Vice President, Board of Directors
“If you don’t have healthcare…then nothing else really matters.”
Kwentoria Williams (she/her), MHA, joined the Every Body Texas Board of Directors in 2019 when the organization was called Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas (WHFPT). At the time, Williams was one of twenty-five fellows with Movement Mujeres, a joint initiative of Deeds Not Words and Jolt, aimed at getting more women of color into positions of leadership in political and nonprofit spaces.
“When I heard that WHFPT [Every Body Texas] was looking for new board members, I was really excited, but I was also feeling a little imposter syndrome.” Kwentoria, twenty-six at the time, was familiar with Every Body Texas and Title X from her college fellowship with Parkland Hospital, a Dallas-based public hospital in the Every Body Texas Title X network. “But I said, ‘Okay get over yourself, you have to apply for this.’ The timing was something I couldn’t ignore.”
Growing up, Kwentoria wanted to be an obstetrician-gynecologist. “Then I went to college and realized that I did not want to see patients for the rest of my life! I learned about population health and community health initiatives.” To her, the connection between healthcare access, advocacy, and politics was clear. “If you don’t have healthcare…then nothing else really matters.”
Working in Congress may seem like an unusual next step after earning a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration, but Williams points to her background in healthcare as a strength she brought to Congressman Al Green’s (TX 09) office for four years. “My background in healthcare came in handy at the start of the COVID pandemic, really seeing the intersection of public health and policy every day.”
Today Kwentoria is the Senior Communications Director at URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity. She recognizes that reproductive health and justice has long been an animating force in her life. “Reproductive health, justice, and family planning is a thing that lights my fire.”
Now as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the largest Title X grantee in the country, Kwentoria is clear about her vision for the future.
“When I started, the Board looked completely different. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done to make the Board more diverse and bring younger voices to the table. I want to continue that work. I want to reach out to the people who are in the community. I want to make sure that we’re being more intentional about the work we’re doing for trans and gender expansive individuals. I want to make sure that we’re intentional about the message that we’re sending to clients – that we’re not just this out of touch entity in Austin – but that the care that comes from us is centering their needs, regardless of the clinic that care comes from. Even though they [clients] might not know the source, they know that this funding matters and a lot of care and thought goes into it.”
Kwentoria currently lives in Houston where she serves on the Harris County Women’s Commission. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and learning about new cultures.