Afton Branche-Wilson is the assistant director of community initiatives at Poverty Solutions, where she stewards our initiative-wide community engagement activities, and conducts research and evaluation projects in Detroit. Previously, she was the Community and Policy Manager at Detroit City Council, where she advanced policy initiatives related to neighborhood beautification and community investment. She also led Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López’s Building Better Blocks program, building the capacity of grassroots leaders in underserved areas to advocate for community change.
As the North America Program Manager at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, she managed a pro bono legal network linking innovative U.S. social enterprises and NGOs with attorneys at top law firms around the world. At the Thomson Reuters Foundation, she co-launched the Trust Women Scholars program, an initiative to ensure grassroots women’s rights leaders from the Global South have access to their annual conference in London. At the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, Branche led DMI Scholars, a leadership development program for college activists from underrepresented communities. She began her career at DMI as Immigration Policy Analyst.
Branche has earned an MPP from the University of Michigan, where she focused on nonprofit management, community planning, and program evaluation. She also is a passionate advocate for gender equity, serving as a volunteer for an anti-street harassment collective in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the president of Women and Gender in Public Policy while in graduate school. Currently, she is a member of the Women’s Caucus at the New Leaders Council and serves as an Alumni Vice Chair of the Detroit Chapter.