Nida Donar’s personal and professional career choices have been significantly impacted by her lifelong passion for advocacy for disenfranchised people. Responding to the call for community service in the 1960’s, she participated as a member of the Highland Park Model City neighborhood commission. She organized a biracial committee of citizens to respond to racial unrest in Highland Park after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed.
In the 1970’s, Donar organized Welfare Rights Chapters in Oakland County, raising funds to open and staff an office in Pontiac. She participated in campaigns to extend cross district bussing, support the United Farm Workers Union, and lobby in Lansing and Washington on welfare issues. In 1976, she became the federal food law specialist for Michigan Legal Services, where she developed a coalition that succeeded in bringing mandatory school lunch programs to all Michigan schools. She was a founding member of the SE Michigan Food Coalition, MI Fair Federal Budget Coalition, and the National Anti-Hunger Coalition.
In 1989, Donar returned to Wayne State University to finish her social work degrees, moving on to be managing director of the SE MI Coalition on Occupational Safety & Health. She then became director of the Hunger Action Coalition, where she organized a successful legislative campaign to expand mandatory school breakfast programs.
In 1999, Donar became executive director of Citizens for Better Care, an advocacy organization for the elderly, and began teaching classes part-time in the Community Practice Track at Wayne State. Since her retirement, she has continued to teach B.S.W. students and supervise M.S.W. Community Practice field placement students.
Degrees and Certifications
- M.S.W., Wayne State University
- Marriage & Family Counseling Certificate, Wayne State University
- B.S.W., Wayne State University
- Community Practice
- Peace and justice issues