Glenda M. Blake, MSW, MPA
Glenda has 35 years of deep, intentional experience in human services. She has spent a significant part of her career in executive leadership roles in public and private agencies in rural, suburban, and urban settings. She is currently the Vice President of Programs at a local nonprofit and has worked as the Division Director of Aging & Disability Services and as the Agency Director for a local department of family services.
Glenda holds graduate degrees from Columbia University's School of Social Work in NYC (MSW) and Virginia Tech's Center for Public Administration and Policy in Blacksburg, VA (MPA). She also holds a BSW from Norfolk State University and is proud to have attended a Virginia HBCU.
Glenda has practiced at Harlem Hospital in NYC and the New York Urban League in Manhattan. She also worked in suburban and rural areas of Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. Her work includes policy development, strategic planning, affordable housing supportive services, community development, human services administration, and direct care practice.
Glenda is committed to community-based service delivery that lifts individuals and families out of generational poverty. She believes all individuals, families, and communities have strengths. She supports interventions that apply a racial equity lens, are trauma-informed, and ensure those served make decisions about their own lives. She also cares deeply about the human services workforce's development and wellbeing and has advocated for additional resources that support this effort.
Glenda has deep roots in Northern Virginia. Her family migrated to the City of Alexandria from rural South Carolina decades ago. Her grandfather's urban garden was well known and enjoyed by the Delray community. She and her immediate family eventually moved to the Route One Corridor of Fairfax County and joined many other African American families seeking to build an inclusive and caring community.
She has participated in several local and regional conversations and workgroups that address critical human service issues, race and equity, housing needs for vulnerable communities of color, and integrated human services strategic planning. She also completed a transformative race and equity learning program organized by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments/Government Alliance on Race and Equity.
She is a graduate of Leadership Arlington and served on Fairfax County's Park Authority Board. She also worked as an Adjunct Instructor and Field Liaison at GMU's School of Social Work. Currently, she is a member of the Virginia Career Works Northern Region Board, Fairfax County's Racial Equity Action Committee for Housing in addition to the Northern Virginia Conservation Board. She will be supporting social work students and organizations as an adjunct for VCU's School of Social Work beginning in Fall 2023.
Through her work on the NVCT Board, Glenda is committed to creating and preserving spaces that promote healing and a sense of belonging for communities of color; older adults; children, youth and families, and individuals who are seeking quality affordable housing. She is interested in the intersectionality of affordable housing, homelessness, and the conservation of open spaces. She also is interested in the history of land ownership and preserving and supporting farms cultivated and nurtured by black and indigenous communities.
In addition to her human services heart, Glenda is passionate about environmental justice, healing and wellbeing, arts, textiles, travel, interior spaces, African American history, and genealogy. Years ago, she had an opportunity to travel to Cuba on a study tour for architecture and culture and to Paris, France, and the English countryside to source fun vintage items at international markets for her small decorating business.