Darryl Lester

Institute for Building Communities by Design

Darryl K. Lester is a cultural philanthropist, social change agent, and national service guru. He has been at the forefront of social innovation in the nation’s southern states for more than two decades.

As the Founder and CEO of the North Carolina-based Institute for Building Communities by Design which promotes civic and community engagement, leadership development, and greater access for young people with mental and physical challenges.

Darryl champions community philanthropy expansion through civic and community engagement. He was an early proponent of utilizing collective giving models to sustain businesses and organizations in historically disenfranchised communities in the New South. This vision would lead him to a leadership role in establishing the Community Investment Network (CIN). CIN inspires, connects, and strengthens African Americans and communities of color to leverage their collective resources and create the change THEY wish to see.

Darryl’s background as a change agent, trainer, and leadership coach informed his roles as the Assistant Director of the African American Cultural Center at North Carolina State University; the Director of Community Leadership and Programs at the Triangle Community Foundation (NC) as Trustee of the Warner Foundation. He was also an Associate Counsel at Capital Development Services and a Training Manager at NC. Public Allies. He is well acquainted with educational institutions, having served as an Assistant Dean at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Assistant Director of African American Student Affairs at North Carolina State University, and as a Counselor at Shaw University Counseling Center (NC).

Darryl is a graduate of Brevard College, Wofford College, and North Carolina State University. He combines his academic background with his civic and community involvement to GIVEBACK and GIVE BLACK. He is also an avid motorcycle enthusiast and has traveled across the country on his Harley Davidson with members of the Buffalo Soldiers motorcycle club and his fraternity brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.