Donna Thompson-Bennett, a parent leader and retired attorney, has 29 years in advocacy experience, with 25 of those years centered on parent leadership and civic engagement. Donna is an African-American woman whose family tree includes those enslaved in this nation. She considers herself a global citizen who is passionate and committed to social justice and race equity. A highlight of her leadership is facilitating across difference with parent, community and civic leaders to build partnerships that yield positive outcomes for families and communities.
Prior to becoming Executive Director, Donna worked within NPLI over a decade as a National Consultant and Implementation Specialist and has partnered in implementing PLTI Sites around the country including locations in Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Virginia. Then, for 2.5 years, Donna and Patti Keckeisen led NPLI as co-directors. She also served as the Coordinator of Bridgeport Public Schools Parent Center and her local PLTI, the Parent Leadership Training Institute.
Donna’s journey has always included elements of civics – as a former New York County Assistant District Attorney to engaging parents to be change agents and advocates for their children. Donna graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Spelman College and holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
Donna’s current parent and community engagement commitments include roles in: Bridgeport PLTI Civic Design Team, Bridgeport Prospers-Cradle to Career Initiative, Department of Education Commissioner’s Roundtable on Family and Community Engagement, and Thurgood Marshall Middle School Magnet PTSA. She is also an active member of her beloved church family Mount Aery Baptist Church and public service sorority Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Donna and her husband Anthony live and love in Bridgeport, CT and are the bereaved parents of Brittany, and loving parents of Ahmad, and grandparents of Nylah.
And there’s more…
Born In: A native of the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection – Philadelphia, PA.
Favorite children’s book: The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. Love this book because of its subtle nod to “Girl Power” and her willingness to think, try and do her best to be of service to others even when the odds were against her.
Personal Hero: My Mom, Hazel Marie Logan Thompson aka Professor as she was my best teacher in the University of Life!