Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich named to Senior Hall of Fame
ST. PETERSBURG — Dr. Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich, President/CEO of St. Petersburg’s Center for Community and Economic Justice, Inc. (CCEJ), has been inducted into St. Petersburg’s Senior Hall of Fame. At a ceremony recently at the city’s Sunshine Center in Midtown, Mayor Rick Kriseman and Brian Kuell, administrator of the Abby Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, presented her and five other awardees with a certificate, a gift, an orchid corsage and a place for her photograph on the city’s Hall of Fame wall in the center.
In addition to many outstanding achievements throughout her life, Scruggs-Leftwich most recently has been known for her role as co-chair of St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman’s Transition Team. She also serves as the Planning Director for the 2020 Plan to dramatically reduce poverty and increase employment in south St. Petersburg.
She is the wife of the late “Rev. Ed” Leftwich with whom she co-founded the CCEJ Still Standing Recovery Ministry, and is the aunt of The Power Broker Magazine’s publisher and community change leader Gypsy Gallardo, co-founder of the 2020 Plan initiative.
Scruggs-Leftwich holds an honors BA in Political Science from North Carolina Central University; an MAPA from the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Graduate School; a doctorate from the ivy league University of Pennsylvania and earned post-graduate certificates from the Free University of Berlin and “Deutsche Hoch Schule fur Politik” as a Fulbright Fellow studying and living in Germany.
She has served as deputy mayor of Philadelphia, as New York State’s commissioner of Housing and Community Renewal in Governor Mario Cuomo’s Cabinet; as deputy assistant secretary of HUD and executive director of President Carter’s Urban Policy Task Force which produced America’s first official, congressionally approved National Urban Policy.
As a national urban policy analyst for the Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies, and as first Executive Director/COO of the national Black Leadership Forum, Inc., she authored numerous acclaimed books and articles based upon her empirical research on political power and urban diversity; women in the political process; equity and social justice issues; grass-roots coalition strategies; leadership and institutional change; and national urban policy.
She was a tenured professor at Howard University and the National Labor College; Professorial-Lecturer at Washington, D.C.’s George Washington University and New York’s Baruch Graduate School of Political Management and as visiting professor and Board of Trustee’s member at SUNY Buffalo.
Scruggs-Leftwich received the 2007 Bernie Harrison Award for Commentary from the Baltimore-Washington Newspaper Guild and the 2012 Griot Drum Award for Civic Commentary from the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists.
She has been honored by numerous national organizations, including Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity; National Council of Negro women; National Coalition for Black Civic Participation; American Planning Association; the national History Makers; University of Virginia’s Explorations in Black Leadership and in the United States Congressional Record in 2013 by Congresswoman Kathy Castor. She has been listed in 10 national and international Who’s Who directories and biographies over the years.