Vice President of Strategy and Engagement Moves to Babcock Foundation

10-year veteran and Partnership for Southern Equity long-time advocate, Dwayne Patterson, advances racial equity as Babcock Foundation’s first Chief Equity Impact Officer

To our dearest partners and friends,

It’s with mixed emotions that I announce that Dwayne Patterson, Vice President of Strategy and Engagement and one of The Partnership for Southern Equity’s (PSE) longest supporters, is resigning effective October 7, 2020. After more than 10 years standing with me and a 25-year career as a community organizer throughout the nation, Dwayne will continue to advance racial equity and shared prosperity as the new Chief Equity and Impact Officer for the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.

As most of you know, Dwayne and I met in 2007 and we quickly became great friends and brothers in arms. He was an anchor participant in the Atlanta delegation who attended the 2008 PolicyLink Equity Summit in New Orleans. That delegation eventually become Equity Atlanta, the precursor of PSE. Dwayne was there when the initial concept of PSE was sketched out on a napkin in East Point, GA. Dwayne built and led PSE’s Organizing Unit, and became the organization’s first Director of Regional Organizing and Civic Engagement. In that role, he led the “Power of the Penny” movement to rally Clayton County residents to support MARTA’s expansion into the county – the first expansion in the system’s 40-year history. Later on, his expanded role as Vice President for Strategy and Engagement included advising on the most pressing strategic and operational issues, partnering with established organizations to ensure growth, organizational performance improvement, and assessing new opportunities for impact as the field evolved.

This is not goodbye or even see you later for Dwayne, but an evolution of the work. In his new role with the Babcock Foundation, Dwayne will continue to advance racial equity throughout the American South. He will lead their external equity work including supporting grantee partners as they set and advance their equity goals, help publicly document the foundation’s equity journey, and influence other foundations to lean into equity more fully. Dwayne will also focus on grantmaking and refine the way the Babcock Foundation documents grantee partners’ outcomes and demographics using an equity lens – an area of growth emphasized by the inequities grantees have experienced because of COVID-19 and uprisings against systemic racism.

Dwayne, along with so many others who have come through our doors, has made Atlanta and the American South a more equitable place because of their hard work, sacrifice, and dedication. While we won’t be working with Dwayne at PSE come October, I know that we will continue the work of racial equity for a long time in his new role with the Babcock Foundation.

This is a bittersweet time for me and the PSE staff. In the space of all that is happening in the world, we’re having to adjust to the transition of key roles within the organization. But the work continues! I ask for your support as we adjust to best serve the needs of the equity ecosystem.

I have instructed our team to begin the search for a new Vice President of Strategy and Engagement. Interested applicants are encouraged to send their resumes and cover letters to [email protected] and to apply at If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Please join me in thanking Dwayne for all that he has poured into the PSE village. Now, in his words, “go change the world” Dwayne.

Onward towards equity,
Nathaniel Q. Smith, Jr.
Founder and Chief Equity Officer