Who We Are

From Common


“I started the Common Ground Foundation because I wanted to help. Most of all help people to help themselves. I always believed that if we started with the youth then we would be planting the seeds for our future to blossom. Give the children a sense of hope, self-esteem, and love that will better the world…I think making a difference in the lives of others is life’s greatest purpose. I walk this path with faith knowing that the Common Ground Foundation will Change the World.”- Love, COMMON

Our History

The Common Ground Foundation was founded by Academy Award Winning Artist, Actor, and Author Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr. known as “Common”.

More than 10 years ago, Common committed his time and resources to help inner-city youth in his hometown of Chicago. Our work reaches high school students through mentoring and college preparation programs. Our focus areas are nutrition and healthy living, financial literacy, character development, and creative expression.

Common’s commitment to the foundation is both in spirit and deed as he donates significant time and resources to the organization. He also takes time to talk to youth across the country to keep inspiring them to dream beyond their circumstances.

Meet The Team

Leslie Pappas
Executive Director
Artra WorldsDonor Relations Manager
Tiffany Walker
Office Administrator and Programs Coordinator
Linda Owens-Thompson
Director of Transition to
College Program
Karl Kemp
Director of Student Services
Danita Allen
Director of Student Activities
Toya Dodd
Director of Mentors

Meet The Board

Dr. Mahalia Ann Hines
President
Erika Bracey
Marc Brooks
Linda Lee
Deborah Quazzo
Jonavan Smith
DeRonda Williams
Paula Yates
Francois Mobasser