Meet Our Team
Darlene C. Russell, MS | Director of Community Engagement
My name is Darlene C. Russell and I provide leadership and community engagement strategies for the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and ThriveOn Collaboration. A Milwaukee native, I grew up on the north side.
During my early years, my family and I lived in the Harambee neighborhood. I attended Northcott Neighborhood House’s Head Start program. My fondest memories are of visiting the Purple Heart, Goodwill, and Lena’s Food Market with my grandmother. Harambee is a Swahili word, which means pulling together. It is in this neighborhood where I developed an appreciation for art and culture and a love for the people in my community. It is through these experiences I developed a sense of belonging and came to understand the value of people and place and the importance of strong, thriving neighborhoods.
I am a service-oriented leader with a passion for identifying needs and creating viable solutions. My passion for people and place has given me extensive experience in community engagement, nonprofit administration, program development and management. I am dedicated to building strong relationships and partnering with organizations to strengthen and improve the quality of life for children and their families.
It’s important to me that the voices of the residents are centered, and the priorities identified by communities are aligned when making investments and seeking collaboration.
I am a senior at Marquette University studying Corporate Communications with a minor in Psychology. While on campus, I try to stay as involved as possible by working with various organizations. This lets me have an active stake in my academic community and allows myself the time to engage with fellow students. I currently serve as the Vice President of the Student Advisory Board of the Educational Opportunity Program and I am also the Public Relations & Marketing Chair for the newly charted Campus Curlz, Incorporated. If I’m not on campus, I am typically with my mom trying new hot yoga places around Milwaukee or at home trying to make new tasty pescatarian dishes.