Apr. 6, 2021
Tasha Oliverson of Roseburg, Oregon was one of five recipients of the nationally recognized NeighborWorks America Dorothy Mae Richardson award given to her for resident leadership.
Resident leadership enables communities to create vibrant and welcoming places everyone wants to call home. The work of Dorothy Richardson, a Pittsburgh resident and pioneer in the movement for community-driven affordable housing, was the inspiration for what later became the NeighborWorks network—of which NeighborWorks Umpqua is a member. Her legacy lives on through NeighborWorks America’s annual Dorothy Richardson Award for Resident Leadership. For more than 20 years, NeighborWorks network members have nominated exemplary individuals who act as positive change-makers in their communities for this award.
As a resident of Roseburg, Tasha Oliverson works to provide a safe space in the community for people who feel they do not have a voice. As a young, single mom, Tasha suffered from homelessness, worked to build a life for her daughter, established a home in Roseburg, and grew through volunteering at NeighborWorks Umpqua. In 2018, Tasha attended the national NeighborWorks Community Leader Institute to further develop her skills and find her own voice to make an impact in her community. In Roseburg, she started the first PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian and Gays) organization, hosted the first community Pride event, and she was recognized for her work at a local World’s AIDS day event. She also currently serves on the NWU board, and is a student leader on the UCC campus.
Last year, Tasha Oliverson was nominated for the Dorothy Richardson Award by NeighborWorks Umpqua. NeighborWorks America recognized Tasha’s leadership and selected her for the award from about 200 nominees submitted from across the country.
“I didn’t do this by myself. I could not have done this by myself. And there a lot of people involved and this award is just as much theirs as it is mine,” Tasha humbly says.
NeighborWorks Umpqua, and all members of the national NeighborWorks network, provide the local, on-the-ground work building and maintaining communities where everyone benefits. When dedicated community members work to transform the places they live for the better, incorporating their local knowledge and insight, meaningful change can occur.
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