Detroit changemaker shines through during 2020 election chaos

‘I found myself in the middle of a lot of anger, a lot of intensity,’ Woods says

Detroit woman shines through during 2020 election chaos
Detroit woman shines through during 2020 election chaos

DETROIT – Sommer Woods is a Detroit entrepreneur, a mentor and a changemaker.

Woods, a life-long Detroiter, found herself in the national spotlight during the 2020 U.S. General Election and the experience changed her forever.

She volunteered on many campaigns before, but nothing prepared her for when a group of pro-Trump activists arrived at the TCF Center in an effort to stop election workers from counting absentee ballots.

READ: Michigan judge denies Trump campaign request to stop counting ballots

Woods was working as a logistics coordinator at the center and she said her instincts kicked in when she made the decision to confront the angry crowd.

“I think to be an agent of change in the world that we live in today is to really just have the courage to do it right,” Woods said.

She prides herself on always being passionate about the policy change and how it impacts the Black community. Woods said she feels fortunate to have been able to grow up in Detroit where she could see Black lawmakers elected and appointed to office as she grew up. Having that representation inspired her to become more involved in her community.

Part of that includes being a mentor. Woods believes it takes a village to raise a child, and she’s no exception. She was raised by a strong mother and grandmother who lead by example.

“I think some people get so caught up in the idea that you have to have money or you have to have this or ‘I have to be in a certain position or a certain space in order too be able to be a part of making change,’ and I don’t think that’s the case. I keep doing it because I see that the work matters and you can see the impact when you’re talking to young people,” Woods said. “The beautiful thing about what I do and I’ve taken different opportunities or jobs to be able to make the money to really help my kids. If that’s paying for tuition, paying for apartments, if that’s paying for gas for them or paying for them to get home from school.”

She said she views the children she mentors as her family and that’s why she’ll always stand up for democracy.

“When you heard the quote ‘Be the change you want to see,’ I truly live my life that way,” Woods said. “I live my life that if this is what I want to see. Let me be a part of what that is and make that change one person at a time, one project at a time.”

Woods said no matter if it’s local, state or national elections, she will make sure she will always be a part of the election process.

More: Black History Month stories

About the Authors:

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.