“The Singing Mural” mural, Artworks Cincinnati

LEADERSHIP TEAM

Shaunak Sastry, Director

Email: Shaunak.Sastry@uc.edu
Dr. Shaunak Sastry is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Cincinnati and an affiliate faculty at the Center for Culture-Centered Research and Evaluation. His areas of interest are global health communication, critical theory and culture-centered approaches to social change with a particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS campaigns in the global south

Leila Rodriguez, Assistant Director

Email: Leila.Rodriguez@uc.edu
Dr. Leila Rodriguez is associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, and an affiliate of the Department of Africana Studies, Department of Sociology, and Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx Studies Program. Her areas of interest are the local integration dynamics of immigrants, and the use of culture as judicial evidence in legal conflicts that involve immigrants and refugees. Regionally, she focuses on Central America and the United States.

Littisha A. Bates

Email: Littisha.Bates@uc.edu
Dr. Littisha A. Bates is Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Community Partnerships in the UC College of Arts & Sciences, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, and an affiliate faculty member of Africana Studies at the University of Cincinnati. She is also a co-founder and executive board member Black Faculty Association. Her areas of interests are stratification, education and race. Her current project examines the changes in the magnet school enrollment processes in the City of Cincinnati. This project focuses on the impact of the change from first-some first-serve enrollment to a district wide lottery system on parents and school.

Kimberly H. Conger

Email: Kimberly.Conger@uc.edu
Dr. Kimberly H. Conger is an assistant professor- educator in the Department of Political Science. In this role, she is a faculty member in the Master of Public Administration program that focuses on social justice and equity. Her research focuses on the way religious advocacy makes an impact on American state and local politics. Her current projects investigate the role of religious activism in reducing political inequalities in the U.S.

Tia Sherèe Gaynor

Email: TiaSheree.Gaynor@uc.edu
Dr. Tia Sherèe Gaynor is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and the director of UC's Center for Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation. Her research focuses on the varying ways administrative discretion and decision-making can lead to inequitable outcomes for people of color and those who identify as LGBTQIA. Most recently, Dr. Gaynor’s work explores the marginalizing experiences LGBTQIA people of color have when interacting with local law enforcement agencies. Her work is supported by the WEB DuBois Fellowship on Race and Crime (National Institute of Justice).Dr. Gaynor holds a Ph.D. and MPA from the School of Public Affairs and Administration, at Rutgers University – Newark.

Roderick Pearson - Project Coordinator and Graduate Assistant

Email: pearsork@mail.uc.edu
Roderick Pearson is a graduate student enrolled in the Department of Sociology. His research interests include finding solutions to the pervasive issues of gun violence, poverty, and segregation among African-Americans.​

Advisory Board

Emily Houh – University of Cincinnati

Two-time Goldman Prize for Teaching Excellence winner Emily Houh is the Gustavus Henry Wald Professor of Law and Contracts at the University Cincinnati College of Law. Since 2003, she has taught the interplay between contract law, commercial law, critical race theory and socioeconomic inequality. Her recent research with UC Law colleague Professor Kristin Kalsem “looks at how participatory action research methods can be used to engage in critical race/feminist praxis, by exploring the raced and gendered nature of the ‘fringe economy’”. Additionally, Houh is Co-Director of the College’s Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice. For more information, please visit Emily Houh’s faculty page here.

Dorothy Smoot – Greater Cincinnati Urban League

Dorothy Smoot is a social service programmer who specializes in entrepreneurship, business development and youth and adult education at Greater Cincinnati Urban League (GCUL). As Chief Program Officer at GCUL, Smoot administers curriculum pertaining to youth academic tutoring, teen and young adult workforce readiness and entry into competitive workforce level positions, alongside leadership programs aimed at young African-American professionals and awareness programs promoting sickle cell disease prevention and education. In addition to her position at GCUL, Smoot serves on the Police Chief’s Advisory Board, City Manager’s Advisory Board and is the Executive Director of the Community Police Partnering Center and the Team Leader for the Community Engagement Team of the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence. For more information on Dorothy Smoot, please click here and for more information on the Greater Cincinnati Urban League, please click here.

Guy-Lucien Whembolua – University of Cincinnati

Dr. Whembolua is an Associate professor in the department of Africana Studies and an affiliate in the College of Medicine. He is a health behavior expert with a focus on how socio-cultural factors affects health outcomes in populations from African descent worldwide. He currently serves as the director of the Global Health Studies certificate and the Africana Health Institute.

Cary Powell – Mary Magdalen House

Cary Powell is the Executive Director of Mary Magdalen House. Cary joined the House after serving for many years as Executive Director of Catholic Inner-city Schools Education Fund. Cary works directly with guests, providing for their needs. In addition, she works to increase awareness of Mary Magdalen House in the Cincinnati community, and ensure that the House has the resources it needs to continue its mission.

Erika Meyer Judd – 84.51°

Erika Meyer Judd is a Director of Analytics at 84.51°. 84.51° is a data analytics firm that studies consumer behavior and spending habits over an extended length of time. Formerly known as dunnhumbyUSA, the company changed its name to 84.51° after it was acquired by The Kroger Co. in 2015. Erika manages the Customer Experience analysis team as well as chairing the company’s charatible arm 84.51° Degrees of Giving and their Corporate Social Responsibility team. Erika also serves on the Board of Trustees for Tender Mercies. She has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and graduate degree in Geography both from the University of Cincinnati.

Bianca Edwards -AMOS Project

Bianca is a licensed Social Worker and Community Organizer for the AMOS Project, a federation of congregations in Greater Cincinnati dedicated to building a just and equitable city. She is a group facilitator that believes in holding space for community healing, power building and story telling. Bianca holds a Masters in Social Work from UC, is a 2014 YWCA Rising Star Graduate, and serves on Hamilton County’s Elderly Services Program Board.

Suzanne Boys – University of Cincinnati

Dr. Suzanne Boys directs the Public Relations Program in the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Communication. Her scholarship focuses on organizational communication and public relations, specifically crisis communication. She currently teaches Organizational Diversity; Organizational Image, Identity, & Issue Management; and Public Relations Campaigns. Her students work with local small businesses and non-profits every semester.

Scroll to top