De’Zhon Grace

De’Zhon Grace is an offspring of Oakland California’s unique culture. He stands on the shoulders of the Black Panther Party and an extensive line of great advocates and hustlers. He was raised by amazing Black women and men who remained persistent despite the systemic odds they faced and this experience defined his perspective as a justice warrior. As a creative and highly analytical thinker, he developed a passion for creating environments that reinforced the highest potential in, through, and with communities.   

Before being chosen for the Nation Urban Fellowship, De’Zhon served in two roles. On one hand, he excelled at ideas42 as a Behavioral Designer. In this role, he led the strategic development and implementation of a 2-year behavioral science narrative change campaign, centering and driven by the Oakland community to combat harmful and racially charged narratives perpetuating poverty. He also designed strategic communication tools for NAACP to improve their youth and adult volunteer engagement programs and reach over 1.5 million Black voters across the U.S. priority states. Lastly, he developed the strategic vision for ideas42 Civic Engagement “Building Power” portfolio to shape the scope of community impact and systems change for the next 3 years.  

On the other hand, Mr. Grace is the president of his family nonprofit, Move With Grace (MWG). Here, he champions systems change to improve the economic, mental, physical, and spiritual lives of Black families and all families experiencing poverty through systemic violence. As a faith-based organization, MWG uplifts the values of Grace and Love to design community-centered spaces that heal, serve and empower families. MWG was fiscally sponsored by Building Opportunities For Self-Sufficiency in 2022. In the first initiative, De’Zhon raised $20k with over 60 donations to fund a pilot income support program for Single Black Parents in Oakland, CA.   

De’Zhon received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in Sociology and minored in African American Studies. He also played Division I Football for Cal between the years 2014 to 2018. The following year, he joined the Greenlining Institute as an Economic Equity Fellow and was introduced to racial equity through policy advocacy. This experience helped to develop his leadership skills and define his career path. As a NUF Fellow, De’Zhon is excited to sharpen his skills as a creative strategist, social policy advocate, and servant leader. He will advance his leadership development and legacy as a change agent in this transformational experience.