A young woman reached out to Southeastern Community Action Partnership for assistance with housing. She was recently evicted and needed a place to live as she moved from house to house with her two children, while pregnant with her third. She worked at one of the local manufacturing plants and due to COVID, her hours…
Dr. Ericka Jones Whitaker assumed the Chief Executive Officer role of Southeastern Community Action Partnership, formerly Southeastern Community & Family Services, Inc. (SCFS), in 2014. SCAP is one of the largest Community Action agencies in North Carolina. Whitaker oversees an annual budget of over $22 million, through several federally-funded programs and leads approximately 250 staff.
Dr. Whitaker is the recipient of the Carl D. Perkins Humanitarian Award by the Southeastern Association of Community Action Agencies (SEACAA) for her overall community leadership, specifically for bringing resources to the counties she serves after the effects of Hurricane Matthew. Dr. Whitaker is also the recipient of the Roselle Copeland Stewardship Award for her work in community action and has received other leadership awards for her servitude in various communities.
Whitaker previously held management positions with several nonprofit trade associations in Washington, D.C., including the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG). She was a former full-time Executive in Residence, Professor at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke School of Business and often teaches as an adjunct instructor. Dr. Whitaker serves on the Board of Directors for CAPLAW which provides legal and financial resources to Community Action Agencies, the North Carolina Community Action Association, and the Fayetteville NC Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc where she has served as the Foundation Chair.
Whitaker holds a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and Administration from Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, NC; a Master of Science in Administration (MSA) with a focus in Nonprofit Management from Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Business Communications from The University of Maryland, University College in College Park, MD. Dr. Whitaker is a member of Jack & Jill of America, Incorporated, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
Born in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, Dr. Whitaker is the youngest of three, who was raised in a military family. Dr. Whitaker has lived in seven other states and Europe. She continues to have a love for traveling and cultural cuisine. With all of the “hats” she wears, Dr. Whitaker believes nothing precedes her most important role as a mother to her beautiful daughter.
Her favorite quote is by former South African President, the late Nelson Mandela: “Lead from the back and let others believe they are in front.”