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Meet Bread for the City’s New Chief Program Officer, Mahogany Thomas

Roaming Bread for the City’s facilities eagerly in search of opportunities to assist our staff and clients with a friendly demeanor is our new Chief Programs Officer, Mahogany Thomas, whose passion for service and community knows no bounds. Behind her upbeat energy lies a heart of gold, instilled by a loving upbringing where faith, family, food, and caring for others were at the core. Her parents taught her to care for people, often opening their home doors and extending their hospitality to support people in the community. Mahogany enjoys supporting methods of communal care, including receiving monthly fruits and vegetables from black and brown farmers through her neighborhood’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). She has recently discovered a new gardening passion that echoes the green thumbs of her beloved grandmothers. 

What drew Mahogany to DC and Bread for the City?

Hailing from Missouri, Mahogany’s journey to Bread for the City was fueled by a profound connection to the spirit of the native Washingtonian community that made her feel right at home, “The spirit of native Washingtonians feels familiar and like family. They’re committed to being each other’s families.” While working at Bread for the City, what brings her the most joy is witnessing her colleagues engage in amazing work, “like when Ms. Willette [in food], greets her clients and immediately jumps into action as our clients enter our facility, and when Kyah [who is a manager of the volunteer team], is assisting in leading our Southeast Farmer’s Market with the Food Team and playing music for our clients.” 

Previously a Minister of Youth and Families and Executive Pastor, Mahogany was enamored by Bread for the City’s founding history, which began when two organizations, Zacchaeus Free Clinic and Bread for the City, then a coalition of downtown churches, joined forces to feed and clothe the poor. Driven by the desire to go beyond faith-only initiatives, she recognized the need for comprehensive community partnerships to ensure no one is left behind, “I moved to DC around George Floyd’s murder. During that time, it was easy to see how sometimes faith-based spaces can be siloed in their thinking. In my faith tradition, there was a lot of focus on Sundays, but I also cared about what people were doing and feeling Monday through Saturday.”

Mahogany’s commitment to food and service echoes her family’s rich lineage of generosity. Her affinity for Bread for the City is rooted in the organization’s dedication to feeding people through various programs like food pantries, farmers markets, and Holiday Helpings while providing vital medical, legal, and social services. “Here, clients are like family, and we meet their basic needs to empower them to flourish and thrive,” she says, “Bread cares for you like family because we see you as our kinfolk.” 

What does diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) mean to Mahogany?

She says, “Diversity, equity, and inclusion mean valuing people constantly on the margins based on race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, gender orientation, and differing ability levels. It’s empowering for people to lift their voices, reminding folk of their worth and ensuring that they have everything they need to succeed without question. We live in a world dominated by white supremacy – that’s not DEI. Your voice matters here, and we need it. It’s important for me to think of DEI as using my privilege to allow me to grab a seat for you at the table so you have the agency to determine your future, needs, and desires.”

We warmly welcome Mahogany Thomas to the Bread for the City family with immense joy and anticipation! Her unwavering dedication and the positivity she brings will undoubtedly lead us to new heights in our pursuit of a compassionate, just, and thriving community.

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