#UFHResearchWeekofExcellence | US scholar, Dr Jill Humphries delivers keynote address at UFH Postgraduate Conference

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Dr. Jill M. Humphries, an assistant professor and part-time instructor for the University of Toledo’s Africana Studies Program in the United States delivered the keynote address at the University of Fort Hare (UFH)  2023 Research Week of Excellence (RWE) postgraduate conference currently taking place on the Alice Campus.

Dr Humpries is a twice Fulbright Scholar to South Africa, former Ambassador Distinguished Scholar for Ethiopia and Currently, she is a 2023 Fulbright Scholar at the Govern Mbeki Research and Development Centre (GMRDC) at the University of Fort Hare. During her tenure, she supports the Centre’s Strengthening Research Capacity Development Program. This entails designing and teaching a series of research methods and skills-based workshops to postgraduate students, emerging scholars, and faculty.

As a scholar-activist, she is committed to the principles of democratic education with over 30-plus years of engagement in educational & social justice work pertaining to Africa and the Black Diaspora. She is also a multi-disciplinary, solutions-based consultant with 25 years extensive experience designing and implementing solutions that resolve operational inefficiencies in public, private and nonprofit institutions.

As an analyst, Dr. Humphries has served as a consultant on legal, public administration, public health, and /or environmental initiatives in the United States, Zimbabwe, and the Caribbean. She’s also a liaison for the Consulate General of Japan Los Angeles African American community engagement initiative.

As a 2018 Ambassador Distinguished Scholar (ADS) for Ethiopia, Dr. Humphries was one of 20 U.S. scholars who participated in a bi-national higher education capacity-building initiative for Ethiopia. She played a pivotal role in redesigning the curriculum for post-graduate students pursuing public administration and doctorate management degrees which culminated in multiple invitations to other Ethiopian Universities to teach her seminal doctoral course, advanced qualitative research methods.

Additionally, she worked with local colleges, public libraries, and private industry to design and deliver customized skills-based workshops for the local community. The demand by Ethiopians to attend her workshops around the country prompted the U.S. Embassy to teleconference them to other American Corner locations throughout Ethiopia.

As a result of her years of experience and expertise, she was selected as a Fulbright Specialist Scholar. One of few adjunct assistant professors to receive this prestigious appointment selected from a national pool of U.S. academics and professionals to consult on international country projects.

Dr. Humphries has received numerous awards for her social justice work. Most recently, she was featured on Ethiopian National TV for her life’s work and contribution to Pan Africanism. The Consulate General of Ethiopia in Los Angeles issued the following declaration in recognition of her service to the development of Ethiopia’s higher education:

“The Ethiopian Consulate believes that continued teaching of Dr. Jill in Ethiopian Universities in different parts of the country is meaningfully helpful to share vast knowledge and experiences to Ethiopian students and further contribute to the people-to-people relationship of the two countries.

As an African American female scholar [Dr. Humphries] continued intellectual presence in Ethiopian higher educational institutions can contribute as a source of inspiration to Ethiopian women and girls.”

She is one of two Legal Observers in the United States, recognized by the National Lawyers Guild in 2015 as Legal Worker of the Year for her outstanding work in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and legal work in her adoptive city of New York.

She is the senior researcher and co-author of the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee Leadership Capacity Building Report. The first empirical study to assess local chapter mass defense systems since its founding 78 years ago.

As an analyst for the think-tank Rand Corporation, she conducted best practices research on welfare-to-work programs, policy, and compliance.

While serving as a global social justice young adult mission intern in Zimbabwe for the UMC General Board of Global Ministries, she documented the role of U.S. foreign policy in Southern African hot zones and its impact on health care services to refugees and internally displaced persons. In 1991, she continued this work by successfully launching the Zimbabwe Community Health

Project in Southern Africa, an African & Black Diaspora collaborate project. In this role, Dr. Humphries led an eight-member team, coordinated the needs assessment, and led primary research activities between the team and Zimbabwe government officials, NGOs, and private citizens.

As a multi-disciplinary scholar in race, gender, sexuality, and environmental studies, Dr. Humphries has taught courses across the curriculum for African American Studies Departments at Columbia and Temple Universities. She is the author of several anthology contributions including, Seeing Nature Through My Eyes in Greening Africana Studies edited By Dr. Rubin Patterson, Resisting 'Race' Organizing African Transnational Identities in the United States in The New African Diaspora, and Cyberorganizing United States Constituencies for Africa in the Brain Circulation Beyond the Drain-Gain Debate.

Dr. Humphries has curated two installations entitled, AfrokineticsTM: Black Bodies in Motion and Mural Project and Uprising! Resistance! Where Street Art Meets Black Movement Street Law and produced two photo exhibits of her African travels entitled, The Children of Africa, and The Zimbabwe Community Health Project.

Dr. Humphries earned her Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Public Administration from the School of Policy, Planning, and Development at University of Southern California. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology and master’s degree in public health from the University California, Los Angeles, and completed post-graduate gender studies training from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Her work has led to travels throughout the United States, Caribbean, South America, Gulf States, and the African continent.

She is a signatory of the Constituency for Africa’s U.S. Policy Toward Africa Position Paper A Recommendation Report to the Biden-Harris Administration, a founding executive board member for the U.S. Africa Institute, a Fulbright, and International Career Advancement Alum, and holds dual membership in the National Conference of Black Lawyers and National Lawyers Guild.

We are honoured to Dr Humphries in our midst.