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Kayla Hicks

2022 Fellow


Kayla Hicks KAH007
United States

Kayla Hicks is the founder and CEO of Sustain Equity Group (SEG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering professional equity for black women in community-based violence intervention and prevention initiatives and other fields. SEG’s flagship program, The Urban Training Research Advocacy Institute and Network (U-TRAIN), provides trauma-informed leadership development cohorts, training, mentoring, and networking opportunities.

Hicks, as a former leader in the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, was an innovative change-maker within the movement. In 2013 Hicks was the first person in the Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) movement to put a lens on the daily gun violence experienced by black and brown communities. A sustained commitment to these communities led to a profound change in policy and programs in Virginia and across the country in neighborhoods impacted by daily gun violence and within organizations serving marginalized communities that are now saving lives.

Hicks is recognized nationally for having worked as African American and Faith Outreach state director for the 2008 Obama campaign, strategic planning coordinator for labor giant SEIU, political consultant, leadership transformation mentor, bail enforcement agent, a private detective, and outreach director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. She earned her AA and BS in interdisciplinary studies and studied for her MA in human services counseling, crisis response, and trauma care from Liberty University. She is a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) member of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, an American Express Social Justice Leadership Academy Alumni and member of the Association of Christian Counselors.