Don M Thomas is a Thought Leader, Public Servant and Transformation Oriented Practitioner. As a Transformation-Oriented Practitioner, he has mastered the ability to impact social progress through experience, innovation and the capacity to create sustainable frameworks. Don has dedicated his professional life to systems change, utilizing a transformation-oriented approach of solving immediate community issues while facilitating systems change. He recognizes the importance of identifying the need and creating clear workable solution through the framework of being, “Short-term responsive and long-term strategic.” There are two pillars that guide Don’s work and the way he engages the community and that is, institutionalization and sustainability. This paradigm ensures the direct and immediate responses to community needs have long term, sustainable and generational implications.
Don is a Chicago native, where he worked as a Youth and Family Counselor supporting adjudicated youth, and a proud United States Army Veteran. Upon moving to Charlotte to join the rest of his family, he hit the ground running becoming the National Outreach Coordinator for Exodus Foundation.org. In this role Don organized national, multi-city initiatives that took a systems approach focusing on disrupting the pipeline of African Americans into the criminal justice system. Don currently serves as the Executive Director of My Brother’s Keeper Charlotte-Mecklenburg, an organization committed to improving outcomes for boys and young men of color by serving as the backbone organization of a collective impact effort. Don has been married for 12 years and has 3 children. His oldest daughter recently graduated from Cato Middle College and is off to her home by the sea, Hampton University. Don’s other 2 children attend Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. His wife, also an Army Veteran, is a Social Worker in Charlotte and Program Manager at a community nonprofit organization. Don is certified in Advanced Youth Development (AYD), Anti-Racism Training and Organizing, Conflict Transformation, Trauma Informed Care and Peace Building. He received his Bachelor Degree in Politics and Government as well as Biblical and Theological Studies from North Park University in Chicago, as well as earning a Master’s Degree in Religious Leadership with a concentration in Social Transformation from Chicago Theological Seminary.