Acooa Ellis

Acooa Ellis

Senior vice president of community impact

Greater Twin Cities United Way



After serving as director of social justice advocacy with Catholic Charities, Acooa Ellis joined United Way in 2018. As a nonprofit community leader, she emphasizes solutions that focus on “the lived experience and wisdom of the people” who need services. She’s excited about a new grant round for the Pathways Home program, which seeks to prevent homelessness for foster youth and adults who have been in the criminal legal system. “Mental health has emerged as a very acute challenge” for the population United Way serves, Ellis says. She notes other community needs have intensified, “particularly among people without the wealth to weather crisis or uncertainty.”

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