ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dawn Simmons is an advocate for the civil rights and social services of people. She has many years of experience working voluntarily with children, the elderly and disabled. In addition she has worked in Finance for over 20 years primarily in Derivatives Operations. She recently ran for NYC Council, 9th City District Harlem, Republican Party.
Ms. Simmons was born and raised in Harlem, New York where she attended the Brearley School and took dance and piano lessons from her family’s dance and piano studio each Saturday in the South Bronx. She lived in Harlem until her father obtained a job in Baltimore Maryland, where they lived for two years. During that time, her parents separated and she, her mother and sister moved to Flushing Queens, where she graduated from Flushing HS in 1985. Upon graduation she attended Bryn Mawr College, a semester abroad at the Universite de Paris-IV Sorbonne and then graduated from the University of Southern California. Ms. Simmons holds a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica and Social Work from Columbia University.
Ms. Simmons has held many volunteer positions throughout her career. She worked as a Volunteer for the Department of Juvenile Justice, New York City and Central Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles, California, a Catholic Eucharistic Minister, Office for Students with Disabilities where she was an office aide, and a peer counselor. She volunteered for Hospital Audiences, Inc. (HAI) which takes persons with disabilities to events such as the theater, the zoo, and other cultural activities. She also volunteered for the Urban Youth Bike Corps, an Injury Prevention Program through Columbia University at Harlem Hospital for young males 13-17 years of age. She volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Ghana building houses and at that time created an English language school and breakfast program for children ages 5 – 16 years old that lasted about 3 years in Nkenkaasu-Ashanti, Ghana.
Currently she is on the Community Advisory Board at Harlem Hospital, she is instrumental in organizing her annual Harlem Community event “The Situation” in the Riverton Houses which and is also working with prisoners through her company, Imperial Imprint, LLC which creates books and art by prisoners to give them a voice to help stop crime and mass incarceration. The book is “Letters to Our Sons, A Collection of Letters by Prisoners & Ex-Prisoner to Stop the Mass Incarceration of Our Youth”.
Professionally, Ms. Simmons has worked on Wall Street since 1993. She was also an 8th Grade Math teacher/Regular Substitute, flight attendant and interned at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in the Counseling Services Unit, as well as working at Columbia University Social Intervention Group, and as a Program facilitator for Project EBAN; a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) program to reduce risk through sexual activity for HIV positive African-American sero-discordant couples while in school for her Social Work degree. Ms. Simmons has since returned to Wall Street where she works in Derivatives Operations in Fixed Income, Equities and Credit and has trained employees in both the United States and India.
Ms. Simmons is a firm believer in civil rights, criminal justice reform and a strong advocate for a robust and equal education for children and adults. Ms. Simmons is a firm believer in education through, experience and travel, as she has lived in England, France and Africa, and worked in India, and has traveled throughout the United States and Europe. With education, whether it is academic, vocational or otherwise, Ms. Simmons believes that one can do or be anything they dream to be.