Public Allies, a national nonprofit whose mission is to create a just and equitable society and the diverse leadership to sustain it, is proud to announce Jenise Terrell as the recipient of the 2021 Excellence in AmeriCorps Lifetime of Service Award. The award recognizes Ms. Terrell, Vice President of Programs, for her outstanding service and lifelong commitment to civic engagement. AmeriCorps is a federal agency that brings people together to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges through national service and volunteering. The annual Excellence in AmeriCorps awards are given to honor inspiring and impactful national service across the country.
Jenise Terrell is a proud native Milwaukeean and mother of two beautiful children who has dedicated her career to ensuring that everyone – regardless of identity or circumstance – has the opportunity to realize their full potential. She passionately rejects the common narrative that blames the marginalized and oppressed for their circumstances. Her belief in the power of proximate leadership and asset-based community development reflects the core tenet of Public Allies’ signature AmeriCorps Apprenticeship program.
“From her initial apprenticeship in AmeriCorps to her role leading programs at Public Allies, Jenise’s career path reflects her commitment to service and her belief in the value of service for those who are too often overlooked and marginalized,” says Jaime Ernesto Uzeta, CEO of Public Allies. “She sees beauty and potential where others see deficit and she stretches every group she is a part of to live up to its highest ideals. There is no one more deserving of this award and I could not be more proud to work alongside her.”
Ms. Terrell started her journey in service as an AmeriCorps apprentice herself in 1997. During her 24-year tenure, Public Allies has grown an alumni network of more than 8,000 leaders. Under her influence, Public Allies continues to lead with a focus on equity. Public Allies’ national executive leadership team is composed primarily of people of color, 40% of whom are Black women. More than 70% of local site directors and 80% of Ally AmeriCorps Members identify as BIPOC. For 30 years, Public Allies has been seeking out promise and potential in spaces where others see deficit, and Jenise Terrell has led the way in ensuring that commitment is upheld at every level of the organization.
“I believe in the bold idea that the future of this country lies not in the places where privilege has been born but in the fortitude that is forged along the margins, in the spaces where little black girls watch and listen deeply, and not only can imagine a different future for our country, but know how to get us there,” says Jenise Terrell. “I am humbled and honored to receive this award and grateful for being able to serve with and learn from so many brilliant, passionate leaders across the country.”
About Public Allies
Public Allies is a 501c3 national nonprofit committed to advancing social justice and racial equity by engaging and activating the leadership of all people. Our mission is to create a just and equitable society and the diverse leadership to sustain it. Since 1992, we have helped thousands of underrepresented leaders serve our country, get on successful pathways to higher education and careers, and bring communities together to work for the common good. We operate our signature AmeriCorps program in 25 communities nationwide.