Aqua Porter has been chosen to lead the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative. Porter, who served in an interim capacity since Leonard Brock’s departure in May, brings experience from the business world to the executive director’s position.
Porter worked in various roles at General Motors and Xerox. RMAPI co-chairs Daan Braveman and Jerome Underwood say Porter is what the coalition needs now.
“We already have a group of community leaders who are working together and beginning to see real change,” they said in a statement. “Her experience leading complex teams, her change-management skills and her passion for equity will solidify the gains we’ve made.”
Porter’s work so far gives the co-chairs reason for optimism.
“She will help build the culture of results and accountability that we need to ensure we continue on the path to a community that has equity of opportunity for all our neighbors,” Braveman and Underwood said.
RMAPI is a collective impact effort made up of 30 organizations. It is charged with eliminating poverty and increasing self-sufficiency. Coalition members include local, state and federal representatives, nonprofits, employers and others. Brock led the backbone staff for five years, since its inception. He now heads CF Leads’ Economic Mobility Action Network.
More than 150 candidates were identified to fill Brock’s role. On Nov. 30, RMAPI’s steering committee unanimously decided in Porter’s favor. She will lead RMAPI’s backbone staff.
“Eliminating poverty is a community challenge that can be solved by working together collectively to transform systems, policies and practices that have stymied us for decades,” Porter says. “There is no silver bullet. But I am truly excited about what I know we will be able to accomplish together, with a focus on results and accountability. Justice demands nothing less of all of us.”
Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor.