Dr. Alicia Robinson, a native of Dallas, Texas has lived in Champaign, Illinois for 11 years, pursuing her graduate studies and launching her elementary school teaching career. As a newly minted PhD of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she has honed her skills as a youth advocate, a teacher educator, and a scholarly researcher.
Alicia’s belief in the philosophy that “It takes a village to raise a child” fuels her daily efforts to partner with students, parents, and teachers to ensure that all children thrive inside and outside of academic spaces. Her dissertation, entitled: “A Voice for the Voiceless”, has focused her research on African American student engagement, specifically with the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools program.
Alicia’s service with CDF dates back to 2006, when she was hired as a Servant Leader Intern at the Dallas Bethlehem Center to teach youth in the South Dallas sector who were enrolled in the Freedom Schools program. Her matriculation with CDF has afforded her the opportunity to serve as an Ella Baker Trainer, consultant, evaluator, teacher, facilitator, coordinator, organizer, and researcher. As this national organization is connected and committed to serving diverse communities across the country, Alicia has traveled to nearly 10 states offering support for Freedom Schools, including a site she helped to launch in Chicago at Trinity United Church of Christ.
Alicia’s background in education which commenced at Tuskegee University where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, progressed toward her Master’s degree in Educational Policy Studies at University of Illinois and on to the PhD that she will be awarded in May 2021 has all prepared her for her ultimate goal: changing the narrative of the American education system by creating positive learning engagement for all learners as US Secretary of Education and beyond.