Lawson Wijesooriya

Lawson is responsible for fundraising, supportive infrastructure and policy development, and helping strategically engage the community around issues of demographic change and common good living.

Lawson loves using her God-given gifts to engage any Kingdom work in the East End of Richmond, which directed her to Urban Hope. She graduated from the University of Virginia as a Phi Beta Kappa Jefferson Scholar and enjoyed her honors interdisciplinary study of Christian community development in the Political and Social Thought program. 

Following graduation, she moved to Richmond, VA with a heart for the inner city and a dream of living intentionally towards Martin Luther King’s vision for Beloved Community. She lives in Urban Hope’s focus area, the East End, with her husband, two sons, and several others in need of housing. Lawson began her career as a teacher before leaving her post to help start Blue Sky Fund, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide transformational experiences for urban youth through outdoor adventure. Lawson served as its founding executive director for ten years. She was highlighted as Mentor of the Year by Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine and honored as Richmond Style Weekly’s Top 40 under 40 in 2010. 

After her tenure at Blue Sky, Lawson opened an ice cream social enterprise with a mission of hiring young people and building community. The Neighborhood Scoop, a for-profit company, opened in late summer 2017, and she continues to manage the seasonal business. 

She also continues to serve in other community development capacities alongside fellow members of East End Fellowship’s congregation, a church she helped plant in 2008 as a founding elder. 

Lawson serves on several local boards and remains highly involved at her children's neighborhood schools. In her personal life, Lawson enjoys traveling, hanging out with friends, and learning to play soccer in an attempt to keep up with her growing soccer-playing boys.