Leah Tavares spent 2022 continuing her work of giving back to communities in need around the world. After joining Wieden+Kennedy last year as an executive assistant, Tavares became co-lead for the agency’s employee resource group We+Black and helped launch “We Still Matter,” a campaign reflecting the 10 years since the Black Lives Matter movement started.
Leah Tavares’ philanthropic work goes far beyond her job title
When not working at Wieden+Kennedy, Tavares is running the Other 1s Foundation, the organization she started to give back by donating gently worn Nike Air Force 1 sneakers to those who need them. She’s even in the process of installing the first permanent Other 1s donation box in Wieden+Kennedy’s Portland headquarters, with a Nike installation not far behind.
So far, the organization has partnered with Fat Joe’s UP NYC shoe store and donated more than 350 pairs of shoes in just over three years across multiple cities, including her ancestral home of Cabo Verde, Africa.
“It’s where my grandfather grew up and I had never been there,” Tavares said. “The town is so small, when I got there people knew I was the girl giving back sneakers. That was a really dope moment.”
Tavares and her family also started Mili Mila to spread awareness of Cabo Verde culture, including the first Cape Verdean dictionary, a Creole/English children’s book and alphabet flashcards to help preserve the language.