I did not know that a Chaos Whisperer existed until I met Lenita Dunlap. She has a way of quieting the noise and helping you see the beauty in your accomplishments. As a non-profit leader, I honestly did not know that I would receive the quality of support that I have received from Lenita. A support that both challenges and affirms my role as leader of a maternal justice organization. I realize that when starting an organization from the ground up that you're in a unique position to create something from nothing, and with that comes learning curves, self doubt, imposter syndrome and so much more. Lenita sees the sacrifices Executives make and she has a way of seeing through the clutter while providing tools that helps to calm the chaos in our lives. I am forever grateful for the gift of being advised by Lenita Dunlap and I know that anyone that chooses her to come alongside them will be as well.
I had the pleasure of working with Lenita during a very critical time. Our team was tasked with increasing our fundraising goals very quickly, thus forcing us to pivot and for me to rearrange everyone's goals and roles. Lenita not only stepped up, but went above and beyond to suggest other ways to contribute, including spending extensive hours in the community and building community relations. That was not an easy task, given the difficulties at the time. Lenita rose to the task with commitment, compassion, knowledge and empathy, which not only diffused many situations in the best way, but helped us to grow by leaps and bounds - in the most positive way. Lenita was always a pleasure to work with, always a smile or kind word, but also extremely dedicated and hard-working. She would be an asset to any organization.
Such an impressive leader. What she had been able to accomplish in such a short time is really remarkable. Her visualization coupled with her can do/ will do attitude delivers solid sustainable results. She is able to marshal varied resources towards a infused goal, not an easy task when working in a non-profit that can be emotionally driven. Her positive impact in the lives of children cannot be understated. Many will have stable lives because of the unrelenting efforts of her and her team.
I consider Lenita to be both a friend and fellow community advocate. She is an experienced nonprofit professional with a passion for social justice and a heart for the most vulnerable in our community; as CEO of Heart House she championed education, social-emotional and mental health and wrap-around services for children and families in the Vickery Meadow community. As a provider of highest-quality after-school services, Lenita led Heart House in growing to serve more students and sites, all while meeting standards to become certified after-school programs. Lenita's passion and drive is clear in all that she does; as a fellow participant in Dallas Public Voices/The Op-Ed Project, I worked alongside Lenita as we participated in workshops centered writing Op-Eds centered on critical topics. Lenita's Op-Ed on the plight of refugee children in America gave a voice to a group that is so often neglected. Lenita brings passion, expertise and leadership to all that she does. She is a true champion for human rights and a changemaker in our Dallas community.
If you look up servant leader in the dictionary, you will find Lenita Dunlap’s name. I’ve had the privilege of working side by side with Lenita for nearly six years while she served as CEO of Heart House, an incredible nonprofit organization benefiting vulnerable refugee children in Vickery Meadow. Having worked in the Vickery Meadow community myself for almost 20 years, I have witnessed firsthand the dedication and passion that Lenita gives to her work. During her tenure at Heart House, I watched her transform the organization by providing much needed stability and visibility for thousands of immigrant families in our community. Lenita is gifted at providing an empathetic voice for the voiceless and does so with dignity and respect. Both personally and professionally, Lenita is someone I can rely on to be a person of her word and get things done. I can rely on her to speak her truth and encourage others to also speak their truth – even when it is difficult to tell, hear or accept. By speaking her truth with compassion and humility, she has helped me be a better leader, advocate and human being. Please feel free to contact me if you wish to know more about my work with Lenita.
Lenita is a deeply passionate individual. I have had the opportunity to partner with her during her tenure at Heart House and we also were in the same cohort for the OpEd Project. She was always easy to work with, creative with her ideas, dependable and over the years became a dear friend beyond our professional relationship. She is inspiring and she was always dedicated and attentive to every project we partnered with Heart House on through the Communities Foundation of Texas or Orchid Giving Circle. She deeply cared for the children of refugees and the refugee community in general.
Lenita is a leader. Her creativity and genuine passion to see others thrive is infectious. She is a thoughtful communicator who clearly shares encouragement and tools to equip the audience to walk with purpose. Her love for refugees and underserved communities guides her to make bold moves that impacts generations. She is a one-of-a kind leader. We can't say enough about her work as a volunteer with We Teach Joy.
I first met Lenita through our work as advocates in the refugee communities, then I got to know her better as a fellow of the OpEd Project. Lenita is a driven go getter, a compassionate neighbor and her powers as an incredible community builder never ceases to amaze me. She would be a tremendous asset to any team who wishes to amplify their social impact.
I have known Lenita since 2016, and worked directly with her at Heart House for 2 years, partnering with Lenita to build, grow, and sustain the funding base for the after-school nonprofit serving 100% refugee children and families. At Heart House, I witnessed Lenita’s expertise in advocacy, mental health, human services, and refugee services all converge. In her typical day, she would coach program teachers, touch base with feeder school leaders, meet with high-profile funders, and participate as an advocate in Vickery Meadow community meetings. Her drive, as I witnessed, was being present for each of our students, and their families. She is resourceful - calling upon partners from area businesses, foundations, and faith-based organizations to support the organization at every step of the way. Her dynamic advocacy for refugees and the underserved is tireless and limitless. She has my utmost respect and admiration.