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Emily Wykle
Emily is the Director of External Affairs in the Office of the President at UAB.  Her work focuses on partnership projects related to community engagement and economic development.  As the liaison between UAB and community and corporate partners, Emily works to connect Birmingham with UAB’s assets and expertise and to connect UAB with the community.  She serves as the Principal Investigator for UAB’s CCAMPIS grant program (Child Care Access Means Parents in School) and the Magic City Data Collective. She also is the Chair of UAB’s Civic Giving program.  Prior to her current role, Emily led UAB’s leadership development program and internal coaching practice.  Before coming to UAB, Emily worked at Equal Measure, a consulting firm that partners with foundations and other philanthropic organizations to advance social change. 

Emily graduated from Davidson College and received a Master’s in Public Administration & Policy from the University of Georgia.  She serves on the Board of Directors of REV Birmingham, Railroad Park Foundation, Innovate Birmingham, and Central Six; she is a member of Kiwanis Club of Birmingham and a sustainer in the JLB.  She is an Elder at Independent Presbyterian Church and lives in Birmingham with her husband Will and daughters Molly and Susie.

Why have you decided to serve as a Torchbearer for the JLB?
When big progress happens in Birmingham, it’s because our community 1) has a common understanding of the problem, 2) can see a path to the solution, and 3) invites everyone to have a role in making things better.  One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center does incredible work bringing critical partners together to understand and address the problem of domestic violence.  Their new building will provide even more space for their solution: coordinated services under one roof.  The Junior League of Birmingham graciously invites all of us to have a role in the action, to be a part of progress.  Because of the way this campaign is organized and the solution it supports, I truly believe that it will have profound impact on our community.  At a time when we have many reasons to feel divided and distant from one another, the Community of Lights campaign is an invitation to come together to make Birmingham a better place.

What/who inspires you to be a Light in our community? 
UAB runs a program that provides childcare support to our students who are enrolled at UAB and also raising young children.  Most of these are women who are juggling difficult classes, part-time jobs, young children, and aging parents.  They will be the leaders, healthcare workers, and teachers of the future- but today, they are overwhelmed and under-resourced.  And yet they study for their exams, show up for work, pick up the kids on time, with an eye to what’s next for them and their families.  It is truly inspiring.  In a community that is as generous, connected, and visionary as Birmingham, we are called to support these women now- and sometimes that may include the type of services One Place offers- so that they can lead their families into a bright and prosperous future. 

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