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TBI People


Bertha Lewis

Bertha Lewis is a community organizer and the Founder and President of The Black Institute (TBI).

Bertha has worked tirelessly as an activist and community organizer for over 25 years. She is the former CEO and Chief Organizer of ACORN, an influential national organization that mobilized urban communities at the grassroots level, fighting for their needs for over 40 years. Bertha has fought for immigrant rights by advocating at the city, state and federal levels. She’s been an integral part of the low wage workers campaign to guarantee higher pay, paid sick days, and family leave. Bertha has also worked with developers to create a landmark community benefits agreement to secure affordable housing, living wages, local hiring and training programs for the community. Most recently, Bertha has lead the charge in advocating for Minority & Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) in New York City.

Ms. Lewis has been a guest on national TV and radio shows, including The Colbert Report, Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network show, MSNBC, NBC, Fox News, and CNN, among others. For her effective community leadership, Bertha Lewis received many accolades including Essence Magazine’s 2011 list of “28 Most Influential Black Women,” Crain’s New York’s 100 Most Powerful Women in New York, New York Magazine’s “Most Influential in Politics”, The New York Observer’s “Political Power 80.”


Tuulikki Robertson

Director of Operations

George Cayasso

Community Organizer

Jacob Scupp

Research Director
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