By Tiffany Hunt, Howard University News Service
The CEO of the Coalition for Non-Profit Housing and Economic Development Stephen Glaude, has served the Ward 4 D.C. area for decades now. Glaude is an influential leader who, has affected many people along the way, throughout his career in non-profits and politics, and overall resembles many characteristics of an influential person, that not all leaders have.
Stephen Glaude was born on July 25, 1954 in Washington, D.C. Around the age of 13, Glaude realized that he had a passion to serve his community, when he helped counseled his schoolmates through their problems. Glaude also grew up with the influence of his grandparents careers. Glaude’s grandmother Julia Fickling was the director of D.C. Public Schools guidance department, and his grandfather Austin Fickling, was the first-ever African American judge in the court of appeals, in D.C. Later on in college Glaude went on to pursue a degree in Community Mental Health at Morgan State University. Straight out of college Glaude was on a hunt for a job to start off his career.
Glaude’s first job interview was at the University of Maryland. Going into the interview Glaude knew he wasn’t fully qualified because the job required a masters degree. Once, the interview started though, Glaude realized very soon that he was being used as an interview statistic. Glaude said that he was asked questions in the interview that he felt were trying to degrade his character, and he soon realized that he wasn’t going to get the job. After that interview Glaude realized that Morgan State had properly primed him for real life situations like this. “Morgan gave me an environment where I could fail without rejection,” he said. Glaude knew he would have to battle with real world oppression once he left his HBCU life, and that the real world wouldn’t support him like his HBCU community had did.
On the contrary to that minor setback at the University of Maryland, Glaude’s career took off. Glaude has worked as the director of constituent services for former DC Council Chairman Vincent Gray. Glaude then went on to be the director of community affairs for the District of Columbia where he managed 13 agencies for the mayor, consisting of the offices of Latino Affairs, Asian Affairs, African Affairs, Religious Affairs, Veterans Affairs, Women’s Policy, Youth Advisory Council, Grants and Partnerships and more. Glaude also held countless positions in politics, where his soul purpose was to improve housing crises and economic development on a national level.
Even though Glaude has an overall successful career, he has had some major life setbacks where he became addicted to crack cocaine, which has taken him eight years to fully recover. The recovery process was challenging for Glaude, but he has slowly transitioned back into his love for serving his community. Steve Glaude is an influential individual who has changed many lives along the way. The people who work with him, and around him, have attested to Glaude’s leadership. Many leaders won’t always admit when they have made mistakes, but according to Felicia Fort, CNHED Vice President of Business Operations, Glaude does. “He chooses to mentor and lead by experience and publicly acknowledge when he gets it wrong. He is an influential leader because he is open to learning and choosing a right team to lead and grow.” Awesta Sarkash, the director of advocacy, said Glaude is always trying to be involved, and helping out in any situation that he can. “Steve’s always been a great inspirational speaker too. He can rally a group of individuals like few other people can. Those are qualities that only truly influential people have.”