Director of Programs and PartnershipsCompany: IDEAS Generation
Role: Session Presenter
Desi Carson’s journey into inclusion, diversity, equity, access, and social justice (IDEAS) work formally began in middle school when volunteerism in numerous community programs became a central part of her life. From local food drives to teaching soccer to special needs students, she consistently saw the need for more hope, compassion, kindness, and love in the world.
An athlete herself, Desi found sports and recreational activities to be a powerful way to bring people together. Throughout her career running campus recreation programs at the University of Virginia and Valdosta State, as well as overseeing larger adult leagues and children’s programs through AmeriCorps, she found creative and meaningful ways to infuse IDEAS principles into every facet of her work. This passion naturally dovetailed into other pursuits to bring people together and support those in need, including creating large-scale community events, holding queer-friendly talk spaces on college campuses, operating anonymous mental health hotlines, speaking at conferences and on panels examining the role of intersectionality in advancing IDEAS, and directing multiple sports at the Special Olympics.
Always determined to bring her varied interests together, Desi now holds the position of director of Programs and Partnerships at IDEAS Generation as well as the title of business manager for PsychoHairapy. At IDEAS Generation, Desi leads the design and implementation of the organization’s leadership and community development programs designed to connect, support, and elevate the next generation of IDEAS leaders. She also spearheads the organization’s efforts to forge mutually beneficial partnerships with other IDEAS-minded leaders and organizations to scale collective impact.
Her specialties lie in writing, speaking, coaching, and developing programs centered around intersectionality, mental health advocacy, human-centered compassion, and a commitment to radically redefining professionalism. There’s never a dull moment with Desi and she loves connecting with new people, so don’t hesitate to reach out!
When she’s not working, you’ll find her either traveling with her partner or playing with her adorable pets.