Within the context of the changing social and political landscape in the United States, following the untimely death of George Floyd earlier in the year, together with the current presidential leadership transition, we are delighted to confirm the appointment of Yinka Ola-Okafor as our Board Chair for Cinnamon Network United States.

Maryland DC based Yinka Okafor is an organisational change management professional with over 25 years of experience in Strategic Human Resources Management. She has diverse experience from working for several fortune 500 companies, including one of the top 3 management-consulting firms and she currently works in a government financial institution where she manages an internal consulting team. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the department of Human Resources at the University of Maryland.

Yinka is a disciple and lover of Jesus Christ, a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and a committed active member of her local church Jesus House, DC. Here, alongside her husband and two children, she serves the homeless, under-served and less privileged through the JHDC Kings Table ministry.

Cinnamon Network International was founded by Matt Bird in 2010, and initially worked alongside Churches to help transform communities across the United Kingdom. Since 2018, the Cinnamon Network has been responding to invitations from all over the world to develop this model through establishing and supporting national networks, and is currently active in 9 countries.

At Movement Day New York City in 2018, LEAD.NYC and Cinnamon Network US launched a bold, 10-year project to measure and support the church’s transformational impact within ten of the most vulnerable zip codes across metro New York. In late 2019 two Faith Action Audits were published for Washington Heights and East New York. 

In  EAST NEW YORK the audit showed that 92,375 people a year are being served by the faith-based community and the economic value of services given to the city by the church is worth over $45 million per year.  And our research in WASHINGTON HEIGHTS/INWOOD showed that the faith-based community provides over 882 000 volunteer hours per year to projects that serve the city, reaching over 16 000 vulnerable people a day.

Yinka sees Cinnamon Network as an extension of God’s hands and love for his children across the world:

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to be involved with such a dynamic organisation that adds value to transforming communities. I am both excited and humbled to be appointed as the new Cinnamon Network USA Board Chairperson. I am looking forward to serving with this board of extremely talented and passionate leaders.”