Shannon Williams (she/her/hers)
Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President
As Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Shannon Williams oversees The Mind Trust’s impact in Indianapolis, serves alongside the CEO as an external leader of the organization, and ensures the success of various local and statewide initiatives that accelerate student learning.. Since joining The Mind Trust in 2018, Shannon has been instrumental in expanding partnerships, establishing strong relationships with the grassroots community, and working with key groups of civic and community leaders to build understanding about the organization’s work. She was also responsible for developing a fellowship that resulted in the incubation of EmpowerED Families, a parent-led advocacy organization. Williams has received numerous local and national awards and is known for her strong and distinctive writing style, her advocacy efforts, and her strategic thinking.
For nearly 20 years, Williams served in various leadership capacities in the media industry, including being president of the Indianapolis Recorder, a highly-respected 126-year-old African-American-owned publication. Williams also served as president of the Indiana Minority Business Magazine, the state’s only publication with content specific to the interests of all minorities. Her other leadership roles included vice president, editor, and marketing manager.
Working with and advocating for the community has always been Williams’ passion. It’s a devotion she inherited from her mother, who instilled in her the importance of bold, courageous leadership that helps the most marginalized amongst us. She has thus dedicated her life to the community and takes particular interest in causes focused on women, children, education, and criminal justice reform. Williams has served on the boards of Crossroads of America (Boys Scouts of Central Indiana), The Oaks Academy, Indianapolis Public Safety Foundation Board, IUPUI University Library Board, Edna Martin Christian Center, Indiana Sports Corp – President’s Council, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association board. Williams also made history by being the first African-American to serve on the Hoosier State Press Association board.
She is a graduate of Jackson State University and the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Program. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and the Circle City Chapter of The Links Inc.