West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum hired Wesley Watson as its new engagement manager.
In his new role, Watson will provide tactical support for the forum’s growth as a regional and statewide network, its educational programming and collaborative projects. Among other initiatives, he will be leading the organization’s work to engage underrepresented communities in the state’s circular economy investments.
Watson said he has long been passionate about social justice issues in his community. He most recently was the West Michigan regional organizing director for NextGen America and the deputy state field director of For Our Future, where he said his grassroots community organizing contributed to the highest voter turnout in Michigan history.
Previously, he served the Grand Rapids community through the Grand Rapids Red Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health, reducing risk and preventing HIV throughout West Michigan. As part of his work, he collaborated with fellow staff members, community partners and local law enforcement to fight the opioid epidemic in West Michigan. He also served as a national advocate for the Black AIDS Institute to fight health disparities and stigma in Black and brown communities.
Watson said he believes that “when the community shows up, we show the movement up.”
He also is active in local civics, serving as precinct delegate captain in Ada Precinct 1 since 2016, becoming the youngest and first Black precinct delegate in Ada Township history.