Here are local Newark leaders who, through their organizations, are doing empowering, impactful work to address the social determinants that impact their community’s health and overall quality of life its members. These leaders are undertaking impactful initiatives to make Newark MAD COOL and they are MAD COOL too!

Meet Vesta Godwin Clark, Executive Director St. James Social Service Corporation

The St. James Social Service Corporation’s mission is to “support the family unit by helping to change the economic circumstances and improving the overall quality of life for children, the elderly, low-income families, the working poor and the homeless.”

A 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization located in the Central Ward of Newark, New Jersey, the organization was initially formed to support the outreach ministries of Saint James A.M.E. Church, a long time pillar of the community. Over the years, SJSSC has grown to become an independent agency that provides services to more than 30,000 people annually. Known as the “Small agency that does BIG things”, SJSSC has a reputation of being one of the leading social service agencies in the City of Newark, Essex County and the State of New Jersey.

Vesta is MAD COOL!

Learn more about her and the empowering work she’s doing through St. James Social Service Corporation

Meet Executive Director Shennell McCloud, Project Ready

As a native and resident of Newark, NJ, Shennell McCloud serves as the Executive Director of Project Ready and has successfully channeled her experiences to become a social activist, empowering hundreds of New Jerseyans to take on leadership roles in their communities.

As the leader of Project Ready, Shennell has worked to close the opportunity gap and improve life outcomes for Newark’s children by empowering her community to demand excellence from local schools. Her work is centered on growing the base of local voters, mobilizing the voting base to turn out at local elections, and developing future leaders to improve the city’s schools and its future. In the last year, Shennell organized the 1,000 Newarkers Vote By Mail campaign to increase Newark’s turnout, and successfully advocated for the passage of bills to allow New Jersyans to register to vote online and expand access to mail-in ballots.

Shennell is MAD COOL!

Learn more about her and the empowering work she is doing at Project Ready

Meet Tobias A. Fox, Founder and Managing Director, Newark Science and Sustainability

Tobias Fox is the Founder and Managing Director of the community-driven, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Newark Science and Sustainability, Inc. Aside from being a writer and having ten years of independent publishing experience, Fox is a Professional Organizer, Urban Farmer, Photographer, and Coordinator of an annual Sustainable Living Empowerment Conference. He conducts various community events, presentations, and workshops on sustainable living practices and has assisted numerous urban farmers and gardeners with the cultivation of their agricultural space.

Tobias is MAD COOL!

Learn more about him and the empowering work he’s doing through Newark Science and Sustainability