Yolanda Jackson
Community Development Advocates of Detroit

Public Policy Manager

Yolanda Jackson, an urban planner, and public policy professional took an unconventional path to her city building. Initially, she earned a Bachelor of Science from Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) in New Orleans where she studied Psychology. As a psychology student, her research focused on racial identity and the cultural norms of racialized people. While at Xavier, she attended a conference and was exposed to the field of urban planning and contemplated how deeply land use and the built environment impacts the psychological well-being of people in urban communities. She then pursued a graduate degree in urban planning and policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Upon graduation, Yolanda interned at Elevate Energy in Chicago, IL where she provided geospatial analysis consulting an Illinois-based utility provider aiming to extend the coverage of their energy efficiency programs in low-income communities. She then returned to her home city of Detroit where she found work as a Community Planning Associate with Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD) through the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) AmeriCorps program. In this role, she helped facilitate a resident- led community plan in Detroit’s most diverse community, Chadsey Condon.