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Stephanie Hightower

USA Track star & Social Justice Advocate
United States

Stephanie Hightower, the first female President & CEO of Columbus Urban League, (CUL) is a tireless advocate for social justice and racial equity. Under her leadership, CUL became an even more relevant and effective force for economic mobility, transformed an abandoned building into an economic hub in the King-Lincoln District, and hosted the National Urban League conference—the nation’s largest annual civil rights gathering. Hightower, an Olympian and world-class athlete; a former Columbus school board member, responded proactively and decisively to the twin pandemics of 2020. She has revised the delivery of social programming to reach all corners of the community, emphasized the importance of adhering to CDC guidelines and Covid-19 vaccinations, and redeployed her team to work remotely.

CUL made 70,000 community connections in 2020 alone, serving 14,000 people at risk of eviction and more than 7,000 Black businesses struggling to survive. She’s also called for reforms in policing, eviction, and benefits for those financially damaged by Covid-19. Additionally, she is a leader in the U.S. Track & Field Governing Body, chairs the World Athletics Gender Leadership Task Force, is a member of the WA Human Rights Working Group, and she also serves on the boards of Celebrate One and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Hightower, a true champion for those facing inequities in Columbus, was recently honored for “exceptional leadership” by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

Stephanie Hightower's


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