Keisha Farmer-Smith, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)

Keisha’s years of youth development experience include managing afterschool programs and coordinating services for DCFS youth. Keisha earned a Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Illinois in 2011, where her research applied participatory action and standpoint theory in evaluating outcomes for youth development programs.

Keisha was an integral part of Morten Group’s work with The Chicago Community Trust’s LGBT Community Needs Assessment; her expertise in research and data was essential in the design of the various survey tools used to gather data from over 2,000 respondents for the benefit of the larger Chicago LGBT community.

We asked Keisha, “What is the best gift you have ever given?” She said, “This is a hard question to answer! I think that the most creative gift I have ever given was a handmade book of coupons that I designed and gave to my mother when I was 10 or 11. Each coupon had a different chore or activity that I would do for my mother for “free” upon her request. Coupons included hugs, walking to the store, and washing the dishes.”