Personality of the Month Saeeda Lesley Dunston

Personality of the Month
Saeeda Lesley Dunston

Since August, 2014, Saeeda Lesly Dunston has served as Chief Executive Officer at Elmcor Youth & Adult Activities, the oldest Black-founded and Black-led organization in Queens. Dunston is recognized among her peers and human service providers throughout New York State for developing and implementing culturally competent programs and services that address the challenges encountered by marginalized communities and empower individuals and families to become change agents and engaged participants in their communities. During Dunston’s tenure, Elmcor has more than tripled its programmatic impact, and has secured diversified annual funding that has increased Elmcor’s budget from $3.4 million to $11.1 million. She has developed new, and enhanced existing programs, increasing the number of older adult centers, expanded SUD treatment, economic development services, youth services, and violence prevention program. She led the development on a 30-unit supportive and affordable housing building that will be the first of many in Elmcor’s new housing portfolio. Prior to Elmcor, Ms. Dunston served in senior management positions in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, engaging in citywide advocacy and policy-focused coalitions that address poverty, anti-racism, human justice and the health care needs of marginalized populations and communities throughout New York City. Ms. Dunston’s leadership has secured Elmcor’s position as a vital service provider and advocate  on the borough and city-wide level and has been instrumental in building capacity through collaborative relationships with public and private partners. Saeeda was honored in 2022 with the Dr. Divine Pryor Life Time achievement Award at the maiden edition of our Human Justice Gala.


Gabriel Comrie