Dr. Karen Weaver was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. She is the youngest of three children born to Dr. T. Wendell Williams, a primary care family physician and Marion Coates- Williams, the first African- American teacher in Flint public school system. She attended Flint public schools and graduated from Flint Northern High School, where she was in the National Honor Society and active is the school orchestra and Psychology Club. After graduation, she attended University of Michigan-Flint before transferring to Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi where she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Psychology.
Always a strong academic, she went on to obtain a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Applied Psychology from Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY, followed by a Ph.D. in Child and Family Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University with a specialization in pediatric psychology.
Dr. Karen Williams Weaver served as the first female Mayor of the City of Flint from November 2015 until November 2019. While serving as Flint’s mayor, she was 2nd Vice President of the African American Mayors Association and on the Advisory Board of the US Conference of Mayors. In December 2019, US presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg selected her to be a surrogate for his campaign, as did Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.
To continue her commitment and passion for community and economic justice for black and brown residents and underserved populations, she created the Karen Williams Weaver Foundation (KWWF). KWWF is a national voice of advocacy for communities to garner resources necessary to rebuild infrastructure in a way that protects health, creates economic opportunities and safeguards the fundamental right to safe and affordable water.
Professionally, Dr. Karen Williams Weaver has held several leadership positions, including Interim Executive Director of the African American Mayor’s Association, Director of Behavioral Services at Mott Children’s Health Center and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Ennis Center for Children. She is also an entrepreneur and owner of Shea Lavelle Boutique a specialty store for natural skin, hair and body products.
Dr. Karen Weaver has also served in the Flint and Genesee County community and held board member positions including, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Hurley Medical Center Board of Managers, Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Priority Children and Flint NAACP Freedom Fund Chair.
Her love for the arts led her to serve on the board of the Flint Institute of Arts as well as past president of the Pierians Inc., Flint Chapter, a group dedicated to exposing the arts to inner city youth. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Zeta Beta Omega Chapter and a lifelong member of Vernon Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC).
Dr. Karen Williams Weaver has received many awards and honors including, but not limited to: Special Recognition Award from National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) for helping to bring mental health screening for teens to the Flint/Genesee county area; National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Gamma Delta Chapter Living Legend Award; and the Flint Branch Humanitarian Award, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Vanguard Award for Outstanding Service, the Elenor Roosevelt Award from the Feminist Majority Foundation, the Phenomenal Woman of Courage Award from the National Dental Association
Dr. Karen Williams Weaver says, “my philosophy of life is: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). From a child up, my parents always inspired me to be a leader, and stand up for what I believe in. They taught me the importance of having God in your life first and foremost, love of family, and being active in your community.”
Dr. Karen Weaver has been married for almost 35 years to Dr. Wrex A. Weaver, III. He is a third generation dentist in the City of Flint. They are the proud parents of three adult children, Adrienne Marie, Alanna Nicole, and Douglas Quentin, and granddaughter Brooke Lynn.