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liston, Phd




"I am a Black woman. I am an organizer for liberation."

I founded UBUNTU Research and Evaluation as a space to hold Black women's leadership in living, learning and loving towards Beloved Community for Black people and the world. I am proud HBCU alum, representing THE MECCA b.k.a. Howard University. I obtained my Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee researching the dignity of boys and men of color in Milwaukee, WI. I developed the Radical Accountability for Creating Equity (R.A.C.E.) through Dignity Framework as a process for organizations to deepen their commitment towards equity in their day-to-day operations. I most recently completed the Building Beloved Community Leadership Fellowship with the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA).

As an evaluator, I was mentored through the American Evaluation Association's (AEA) Graduate Education Diversity Internship. I am skilled program evaluator that uses culturally responsive practices to guide my work.

As an educator, I focus on my passion on Black children and their families. I research equity, liberation and decolonization through learning. I write curricular frameworks, develop other educators, and strategize with school leadership.

As a facilitator, I prioritize Black women's voices and experiences in spaces where they have been historically marginalized. I coach organizations to be intersectional, responsive, and radical in their work. 





"I am a Black woman who connects people to their passion and assists them in seeing the power in their presence, voice, and most importantly their freedom."

I am steadfast in helping people see the power they have in their communities and identifying resources to fuel that power. Investing in the voice and the power of people being heard and recognized in spaces that affect them, I see language integral to recognizing human dignity and building Beloved community. I am skilled in building capacity around authentic collaboration and creating safe spaces for learning and exploration in diverse settings. 

I dedicate my time and talent to facilitating spaces that motivate individuals, organizations and communities to be better human beings for the sake of our collective liberation. I am serious about youth advocacy; supporting youth, and those that want to support youth leadership, to overcome the trauma of racial, economic, and health inequities. In these spaces, I create authentic relationships with young people while developing leadership opportunities for their growth. 

I research the leadership experiences of Black women. As a doctoral student I focus my energy on naming and attributing the power in the voice of Black women and the legacy they have left and continue to create, in every sector, through strategic bold action regardless of any challenge they have faced.

For more information about my work with young people, please visit www.nikotris.com. 


Rachel JohnsoN




“I am a Black woman who advocates for better educational opportunities for Black families in schools and communities.”  

I am a single parent -- with a strong village -- to a budding freedom fighter. Motherhood is the bridge to my activism. Being a mother to a Black son motivates the work that I do inside and outside of schools and shapes how I raise him in a society that is hostile towards Blackness. Revolutionary mothering is the approach I take to raising him and other children, encouraging them to be as free as they can be in this world, valuing themselves and each other as well as providing them with the necessary tools in order to share the work toward our collective liberation.

I am a PhD student in the department of Educational Policy Studies at UW-Madison. My research interests focus on Black parents’ various forms of engagement and advocacy in schools for educational change. I help establish spaces for Black parents for the purpose of facilitating dialogue and action that supports their vision for their children’s education. I am continuously inspired by creating and sharing spaces with other Black people and having conversations around education for liberation. Centering Black families in research and evaluation is necessary work to do in order to create and maintain spaces that recognize their dignity.