RAWK Spotlight: Dionna Roberts

For the month of September, we are shining the RAWK Spotlight on

Dionna Roberts!

The RAWK Spotlight is a monthly series that celebrates folx who embody and serve the mission of empowering youth voices. Folx in the RAWK Spotlight can be anyone from staff, to volunteers, to Board Members, to community partners. They are chosen by the RAWK staff team by merit of their passion, dedication, and enthusiasm for serving local youth and their community!

Keep reading to hear what Dionna has to say about what it means to be in the RAWK Spotlight, and hear from our community members and Board of Directors about why this Spotlight is so well-deserved!

“I am over-the-moon honored to be in the RAWK spotlight. My work with young people in my classroom, community, and within this organization rests heavily on my belief that we all have stories worth telling and should be provided safe spaces and invitations to “Use Our Words”. I am grateful for the continued opportunities to serve as a board member and volunteer where my own creativity is fueled by our collaboration. Literacy is my JAM and Read and Write Kalamazoo is the MC for amplifying youth voice across the city. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the team.”
–Dionna Roberts

Hear what our community members have to say about Dionna:

“I appreciate and love Dionna’s heart for her education. Dionna also has a deep willingness to show up and support youth in Kalamazoo in many awesome ways!”

Kandace Lavender

“Dionna is a fabulous asset to the Ed task force and board at RAWK. Her experience in education and dedication to uplifting marginalized youth through literacy is inspiring. Her passion shines through beyond the classroom and her down to earth nature is warm and inviting.”

Bri Edgerton (RAWK Board Member and KPS teacher)

“Dionna has been a dedicated advocate for youth in Kalamazoo for many years. RAWK has been beyond fortunate to have her creativity, kindness, enthusiasm, and LOVE in our corner for as long as we’ve had a Board of Directors! She has given of her heart and soul to help shape this organization and we all continue to be better because of her.”


“Dionna is clearly dedicated to our youth and community through her energy and involvement as a teacher and board member. She takes time to understand and values the perspective of the kiddos. Dionna’s heart for service shines through in all that she does. She is most certainly a RAWKstar.”

Monica Lloyd (RAWK Board Member, CHRO Centrica Care Navigators)

“Dionna was so helpful and kind to me during KPS summer programming sessions. She saw areas that I was having a tough time with and offered her time and skills to model the way she would facilitate a certain activity and the classroom in general, and just watching her move so naturally through the activity and with the youth was inspiring to me and really cool to see. I improved just by watching her. She was also very reassuring to me when I was feeling overwhelmed and overall just had a very calming and supportive presence. I am so glad we are shining the spotlight on this great educator & member of our community.”

JaMeelah (Program Coordinator)

“Dionna’s creativity with teaching, learning and community building make me want to go back to grade school and be her student.”


“Dionna is incredibly thoughtful and compassionate when it comes to the central questions connecting our work with the schools.”


“Dionna has been a consistent facilitator of quality youth programming and advocacy in multiple capacities in Kalamazoo, not only as a RAWK Board member but also as a teacher in KPS and leader in the Little Free Libraries project. She is kind, funny, and someone you always want in your corner. Thank you, Dionna, for embodying what it means to be passionate and determined about advocating for youth.”

Ynika (RAWK Engagement Coordinator)

“Dionna is the definition of what RAWK stands for. She is an educator who is the epitome of what RAWK is about.”

Marissa Harrington (RAWK Board President)