Manikka Bowman is the former Director of Policy for the Urban Land Institute Boston/New England District Council. She led policy research and provided CRE thought leadership for the Boston market. Bowman also oversaw the ULI Technical Assistance Panel program, which leverages ULI members' thought leadership to help cities and towns tackle challenging land use issues. She launched Pathways to Inclusion during her tenure, a program designed to connect dynamic CRE professionals of color to the ULI Boston network.
Bowman is also the former Vice-Chair of the Cambridge School Committee. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked with the Mayor of Cambridge to set priorities for the School District. She negotiated four agreements in two years with Cambridge educational unions ensuring students and staff had access to safe in-person learning conditions. Bowman also provided oversight and leadership as budget co-chair, ensuring an equitable process for the $202 million CPSD budget. Her proudest accomplishment during her tenure was providing free access to sanitary products to all students in restroom facilities and the establishment of a Period Equity Bank.
Manikka is a Boston Business Journal 40 under 40 honoree and serves on the board of Abundant Housing Massachusett, a nonprofit committed to expanding housing opportunities in every community in the Commonwealth. Bowman holds a bachelor's degree from Bethune-Cookman University and dual master's degrees in Divinity and Urban Policy from Columbia Theological Seminary and Georgia State University.
Buildings and land have always been a draw for NYS licensed real estate professional Shawan Edwards. She has enjoyed
over 10 years of success in the field, specializing in market analysis, contract negotiations, and site acquisitions. She’s also held management and development associate positions at operators headquartered in fast-changing Bentonville, New York, and St. Louis.
Tenacious and driven, Ms. Edwards performs comfortably in both the nonprofit and commercial arenas. She cares about the client and the deal. Her career highlights include executing a comprehensive strategic plan and analyzing target markets for major retailers Save A Lot and Wal-Mart, respectively. In addition, for charter school developer Civic Builders, Inc., she quarterbacked numerous site-identifying activities, one of which led to the completion of a multimillion-dollar development deal in the Bronx.
Ms. Edwards earned her Master’s in Real Estate Development at NYU. A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the International Council of Shopping Centers, this native New Yorker believes community development is as essential to a city’s vitality as commercial development. A proud recipient of a Project REAP certificate of completion, Shawan also values inclusivity and diversity in the industry.