ABCD Institute > Institute Faculty > Active Faculty > Xavier Russell

Xavier Russell

A true grassroots level practitioner, Xavier understands that focusing on the strengths of a community rather than its deficiencies and engaging residents and other civic groups is crucial to developing solutions to issues that have a positive impact. Xavier has led several successful community-based initiatives at local, regional and national levels and currently serves on the board for the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute at DePaul University, a think tank and leading authority on community development.

Xavier is the Founder and CEO of Start With Me, Inc., a non-profit organization serving youth ages 0 to 25 with a primary focus on youth development at all stages. Their work covers areas of Early Literacy, Wellness, College/Career Readiness, Personal/Professional Development, Social and Emotional Health, Civic Engagement, Social Justice, and more. Start With Me, Inc. has a national footprint, serving youth in several cities and states throughout the country with both in-person and virtual programs. Visit their site to learn more about the organization and programs

Xavier has a "passion for people" and has dedicated much of his career to connecting individuals and communities with resources and improving systems and programs that help create sustainable community development. Xavier has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Albany State University (Albany, GA).

Xavier has over ten years of broad-based experience in resource development, corporate and community engagement, project management and grassroots community development. His professional portfolio also includes leading and supporting ​a broad range of community initiatives.