Darnell Leatherwood – Board Member, Career & Networking Committee 

Darnell Leatherwood is a doctoral candidate, Institute of Education Sciences (IES) fellow, and Illinois Board of Higher Education (DFI) fellow at the University of Chicago in the School of Social Service Administration. He holds a M.A. in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from the College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he double majored in Management (concentration in Entrepreneurship) and Business Process Management. Before starting his doctoral program, Darnell taught algebra 1 at the Urban Prep Academies and was the civic engagement coordinator & an assistant teacher at the Montessori School of Englewood in Chicago.

Darnell’s research interests include urban education, social inequality/policy, and identity formation. He coordinated/chaired the University of Chicago Committee on Education’s Workshop on Education for 2 academic years, and has authored peer reviewed publications in such academic journals as Social Service Review and the International Journal of Higher Education.

Darnell is a founding member of Thrive Chicago’s & President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Action Team, a member of the Advisory Board of the Chicago State University College of Education, serves as a Young Scholar on The Journal of Negro EducationEditorial/Advisory Board, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Swataleem Foundation, an organization that provides educational services to minority girls in India. Additionally, He is a charter member of the Black Education Research Group (BERG) and the Black Male Educators Alliance of Illinois (BMEA Illinois).

In 2016 he co-founded Leatherwood & Lyles, L.L.C. which is a social entrepreneurial business dedicated to developing underserved communities through home-ownership and gainful employment. He is a founding board member of Quest Christian Academy, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt boarding school that will service and educate students exposed to the juvenile justice system and/or who are growing up in adverse circumstances. He co-founded Posterity, Inc. which is a tax-exempt charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing youth violence and providing mentoring/community service in the city of Chicago and across Illinois. In 2017, he started the Black Boys Shine campaign (tax-exempt charitable nonprofit organization) which is purposed to strengthen/control the Black male narrative and image nationally and internationally. He is currently running for Congress. Darnell or his work has been featured in Rolling Out, BlackDoctors.org, WBGX Chicago, The PCC Community Network Forum, The Ideal Candidate(Book), The News Gazette, The Daily Illini, West of the Ryan Current Magazine, and the podcast Separate and Unequal.