Kendra is a proud first-generation Black Dominican woman, a mother, a wife, and artist. Kendra’s story is the story of District 6, a story about community, creativity, and collective power. Born in the Bronx to a working-class, immigrant mother, Kendra’s family relocated to Jamaica Plain in 1990 and she has since called it home.
At 13, her curiosity about and desire for a more equitable world was supported by the Jamaica Plain artistic and activist institutions, Spontaneous Celebrations, and Hyde Square Task Force. She participated at Wake Up the Earth Festival, where she learned of Jamaica Plain’s people-powered, art-filled battle to stop a highway from cutting through their neighborhoods. Among the art encouraging young people to express their stories, she found her calling to become a community organizer, artist, and a champion for her community. As a first-year high school student, Kendra co-founded and later became the director of the influential and celebrated “by-youth, for-youth” organization Beantown Society. Like many young people of color in Boston, Kendra was directly impacted by gang violence. Because of her activist perspective, she quickly saw how her experiences with community violence were explicitly tied to poverty and racism. With her eyes open wide, she stepped in and at the age of 19, Kendra became one of a handful of women and the youngest in the city to provide trauma-informed support to young people as a StreetWorker with the StreetSafe Boston Initiative. Hicks would later support the expansion of this program internationally.
For the last five years, Kendra has been the Director of Radical Philanthropy at the historic Boston-based organization Resist. Founded by world-renowned activist Noam Chomsky just over fifty years ago, Resist has grown–with Hicks at the helm–into a leading force for racial and economic justice. Anchored by a commitment to bring the margins to the center, Kendra supports organizations across the nation in building the culture, structures, and strategies necessary to interrogate white supremacy’s impact on their work. In her current role, Kendra uses her head, heart, and hands to push communities to use their imaginations and the resources at hand to expand beyond the realms of possibility towards liberation.