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Rahkiah Brown to lead South City Foundation as Chief Executive Officer


Following a national search, South City Foundation announced the appointment of Rahkiah Brown as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective October 9, 2023.


As a Purpose Built Network member, South City Foundation acts as the Community Quarterback to convene partners in community revitalization. Using a systems lens to help solve challenges in the neighborhood, South City Foundation engages stakeholders to promote access to quality education and affordable housing, local opportunities for health and wellness, and the development of an economic pipeline for residents that includes jobs and access to capital. Rahkiah will lead the strategic growth of the South City Foundation and will be entrusted with engaging members of the South City community and strengthening meaningful relationships with Tallahassee’s private and public partners.


“Rahkiah brings a depth of knowledge about community reinvestment, developing partnerships, and non-profit leadership,” said Courtney Atkins, South City Foundation’s Interim CEO and the Executive Director of Whole Child Leon.


Shonda Knight, co-chair of South City Foundation’s Board of Directors, agreed. “We are excited to welcome Rahkiah. Her experience in convening non-profits and civic and private groups is a huge asset in our efforts to strengthen the South City neighborhood.”


Rahkiah joins South City Foundation following a progressive career with United Way of North Central Florida (UWNCFL), most recently serving as Director of Community Impact. While at UWNCFL, Rahkiah led strategic initiatives throughout the community to strengthen the health, financial stability and education of people in the region including overseeing United Way’s successful ReadingPals and Volunteer Income Tax Assistant (VITA) programs as well as numerous community engagement initiatives with area contributors.


Speaking about her new role, Rahkiah said, “As the CEO of South City Foundation, I am eager to champion equity, working hand in hand with our dedicated community stakeholders and residents to amplify voices, close service gaps, and provide resources needed for everyone to flourish.”


The South City Foundation’s Board of Directors co-chair, Loranne Ausley, commented, “As the South City Foundation continues to expand our work in the neighborhood, we are grateful for Courtney’s leadership and know that Rahkiah is the right person to lead us into our next chapter.  With the Orange Avenue apartments coming out of the ground, an engaged neighborhood association, and increased public investments, we know the best is yet to come for South City residents and business owners.” 


The South City Foundation will host several events in the coming months to introduce Rahkiah to the South City neighborhood and to Tallahassee.


Rahkiah studied Family, Youth, and Community Sciences at the University of Florida before launching full time into her career. As a college student, Rahkiah led the development of the NAACP’s ACT-SO program (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics) in Gainesville. She also served as the program director and later a board member for Kids Count in Alachua County. Rahkiah was a research practitioner for the UF Youth Development Research-Practice Partnership which published a report addressing the needs of children, youth and families in Alachua County in 2020. She served as an advisory member of Partnership for Reimagining Gainesville, and is a member of Greater Gainesville Chamber’s Leadership Gainesville Class 45. Most recently, Rahkiah was nominated as a recipient of the 2024 Fierce Award, honoring women in Gainesville for their notable contributions to the community.


The Foundation partnered with search advisor Intentional Works to conduct a nation-wide search for this role. 


About South City FoundationThe South City Foundation is focused on community-led initiatives that include high-quality mixed-income housing, excellent schools, spaces that enrich residents’ physical and mental health, and a thriving commercial core that drives economic opportunity. For more information, please visit https://southcityfoundation.org/.

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