Shanequa Levin is an award-winning social justice leader, motivational speaker, and author who believes that it is important to step up and advocate for those that need one's strength and voice. She is also a registered ordained wedding officiant. Shanequa founded the Long Island chapter of Mocha Mom's a support group for mothers of color, and served as chapter president, regional director, and the National Parent Nation Coordinator. She is the former director of Every Child Matters in NY, an advocacy and electoral engagement organization on behalf of kids. Currently, she is a Community Advisor for the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department, a Co-Chair for the Long Island Million Women Community, a Community Advisor for Hofstra University's Healthcare Entrepreneurship Community Challenge, a member of The State of Black Long Island Equity Council through the Urban League of Long Island, Jack & Jill of America Suffolk County Chapter where she served as the chapters Legislative Chair, and the creator of culturally relevant Facebook groups. In the past, she has been involved in organizations like Girl Scouts, where she was a troop leader for 6 years; the Huntington Station Enrichment Center, where she was a board member; and the National Association of Mothers' Center, where she was a facilitator.
Shanequa gives her all to campaigns that focus on marginalized community members. She has spoken at various events across the country, facilitated countless workshops on advocacy and voter engagement in early learning centers, community groups, training programs, and colleges. She meets with community members one-on-one to provide them with guidance during their journey to become lifelong advocates. She works alongside prominent politicians, organizers, and individuals impelling change. Creating and getting involved with grassroots justice campaigns, participating in speaking circuits, and lobbying in Albany and Washington, DC led her to be instrumental in grassroots advocacy for legislative changes to Early Care and Learning, Raise The Age, Paid Family Leave Insurance, Bail Reform, and policies that protect safety net programs which allow every child to thrive. Along with other leaders, her contributions helped give more access to affordable and quality child care; sixteen and seventeen-year old's the right to be tried and housed with youth instead of adults in the criminal justice system; moms, dads, military, adoptive parents, and caretakers the right to have their job secured while taking care of a loved one; and allowed people to not have bail as a barrier while trying to prove their innocence.
After working for over a decade in the non-profit sector to advocate for mothers and children, Shanequa noticed the lack of diversity in non-profit social movements. She felt these movements themselves were segregated; everyone was working to do good with people from their own ethnicity only. To build cultural bridges, educate people on issues that affect them, celebrate diversity, unite women, and create unified advocacy opportunities, she founded the 501(c)(3) Women's Diversity Network, aka WDN, where she serves as the Chief Executive Officer. WDN has become a social movement organization practicing transformative justice processes based on group leadership where marginalized lives are centered. The mission of the WDN is to connect and mobilize women of different backgrounds to create positive change through collective work and a unified sisterhood. Through WDN, she has created the Health Equity Task Force, which focuses on addressing Maternal Mortality. She's also created a yearly summit that brings diverse people together to learn about social justice issues and celebrate cultures.
Shanequa also convenes a Black-led, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-generational coalition of organizations, activists, and community members who are working to ensure genuine public safety for all Long Island communities called LI United to Transform Policing & Community Safety. LI United's mission is to transform public safety by divesting from policing and investing in our communities.
After surviving childhood poverty, dealing with drug-addicted parents, an incarcerated father, and having a teen mom, she understands the importance of using her voice to help others break negative generational cycles. She values loyalty, collaboration, justice, optimism, and honesty. Shanequa has written a book titled Poverty's Phoenix, which sheds light on the child's perspective of growing up in suburban poverty.
Shanequa attended Lincoln & Hofstra universities in pursuit of a bachelor's degree. She has certificates from Adelphi University for Organizational and Community Leadership; Social Movement Technologies for Digital Organizing; the University of Connecticut for Workplace Empowerment Leadership & Skills; Rockwood Institute for The Art of Leadership; and the National Association of Mothers' Centers for Group Facilitation. She currently resides on Long Island with her supportive husband and two courageous children.