Our Staff

Madhavi Reddy | Executive Director | Madhavireddy@cdad-online.org

Madhavi works on CDAD’s place-based initiatives supporting neighborhoods to develop a shared vision for their future. She has over ten years of community building experience including in resident-led community change, non-traditional community engagement strategies and popular education, working with immigrant communities in one of the world’s most diverse neighborhoods and developing workers’ cooperatives and social purpose enterprises. When she is not working, Madhavi enjoys print making, coloring outside the lines, and learning from passionate change makers. She lives in a quiet Northwest Detroit neighborhood where she can be found spending time with her family, walking her dog, and coming up with lofty ideas with her inspiring neighbors.

Kyra Thomas | Office Manager | Kyrathomas@cdad-online.org

Kyra is a native Detroiter who is committed to cultivating, sharing, motivating and challenging the people of this great city to “think outside the box.” She has been in administration for over 10 years working with non-profit and faith-based organizations, creating better solutions to be organized, be informed and be involved. At CDAD, Kyra enjoys maintaining the administrative side of the organization and collaborating with her team members on their work, as well as assisting the members of CDAD whom the organization advocates on behalf-of. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Theologian studies. Her greatest and most prized accomplishment is her little son Maximus-Langston, who brings complete and utter joy to anyone he meets.

Staci Young | Community Engagement Associate | staceyyoung@cdad-online.org

I enjoy working with the public as well as helping individuals and organizations bridge gaps and overcome barriers. This work is rewarding, not only for myself but the relationships I’ve built in different communities. I’ve had the opportunity to shadow some amazing people that have extensive experience in advocacy and parent leadership as well as community empowerment and I truly enjoy it. I have also worked with organizations in the city that focus on education and literacy to help engage members of the community and let them know the importance of accessing the tools needed to succeed. I’ve also helped build social connections with other parents by increasing my knowledge of child development and helped to build a public support group where families come together monthly to discuss important issues.

Recently joining Community Development Advocates of Detroit as a Americorps/Public Ally member I will work to increase memberships within the organization as well as engage the current members. I’m excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with the community members.

Akua Hill | Capacity Building Director | AkuaHill@cdad-online.org 

Prior to joining CDAD, Akua was responsible for leading numerous educational advocacy initiatives, through which she engaged, trained and organized students and families to advocate for themselves. Akua brings with her a wide range of experience including community organizing, youth development, and program evaluation. A native of Harlem, New York, Akua is proud to now call Detroit home. She holds a Master’s Degree in Community Development & Action from Vanderbilt University. When she is not working, Akua enjoys teaching yoga, traveling, and creating or enjoying art.

Yolanda Jackson | Public Policy Manager | YolandaJackson@cdad-online.org 

Yolanda is a LISC AmeriCorps Member serving as a Community Planning Associate at CDAD. Yolanda is a native Detroiter, and received a B.S. in Psychology at Xavier University of Louisiana. While at Xavier, she was heavily involved in the on-campus community service organizations, simultaneously serving on the Executive Board of the NAACP and Enactus, an organization committed to using entrepreneurial action to create sustainable communities. Influenced by her community work, Yolanda then attended The University of Illinois at Chicago, where she received a Master of Urban Planning and Policy with a concentration in Community Development. Prior to CDAD, Yolanda was an intern at Elevate Energy in Chicago, IL where she, among other things, provided geospatial analysis to influence energy efficiency policy in Illinois. Yolanda aims to catalyze her skillset to help catalyze equitable and sustainable outcomes in the city she loves to call home.


Ruth Johnson | Public Policy Director | RuthJohnson@cdad-online.org

Ruth Johnson, JD, is the Public Policy Director at Community Development Associates of Detroit. CDAD views its policy work as fulfilling its mission to serve as an advocate for the community development industry, neighborhoods and its members as a foundation for a strong City of Detroit.

She is a dynamic leader and a joyful servant who helps community stakeholders and organizations build their power; enhance their knowledge and skills; and nurture relationships with decision makers. Ruth has experience working with hard to reach and underserved communities including racial and ethnic minorities, language and literacy differences, and the very young and the very old. Throughout her career, Ruth has coordinated public policy advocacy activities in Mid-Michigan, West Michigan and Southeastern Michigan. Her work includes helping community groups develop policy agendas and implement strategies to transform issues into meaningful, effective action. As part of this work, she connects these groups to partners and allies on the local, state and national levels to magnify the impact of their actions. Lastly, her work is grounded in building and nurturing relationships among youth, parents, seniors, business leaders, people with disabilities, educators, policymakers and other key stakeholders.

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