Dorian Spears (’01)
“Many of the friendships I developed at CBU are still with me today, along with the continued encouragement of all of my professors and advisors.”
Dorian Spears majored in Psychology at CBU, with dual minors in Art and Sociology. She was a very active student leader in the Black Student Association, served as a Senator in the Student Government Association, and was a member of the Programming Council and the Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society.
Dorian has devoted her career to community service since leaving CBU. Upon graduation, Dorian became a Teacher Assistant at Hope House in Memphis and then relocated to Atlanta for a year’s service as an AmeriCorps Service Leader for Hands on Atlanta. She returned to Memphis to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with Volunteer Memphis, an Evening Volunteer Coordinator with the Memphis Literacy Council, and a Program Assistant with Seedco, where she worked with Families First (Welfare to Work) Program for Shelby County. She went to work for local government in 2012 and served as a Project Manager for the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team and then as an Economic Development Specialist for the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis & Shelby County. She received the Ruby R. Wharton Outstanding Woman Award in Business from the City of Memphis in 2015 in recognition of her work with the Economic Gardening program through her city and county government positions. In 2017, she joined Momentum Nonprofit Partners as the Vice President of Community Initiatives and Chief Partnerships Officer.
Dorian has been in Chicago since 2021 in the position of Partnerships and Strategy Lead for Gender Equality in Tech (GET) Cities Initiative, an initiative designed to accelerate the representation and leadership of women in tech through the development of inclusive tech hubs across the United States. GET Cities is seeded and supported by Melinda French Gates’ social impact initiative, Pivotal Ventures.
Over the years, her professional service to her community has extended into her personal time, including board service for the Memphis Slim House Collaboratory, the Center for Transforming Communities, Birth Strides, Mustard Seed, and STS Enterprises. Leadership Memphis has awarded her fellowships for its Grassroots Program, the New Memphis Institute, and Leadership Tennessee NEXT. She has also volunteered her time and service to organizations such as Watch Love Work, the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis, and the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, where she served as a member of its Advancing Racial Equity Community of Practice committee.
Being of service is the biggest lesson I learned while at CBU, and it will remain with me for the rest of my life.