About the 2023-2024 Community Honoree

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins is an American social justice advocate and businesswoman, as well as founder and CEO of Promise, a software company that makes aid easier to access and simplifies government debt. Prior to Promise, Phaedra oversaw revenue and operations at Honor, a home care technology organization dedicated to delivering quality care to older adults. Phaedra also worked with the music icon Prince and led the effort to secure ownership of the musical composition copyrights for all of his songs. She is a labor and community organizer by trade who is committed to making measurable change.

Earlier in her career, Phaedra served as Executive Officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, an organized labor federation representing more than 100 unions and more than 110,000 members in California. She was also Executive Director of Working Partnerships USA, a coalition of community groups and labor and faith organizations working to address economic disparities in California’s Silicon Valley. She also served as the CEO of the anti-poverty organization Green For All. 

Phaedra has been honored as: Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum); 25 Most Influential African Americans (Essence); Power 150 (Ebony); 100 History Makers in the Making (The Grio); 40 Next: Emerging Leaders for Our Future (Black Enterprise) and 100 most powerful people in Silicon Valley (San Jose Magazine). She serves on the boards of Honor as well as Tipping Point, a Bay Area nonprofit that finds, funds, and strengthens poverty-fighting solutions.

Previous Honorees

Dr. Mary J. Lomax-Ghirarduzzi
Vice President for DEI & Professor of Communication, University of the Pacific

Aparna Bawa
Chief Operating Officer, Zoom

Dr. Sandra Moore Faber
Astronomer, Professor Emerita at UC Santa Cruz

Kim Rivera
President, Strategy & Business Management & Chief Legal Officer, Hewlett Packard

Teveia Barnes
Founder & President, Lawyers for One America

Lisa Sobrato Sonsini
Youth Advocate & Philanthropic Leader

Judge LaDoris Cordell
Superior Court Judge, Civic Leader & Artist

Sister Simone Campbell
Social Leader, Attorney & Public Policy Advocate

Julie Matsushima
Civic Leader, Entrepreneur & Author

Belva Davis
Award-Winning Journalist & Author

Irene Dalis†
General Director & Founder, Opera San Jose

Carol Bartz
Former Chief Executive Officer, Yahoo!

Charmaine Warmenhoven
Retired Educator & Civic Leader

Martha Kanter, Ed.D                
U.S. Under Secretary of Education

† Deceased