Aisha Shepherd to Join The United Way Team

Submitted by Elisabeth on Wed, 03/10/2021 - 11:06am




United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County (UWABC) is excited to announce that Aisha Shepherd will be joining our team as the new Vice President of Community Engagement. 

A native of Asheville, Aisha has devoted her entire career to improving the lives of children and families in Buncombe County. She comes to United Way from Buncombe County government, where she has worked in various capacities since 2003, including social work, justice services, and her most recent position as Community Development Specialist. 

In her role as Vice President of Community Engagement, Aisha will lead the organization in realizing our new vision for Community Engagement, which was the result of an extensive design process, grounded in community input. This vision will both guide and push the organization to more authentically learn from, listen to, and work with community residents—particularly in communities of color and those with lived experience of poverty, marginalization, and injustice. 

Her deep personal roots in the community, coupled with her experience building authentic relationships and strong networks throughout the community, made Aisha a perfect fit for the position.

“This community profoundly matters to me. Living and working in Asheville my entire life, I have developed an awareness for the dynamics and characteristics that make Asheville and Buncombe County unique. I believe my passion for this community, and my understanding of the history and culture here will help position me to be successful in this role.” Aisha Shepherd

Community Engagement and United Way

Aisha joins the UWABC team at an exciting and pivotal moment in our history. As we prepare to mark our Centennial Anniversary in June, we are rolling out key elements of a new Strategic Plan that will lead us into “The Next 100”.   

As we do this, we can’t ignore the lessons of this past year and the disproportionate impact COVID is having on families of color and those of low wealth. These events have revealed, even more starkly than before, the existing inequities within our communities. 

This strategic plan deliberately centers our work around equity, and explicitly names Community Schools —an equity-based approach to elevating student success, supporting families, and engaging communities—as the organizing framework for accomplishing our mission. Coupled with the efforts of our newly restructured Community Engagement department, we believe we have a strong foundation for centering community voice within our work moving forward.