serves on the American Civil Liberties Union Smart Justice Committee. In the past, she served on the boards of the City of Lakes and Land Trust and The Sexual Violence Center.

Experience that Matters

De’Vonna has spent almost two decades in public service as a voice for marginalized communities. Her expansive experience with Hennepin County and work in the community ranges from handling million dollar budgets and contracts to working with ex-offenders and individuals on probation. 

She understands the underlying issues that affect everyday people and is committed to providing leadership and finding solutions to combat them.

She believes that community members where they live helps empower them to make decisions that reduce inequities and create thriving communities and strong families. 

De’Vonna is also a small business owner, community advocate, and author. She was born and raised in Ford Heights, Il., once deemed the poorest suburb in America. With a population of less than 3,000 residents, she learned the value of community early in life. 

She was raised by her mother who worked two jobs to try and make ends meet. Her mother was also a small business owner of a barbecue joint, where she and her six brothers and sisters learned the value of hard work. 

De’Vonna moved to Minneapolis in 1992. She currently lives in New Hope and has lived in District 1 for the past 12 years.

She graduated from Metropolitan State University with a degree in Criminal justice, and earned her Masters of Science in Law Enforcement Leadership from the University of St. Thomas. 

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4 days ago

People for Pittman
Faith is dead without works. What are you doing to change the state of our world one community at a time?

Faith is dead without works. What are you doing to change the state of our world one community at a time? ... See MoreSee Less

6 days ago

People for Pittman

Minnesota’s Own lights up the screen on the TODAY show. ... See MoreSee Less

6 days ago

People for Pittman
To say that I am completely humbled by this honor is an understatement. 

Check out the other community leaders who were named Black History Makers.

To say that I am completely humbled by this honor is an understatement.

Check out the other community leaders who were named Black History Makers.HCL is celebrating Black History Month by featuring current history makers in our community. Today we are featuring De'Vonna Pittman.

De’Vonna Pittman founded the Minnesota Black Authors Expo in 2017 connecting Black authors and their work to community and educators. An author, community advocate, and equity advocate, she has hosted countless community forums to empower women and their families.

She is Director of Inclusive Growth at Center for Economic Inclusion. Pittman leads the Center’s efforts to create broad, measurable shared accountability among public local, regional and statewide leaders and policy makers. She equips leaders and agencies with the knowledge, tools, and resources needed to close racial wealth gaps and accelerate inclusive economic competitiveness through racially equitable workforce, land-use, economic development, housing, transportation and infrastructure policies and investment.

-- What inspires you to do the work you do in your community? --

I am a product of generational poverty and I know the barriers to gaining stability and self-empowerment. Pulling one's self out of poverty requires utilizing systems that are often not built to truly address all that comes along with trauma, instability, and being raised in a marginalized community. I know what is possible with even a little bit of determination and having systems that minimally address basic needs of survival. I believe that every little bit of passion I put into the world around me will create incremental changes in community, and in families, and it will make life better for a lot of people.

-- What part of this work for your community are you most proud of? --

I am most proud of the Minnesota Black Authors Expo; it is a magical event. Minnesota has some of the worst educational disparities; our children, especially children of color, have fallen behind. We wanted to restore a love for reading for Black children, and in Black communities. The expo has donated over 700 books since 2017. In the process of connecting community to Black literature, we were able to build something very special.
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Comment on Facebook

Congrats DeVonna!! You make me so proud!!

3 weeks ago

People for Pittman
For those of you who don’t know, I started in a new role with the Center for Economic Inclusion. 

This week marks one month of building with leaders across the region to dismantle racist structures and systems to ensure inclusive growth. 

We can do this together. 

“As Director of Inclusive Growth, DeVonna leads the Center’s efforts to create broad, measurable shared accountability among public, local, regional and statewide leaders and policy makers by equipping leaders and agencies with the knowledge, tools, and resources needed to close racial wealth gaps and accelerate inclusive economic competitiveness through racially equitable workforce, land-use, economic development, housing, transportation and infrastructure policies and investments. “

For those of you who don’t know, I started in a new role with the Center for Economic Inclusion.

This week marks one month of building with leaders across the region to dismantle racist structures and systems to ensure inclusive growth.

We can do this together.

“As Director of Inclusive Growth, De'Vonna leads the Center’s efforts to create broad, measurable shared accountability among public, local, regional and statewide leaders and policy makers by equipping leaders and agencies with the knowledge, tools, and resources needed to close racial wealth gaps and accelerate inclusive economic competitiveness through racially equitable workforce, land-use, economic development, housing, transportation and infrastructure policies and investments. “
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Comment on Facebook

Great photo!

You are so beautiful you belong in a magazine

Congratulations

Congratulations!!!

Congrats! You will be great I your new role!!

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3 weeks ago

People for Pittman
Im humbled to be joining this esteemed panel to have important conversations about the need to dismantle institutional racism and DE&I in the workplace. 

Join us this Wednesday: 

Karen McKinney  Chief Equity Officer for Minnesota Department of Human Services, 

Lauren Hunter, MBA-HRM, CDP, MBA-HRM, CDP, Director of Diversity & Recruitment at Minnesota Department of Human Services

Charles D. Jackson
Diversity & Inclusion, Family League of Baltimore

Hosted by the Minneapolis Urban League - Twin Cities Young Professionals

Sign up: https://lnkd.in/d2eUS2h

#passiton #diversityequityinclusion
#realtalk

I'm humbled to be joining this esteemed panel to have important conversations about the need to dismantle institutional racism and DE&I in the workplace.

Join us this Wednesday:

Karen McKinney Chief Equity Officer for Minnesota Department of Human Services,

Lauren Hunter, MBA-HRM, CDP, MBA-HRM, CDP, Director of Diversity & Recruitment at Minnesota Department of Human Services

Charles D. Jackson
Diversity & Inclusion, Family League of Baltimore

Hosted by the Minneapolis Urban League - Twin Cities Young Professionals

Sign up:

#passiton #diversityequityinclusion
#realtalk
... See MoreSee Less

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