40 Under 40: Lily Brent
40 Under 40Community

40 Under 40: Lily Brent

Lily Brent, 35, is the Director of Repair the World, Atlanta.

Lily Brent
Lily Brent

A graduate of Oberlin College, Lily Brent began her career advocating for changes in criminal justice policy and practice with the nonprofit Family Justice. In 2010, she joined the JDC’s Jewish Service Corps and spent a year volunteering at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda.

Brent’s experience providing psycho-social support to teenagers orphaned by the genocide led her to pursue masters’ degrees in social work and international affairs from Columbia University.

Since then, she has focused on creating the conditions for youth to reach their full potential. Brent has counseled adolescents in public school, an outpatient psychiatric clinic, and a mentoring program for kids in foster care. She has worked on adolescent sexual/reproductive health and rights in Niger and Bangladesh with CARE, and on ensuring that women and youth can access the benefits of development in Benin, Mongolia and Nepal with the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Brent joined Repair the World as the founding director for their eighth community program in Atlanta in September 2018. She was drawn to the program because of its emphasis on creating relationships between the Jewish community and grassroots organizations addressing poverty and inequity.

“I was raised with a deep sense of responsibility for creating the world I want to live in. It’s both daunting and empowering,” Brent said. “Repair connects me to a Jewish community that will take action, small but relentless steps toward a society where we all care for each other.”

She has met with more than 60 community organizations and piloted volunteer programs that meet the needs of local nonprofits while engaging the Jewish community on issues of housing, education and food justice.

Brent spends time writing fiction with the Vicious Circle Writers Group, an Atlanta-based collective of writers of various experience levels, and organizing with the Fulton County Remembrance Coalition, a local partner of the Equal Justice Initiative.

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