Danyika Leonard joined the Urban Homeworks board in the Spring of 2020 and began serving as the board co-chair in April 2021.
She is the Principal and Co-Founder of the Ujima Collective, which exists to create solutions and empower those seeking to address issues impacting the Black community. Their work encompasses collaborative efforts of educators, organizers, artists, youth workers, and teachers committed to doing community safety, equity, and racial justice work.
Danyika is also a policy director at Education Evolving, where she advocates for policies that clear barriers and create opportunities for educators to design student-centered learning experiences that equitably honor the unique assets, interests, identities, and aspirations of all students—and prepare them to thrive in the 21st century.
She sees herself as a restorative practitioner by calling, and social worker by trade. Her work has focused on building innovative collaboratives of state, county, and local organizations for system and policy innovation for educational achievement and holistic family success. She has experience in community organizing, housing & workforce development, policy work, and youth and family empowerment, and design thinking. As an advanced results-based facilitator and Art of Hosting Practitioner, she is passionate about bringing people together to get things done.
Danyika holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs and is a 2016 Roy Wilkins Community Policy Fellow. She lives in North Minneapolis with her husband and two children.