Octavia Smith

Octavia Smith

Community Engagement Associate

Pronouns: She/They
Started at Nexus: 2020

At Nexus:

I first began with Nexus Community Partners in Jan 2019 as a consultant supporting MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge.  In January 2020, I was hired on full-time to continue in this role and offer additional support within the Nexus Community Engagement Institute.


Born and bred in the Bronx, New York, I came to Minnesota in August 2016 to pursue a Master of Public Policy. My focus was social policy specifically focusing on policies that would create better conditions for the Black community.  After graduating, I become more interested in community leadership models that could support systems change. I am passionate about creating the conditions that can lead to the liberation of marginalized groups; particularly those Black and Brown. I enjoy long walks on the beach/park as well live music and eating.


“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” - James Baldwin