Over the past twenty years, I have stepped around, in, and through the knowledge enterprise. Sometimes it’s been in the form of education, teaching, and research. Other times it’s been in the frame of community development, planning, and urban design. I have walked up and down the levels where knowledge is validated – local, state, national – and in and out of institutions like schools, universities, and foundations. I have also seen knowledge work from the perspective of the private, public, and the nonprofit sectors. I am fascinated by how knowledge is created and the various processes for coming to know the world and our presence within it. As a socio-political scholar, I have been on a journey of questioning knowledge as it bumps up against notions of power, voice, and social change.
I came into philanthropy at the time when the “knowledge field” was emerging. I was the first hire at a family foundation for a newly created Knowledge Development Officer position. I came with qualitative evaluation experience. Yet, I was frustrated with the limitations of a rigid evaluation mindset that attached validity to professional expertise alone. Knowledge Designs to Change grows out of passion for actively engaging in knowledge construction and creating new understandings of how and why change happens.
Prior to creating Knowledge Designs to Change, Angela served as Knowledge Development Officer for the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund where she was responsible for grants and contracts related to: organizational learning, management systems, program support, network learning partnerships, and research. She created the foundation’s university learning partnerships with engaged scholars from across the state of Connecticut.
Formerly, Angela served as faculty member of Urban Design in the Urban Planning department of Jackson State University, a Mississippi HBCU. As graduate faculty and undergraduate coordinator, she supported a pipeline for students of color to earn advanced degrees while remaining committed to urban communities. Angela’s previous work was primarily in qualitative evaluation of social programs, community leadership development and university/neighborhood partnerships at organizations including the Burns Academy of Leadership, the Center for Social Research and Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation in Washington, DC.
Angela grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut’s most populous city. She graduated from the city’s public schools, where she later conducted research, worked as an instructor, and engaged urban high school students as co-authors on published encyclopedia entries. Her academic training in the social sciences spans the fields of design, regional planning, and education policy and leadership, with practical experience in efforts to address inequity through programs targeting education, prison aftercare, mortgage lending and community leadership investment.