Celebrating Black History Month

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

Lindsey Miller, GrantWorks Community Development Project Manager, sharing her volunteer philosophy, a quote by Muhammad Ali
Lindsey Miller
Community Development Project Manager

We celebrate the accomplishments of one of our Community Development Project Managers, Lindsey Miller, who describes herself as “motivated to empower disenfranchised communities through shared learning, advocacy, and community capacity building.”

Lindsey was born and raised in Chicago (Bolingbrook if you ask Chicagoans), where her parents modeled a philosophy of civic responsibility, which meant everything from following the golden rule to volunteering. She started early, at five years old, volunteering at church before later moving on to the Girls Scouts and Jack & Jill of America, Inc. Through those organizations she worked on several community projects, from developing a music program at an elementary school to starting a TerraCycle™ upcycling program to help students reduce waist.

It was from these early experiences that Lindsey knew a large, important part of her life would be devoted to helping others. This is why it was no surprise to her folks when she told them at 16 years old that she wanted to join the Peace Corps. After all, she had been volunteering since kindergarten, so it wasn’t much of a stretch. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth,” she says, quoting Muhammad Ali. “This is why I was so excited to see the new GrantWorks policy supporting volunteerism.”

Lindsey Miller, far left, with her class in Malang, Indonesia while serving as an English teacher in the Peace Corps.

After finishing college and earning her Master’s in City, Community, and Regional Planning, Lindsey followed through on her dream and joined the Peace Corps. Her first posting was in Indonesia and began with three months of Indonesian language studies and cultural immersion. Then she moved to the city of Malang, where she taught English at an Islamic school, known as a madrasa, an experience that further enkindled her passion to serve others. “It brings me a lot of joy to gain new perspectives by meeting people and hearing their stories. I can bring that understanding back to my own work.”

Unfortunately, Lindsey’s stint with the Peace Corps ended early with evacuation due to COVID-19. Upon returning stateside, she worked as an Urban Planner for her hometown before moving to Austin and joining GrantWorks in 2022. She saw the challenges faced by her larger community of 76,000 citizens and realized smaller communities have the same issues but less people to manage projects and need help filling those gaps.

“I wanted to work at GrantWorks to be able to work with grants that support community capacity building, as it can positively affect opportunities in the built environment.”

Lindsey Miller, GrantWorks Community Development Project Manager
Lindsey Miller in Indonesia while serving as an English teacher in the Peace Corps.

And we’re so glad she decided to join our team! Lindsey’s passion for helping others is matched only by her ability to successfully bring her personality and staunch dedication to community capacity building to the several projects she manages. It’s not unusual to hear Lindsey, a long-time WNBA fan, using clever basketball metaphors when discussing work or referring to her clients as “the ’96 Bulls” or “the Dream Team.”

When asked what Black History Month means to her, Lindsey said, “I’m Black 365 days of the year, so this is something I carry all the time. For Black History Month, I like to reflect on all the accomplishments Black people have had, reflect on what America might look like without all of the contributions of Black people, reflect on what it took for our ancestors to get us here, and what it will take for future generations to progress.”

Published Works


James Scholar Honors Student | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | The Fine and Applied Arts College, Aug 2015

  • Lindsey engaged in coursework and extracurricular activities that emphasized the value of research, community engagement, professional development, leadership, and collaboration for a successful academic and professional future.