Community Voices Heard
Key Topics: Affordable housing, immigration reform, criminal justice, community organizing, campaign strategies
AFUA (Ah-Fee-Ah) ATTA-MENSAH
Afua Atta-Mensah is a champion litigator, a fierce advocate and a veteran community organizer in the global fight for racial, social and economic justice.
A graduate of Fordham Law School, and a Fulbright Scholar, Atta-Mensah was appointed Executive Director of Community Voices Heard (CVH) this past September. CVH is a leading New York non-profit that develops and guides civic leaders, grassroots organizations and neighborhood activists as they take powerful, concrete steps to improve their lives and communities.
From United States to Ghana, Atta-Mensah has worked to empower women, improve the quality and quantity of fair and equitable housing, defend women’s rights and galvanize support for programs benefiting low-income families.
She was awarded the Fulbright Fellowship in support of her work at the International Federation of Women Attorneys advocating on behalf of indigent women in Ghana. She represented women in court, helped draft proposed legislation to criminalize marital rape and was a visiting university lecturer. She also worked with area lawyers to develop proposed legislation for a marital rape law, and served as a visiting lecturer at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), where she taught a course on women’s rights in the context of Ashanti-tribal law.
Between 2012 and 2016, Atta-Mensah was the Urban Justice Center’s Director of Litigation for the Safety Net Project. During her tenure, the project filed a federal lawsuit that pressured former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to abandon a proposal to demolish Public Housing playgrounds and community centers so developers could build high-priced apartment towers. Under Atta-Mensah, the Safety Net Project also challenged mayoral candidates to stay overnight with host families in public housing to experience firsthand the deplorable conditions. That innovative strategy brought a media spotlight and government attention to residents’ plight.
Atta-Mensah is a member of the Board of Trustees at St. Barnabas Hospital, the Board of Governors of the Healthcare Trustees of New York State, and African Communities Together. She currently resides in Central Harlem with her husband and 4 year-old daughter.