The Samuel D. Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice | GSE | Rutgers

Janiece Mackey

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Janiece Mackey grew up in Aurora, Colorado where she still resides as a wife and mother of 4 children. Janiece has built her career of servant leadership from her narrative. By reflecting upon her counter-narrative, she was able to place “her story” into a larger sociopolitical context that reflects not just “her story,” but that of many youth of color. She has been involved in politics for 17 years old and noticed that she was often the only youth of color. She knew youth of color either weren’t interested in activism or they didn’t have a conduit to civically engage. Due to being one of a few Black folks within academic, civic, and professional spaces, she created an organization entitled Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism (YAASPA). YAASPA endeavors to build the self-efficacy of youth to reclaim academic, civic, and career spaces through race-conscious leadership and transformative organizing. Due to her converging interests in education and policy, she been an Ethnic Studies and Political Science Adjunct Faculty and earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education with a Public Policy and Curriculum and Instruction emphasis at the University of Denver. She desires to deepen, further develop, and expand “healing praxis” (hooks, 1994) for more youth and professionals of color within the public administration spaces. She believes that those who commit to transformational justice and racial equity must validate and innovate academic, career, and civic experiences that sustain, retain, and rejuvenate minoritized youth and young professionals.