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Conversations with Andre Ebron

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andre Ebron.

Hi Andre, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story? 
I am the son of Dr. Janette Louise Suttle Ebron, Marine, Social Worker, and Educator. Her commitment and unrelenting sacrifice of service to God, family, and community service as the foundation on which I’ve built my life. 

My village included the dynamic leader, Apostle Dr. Oscar J. Dowdell-Underwood. As my Pastor and Founder of my alma matter, K-12, Cornerstone Christian College Preparatory School, He exemplified and modeled the principles of faith, service, class, excellence, and courage. His teachings placed a demand on the development of my gifts and calling. Apostle Underwood would often remind me, “to whom much is given, much is required.” 

Choosing Tri-State University, now Trine University, to complete my undergraduate degree, I was privileged to meet and be mentored by Deborah McHenry, who is now the Executive Director of Student Affairs, Student and Parent Advocate, and Multicultural Student Organization Advisor. While at Tri-State, I served in a variety of leadership roles: University Ambassador, Resident Assistant, Resident Director, Secretary/Vice-President/President of the Black Student Union, Founding member, and President of the Multicultural Student Organization. After graduation, I relocated to Detroit, Michigan where I would marry my wife and begin the next phase of life. 

This move to Detroit would give me the distinct honor of serving under the leadership of the Chief Apostle Dr. Carol E. Dixon, Pastor of Kainos International Church, where I currently serve as an Elder. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Challenges are the instruments that refine character, reveal under-utilized potential and strength, and birth forth new opportunities. 

My greatest challenge has been supporting my super-hero, my mother, while she contends with Multiple Sclerosis. Another challenge was supporting my wife through a postpartum complication of portal vein thrombosis and a series of surgeries. Nevertheless, we have witnessed so many miracles along this challenging path. My wife is completely healed. Glory to God! My mother is still courageously fighting and living each day on and with purpose. 

In 2011, I experienced a season of unemployment that led to the loss of my home, cars, and a number of material possessions. In a matter of a year, with fierce tenacity, faith, and the support of family, we recovered everything that we lost. 

In a matter of 5 years, nearly all of the elders of my family transitioned, but they would always say, “listen to me now because I won’t be here always.” 

Professionally, the space of advocacy, social work, and education is inlaid with personal injury. It comes with the territory. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I specialize in leading others through personal, professional, and organizational transformation. I am known for inspiring and motivating others to a point of provocation that leads to change. My unique difference is faith in God which expresses itself through my love for others in ways that are character to my values and personality. 

In 2004, I began my professional career as a Family Service Worker for Southeast Children and Family Development Head Start. In my professional capacity, I and a powerful team of male educators launched the first All-Male Academy within the National Head Start Network. This opportunity thrust my commitment to community service to transition to becoming a Foster Care Specialist for private and state agencies. 

Always having a vision of greater impact and service, I started Ebron and Associates, a consulting firm that consults, develops, and supports personal, professional, and organizational transformation. Our mission is to lead individuals and organizations from effectiveness to greatness. While I learned the business, I also began a profession as an educator. This decision provided me with nearly a decade of rich experiences in serving the children and families of Detroit within the private, charter, and public school districts. Being a blended learning coach, director of admissions, dean of students, and dean of climate and culture, I became astutely aware of our children and families need to have an advocate they would center their voice and lived experiences in the decision-making process relative to policy changes within social systems that dictate resource distribution. During this time, I authored two books, The Drawing Board, and Mind Your Business: Self-care Strategies and Mindfulness Practices Designed to Reduce the Harmful Effects of Stress, launched a podcast, The Drawing Board, began a Social Impact Organization, The Drawing Board Nation, and hosted a couple of conferences, The Drawing Board Experience 2019 and 2021. 

My current opportunity of service is that of the Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Leading the construction of this department from the ground up, with the support and leadership of Tonya Adair, Chief People, Equity, and Engagement Officer, we have hired a team of millennial leaders that are committed to deconstructing systemic racism and institutional bias while promoting and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion for all. Collectively, we have created learning opportunities for over 8,000 people through our 21-Day Equity Challenge, allocated $1 Million dollars to BIPOC-led organizations through our Racial Equity Fund, and distributed thousands of devices and digital resources through our digital equity and inclusion initiatives. 

Throughout my entire professional career, I have been blessed to be recognized by several publications and organizations for my service and commitment to my community. I have been called, and I have chosen to live a life of service to others. 

Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Being a forward-thinking leader that is fueled by vision, I take risks that are supported by faith. I firmly believe in counting the cost, conducting assessments, and reviewing the data and the trends before engaging the risk, but there are times when I will just take the proverbial leap. Every major accomplishment in my life was preceded by a great risk. When I launched my business, my 90-year-old neighbor stated, “well, the worst thing that can happen to you is that you learn something.” 

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