Senior Director, Global Community Involvement
Kraft Foods, Chicago
Ann and Julius Dickerson made sure their daughter Amina Jill and her siblings experienced a smorgasbord of international culture and cuisine in their home in the Brookland section of Washington, D.C.
From interacting with foreign-exchange students who stayed in their home to the annual Fourth of July party their family hosted in their multiethnic neighborhood, these experiences imbued Amina with a strong sense of pride while making her feel like a citizen of the world.
?It was wonderful how our house was a portal to other people?s culture,? she recalls.
Dickerson was a teenager at the height of the Black arts and Black consciousness movements of the 1960s.
Influenced by the times, she studied theater at Emerson College in 1973 and left early to begin her professional career in the arts at Washington?s Arena Stage.
She later obtained a certificate from Harvard University?s arts administration program and, in 1988, received a master?s in arts management from American University.
She continued her arts work with stints at the Smithsonian Institution, the Chicago Historical Society and the Du Sable Museum of African American History, before landing in the corporate arena at Kraft Foods in 1997.
Today, she is Kraft?s senior director of corporate community involvement, leading the company?s international philanthropic program, which annually awards $18.3 million in grants, sponsorships and humanitarian relief.
?Through Kraft, I have met amazing people who work with unceasing dedication on the front lines of poverty, discrimination, limited opportunity and hopelessness,? says Dickerson.
?Their dedication inspires me.?