Asia Rodgers: Driving community change through nonprofits
Asia Rodgers is a community leader, facilitator, and small business owner who is making a big difference in Texas through her work in the nonprofit sector.
After studying Human Rights and Womens and Gender Studies at Southern Methodist University, Rodgers began working with Dallas-area nonprofits, including the Texas Women’s Foundation and New Friends New Life, which provides support to women trapped in sex trafficking. Rodgers was drawn to nonprofits because she sees the sector as the intersection of policy, business, direct services, and philanthropy.
In 2020, Rodgers started Asia Rodgers Consulting, LLC, through which she works with nonprofits on fundraising campaigns. In addition, she was a member of the inaugural LBJ Women’s Campaign School and was recently named to the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners by Governor Abbott.
“That came about by being a leader in the community and developing a reputation for being someone who is performance-oriented, someone who’s solution-oriented, and someone who really cares about community,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers experienced a modest upbringing, and while she had family members who went to top schools and had successful careers, she also had family who were directly impacted by economic inequalities and injustice.
“That really made me very conscious about the diversity within America – economic and educational diversity and inequalities in America and within the Black community and within my family. My exposure has made me more fluent.” Rodgers said.
In addition, Rodgers’s upbringing informed her views of women in leadership and made her very conscious about the struggles that single mothers face.
“I believe being raised by a lot of women – single moms, strong women – really made me into a very independent woman who was very comfortable getting out and doing things on my own. I am not afraid to have the hustle,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers believes in expanding her network, gaining experience, and taking advantage of as many volunteer opportunities as possible. Success in the non-profit sector is very different from success in the for-profit sector because it often requires lateral mobility rather than upward mobility – but it also requires a lot of compassion and wisdom of when to say yes and when to say no to opportunities, Rodgers said.
Another of Rodgers’s passions is mentorship – in the past, she’s worked as a facilitator for Ignite, an organization that works with high school girls to prepare them to pursue political office or community development.
While running for political office herself might be in the distant future, for now Rodgers is enjoying growing through her current positions, especially her business.
“It’s an exciting experience – my current state of being is to open myself up to all the opportunities presented.”