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Frededreia "Dede" Dunham (Willis) is currently the Communications Manager of the Southern Economic Advancement Project, under Stacey Abrams' leadership. 


Dede is a small-town SHEro. Making her first activist move in 2011, she started the conversation and addressed racism in her town. By 2017, many recognized her as a TV personality/reporter for a CBS affiliate in Monroe, Louisiana. In 2019, she was recruited to be the Press Secretary and Digital Media Manager for the Louisiana Workforce Commission, under the tenure of sitting-Governor John Bel Edwards and Labor Secretary Ava Dejoie.

"I remember people, mostly my teachers, asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up. My answer was and remains the same - someone. I want to be that someone that cares about the betterment of everyone. My mission is simple - To help people win a race they never thought they could start."

10 heroes of Income Inequality, USA (CNN)

Frededreia Willis, an 18-year-old college freshman with a toothpaste-commercial smile and a transcendent air of optimism, wants to come back to Lake Providence after college, to build a bridge across the mile-wide oxbow lake.

32 Southern Bred, African American Women in Journalism

From Daisy Bates to Oprah Winfrey, black women in the South have blazed the trails of journalism. We reached out to black female journalists — women who are either from the South or who now call the region home– to ask them how they found their voices for storytelling. 

The Value Project

Destiny Words Mural

Dede Willis became a staple of breaking down racial barriers in her hometown. Through her efforts, she inspired the first combined homecoming parade between blacks and whites within her hometown.

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