Sonya Shields is a passionate social justice activist and nonprofit executive who fuels her creative talents and fundraising and marketing skills to build resources to support over 18,000 Brooklyn residents living in underserved neighborhoods. After working for many years with national and international nonprofits, Sonya’s focus for nearly six years has been to empower Brooklyn’s poor and low-income residents.

[smart_track_player url=”″ title=”Poverty Lives In Posh Brooklyn: Sonya Shields Stops By For A Chat” social_linkedin=”true” social_pinterest=”true” social_email=”true” ]

As the Chief Officer for External Relations and Advancement at Brooklyn Community Services (BCS), Sonya is responsible for raising money, building visibility and creating partnership opportunities to support her organization’s programs and services that reach as far out as the Carnasie neighborhood to downtown, Brooklyn. ( 6.5 to 7 miles).

A graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in Public Relations, Sonya has worked for over twenty years for organizations that address issues related to environmental justice, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and LGBT equality.

Sonya is also a writer and volunteers for numerous organizations. She is one of the founders of the National Black Justice Coalition and has served on over a dozen boards. She is currently on the board of Community of Unity, which directly impacts New York City’s most underserved urban youth.

Sonya says that creative ideas, social justice and ways to use her talents for good is always in motion and she doesn’t see herself slowing down anytime soon.

In This Episode Sonya Talks About

  • Her early exposure to community services.
  • What inspires and guides her to support the organizations she does.
  • Some of the organizations she’s worked with over past 20 years.
  • The services BCS offers to the New York City public schools and the surrounding community.
  • How she galvanized support for the One Brooklyn Community Campaign, which creates awareness and change for the 23% Brooklynites living in poverty, and how they’ve engaged a new audience around the impact of poverty and the need to volunteer.
  • Her published book of poetry.
  • Three ways you can get involved in BCS and start your community service and volunteering, now.
  • Events that led to her spiritual awakening in 2007.
  • The self-care ritual that’s been her therapy and inspiration for the past 10 years.
  • Her future as an activist and creative.



“Poverty lives in posh Brooklyn.”

“Every breath is a meditation.”

“I lean toward what feels right.”

“In the darkest, darkest time, there’s a lesson to be learned.”

“Getting older is inevitable. Aging is optional.”

“Some people are striking, but they’ve got a sharp tongue: mean girls, bullies. I’m all about uplifting women.”

“Brooklyn’s become a global brand.”

“Injustice everywhere is a threat to justice everywhere ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“History has shown us when you make progress in justice and equality there’s always a backlash.”


Fave Quote(s)

[ctt title=”When you know better, you do better ~ Maya Angelou” tweet=”When you know better, you do better ~ Maya Angelou @sonyashields @inouterbeauty” coverup=”0c4Hb”]

[ctt title=”When people show you who they believe them ~ Maya Angelou” tweet=”When people show you who they believe them ~ Maya Angelou @sonyashields @inouterbeauty” coverup=”a8pJ6″]


Fave Book(s)


Self-Care Ritual(s)

  • Exercise


Other Resources Mentioned

Sonya’s Supplement Haul

  • Biotin*
  • Chlorophyll*
  • Charcoal*
  • Fish Oil/Omega 3*
  • Turmeric*
  • Advance Antioxidant Formula*
  • Gingko Biloba*
Sonya’s Skin Care Haul
  • Purity Mask by Philosophy
  • Ducray Ictyane and Nuhanciam Pure Radiance Cream
  • Georgia by Jodie Patterson products — Luxury Face Oil and Gold Luxury Skin Cream

*Always have a dialogue with your primary care provider if you’re considering taking a supplement. And, do purchase all natural, organic supplements from a reputable, natural or health food/store provider.


Connect With Sonya






Connect With BCS





I am grateful you decided to listen in.

You can also listen & subscribe on the following:

 [table id=3 /]


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This