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April 2021 Phenomenal Woman in Leadership

Courtney Smith
Founder and CEO, Detroit Pheonix Center

There are people who see shortcomings in our society and feel overwhelmed or apathetic. Then there are people like Courtney Ebonique Smith who roll up their sleeves and fill in the gap. She has dedicated her career to promoting equity and social justice.

Recently dubbed a “modern day history maker” by Essence Magazine, Courtney is a champion advocate & servant leader, serving not only by choice, but by nature. Her undeniable tenacity birthed the Detroit Phoenix Center, a high-impact nonprofit organization that operates the first Asset Based Resource Center meeting the critical, holistic & emergent needs of homeless and street-connected youth.

Her outstanding commitment to service has garnered national recognition, including Comcast Newsmakers and the Steve Harvey Show. Courtney has been named to Crain’s Detroit Business “Twenty in Their 20s” list of trailblazers to watch in the region. She is a Michigan Chronicle "40 under 40" honoree, and a double-time recipient of the Spirit of Detroit Award; along with many other notable achievements. Courtney prides herself on being transparent and progressive, two traits that have made her a sought-after speaker on topics related to youth and community development, advocacy, and servant leadership.

Courtney serves on the board of directors for Hero Nation, and sits on the Women’s Advisory Committee for U. S House of Representatives. Courtney graduated with a bachelor's degree from Eastern Michigan University. She is currently pursuing graduate coursework in nonprofit management at Harvard University. Outside of being a dynamic civil servant, Courtney enjoys spending time with loved ones, traveling and live theatre