Dr. Joyce Blackwell is CEO/President of the Institute for Educational Research, Development and Training LLC, an agency that works with non-profit, government and private sector partners to conduct research, develop and guide strategy, and build capacity to promote evidence-based policies, programs and practices for women and girls of color. For the past 18 months, she has served as consultant/manager of the Durham Compact, which was created by the City of Durham’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) to secure strategic partners for Built2Last-related initiatives.
Blackwell is regarded by her peers as a nationally recognized scholar of African American women peace activists, and a thought leader dedicated to positive change and inclusive excellence. Her workshops on issues such as gender equality and inclusion related to African American women, student development and retention issues, and assessment in higher education have been featured at national conferences and colleges across the United States and internationally. She is recognized in the higher education community as an accreditation specialist and a student retention specialist.
Blackwell earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees in History from North Carolina Central University (Durham, NC) and her Ph.D. in U.S. Women’s History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC). She is also a graduate of the William R. Harvey Executive Leadership Institute, Leadership Person County, and the American Council on Education Leadership Program.
Prior to serving as CEO of her own company, Blackwell worked as a tenured professor of History at both North Carolina Central University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She spent the last fifteen (15) years before staring her own business as Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Bennett College for Women (Greensboro, NC) and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at South Carolina State University (Orangeburg, SC). She has also served as an academic dean and department chair. Blackwell has also served as Director of a nonprofit in her hometown.
Blackwell is also an author and researcher. Her pioneer study, No Peace without Freedom: Race and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1915-1975 (Southern Illinois University Press, 2004), is the first and only comprehensive study written to date on the national and international peace activism of African American women. She has widely published articles on African American peace activism in various scholarly journals and books. Moreover, she recently published Volume 1 of a two-volume work on the history of White Rock Baptist Church, entitled, Upon This Rock: White Rock Baptist Church’s Dynamic People and Their Influence in the Durham, North Carolina, Community, 1866-2016 (Cary International Press, 2018). Volume 2 is scheduled for publication in Winter 2022. She is also a reviewer for the Journal of American History and the Journal of Peace Studies..
Blackwell has also been a frequent presenter at various professional conferences on her research interests. In addition to serving as an invited Keynote Speaker for the Globalization and Public Policy International Cross-Cultural Research Exchange Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, as well as the 28th Triennial Congress of the U.S. Section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Blackwell has served as a Content Consultant on the 2-hour documentary, North Carolina’s World War II Experience.
During her career in higher education, Dr. Blackwell garnered at least $22 million in grant funding to support academic initiatives. She is also the recipient of several awards and is a Mary McLeod Bethune Scholar and an Oxford Roundtable Scholar. Since leaving higher education, she has secured an additional $2.4 million in grant funding.
In addition to holding membership in several professional organizations, Blackwell is an American Council on Education Executive Leadership Fellow, North Carolina Council of Independent Colleges and Universities Executive Leadership Fellow, Ford Foundation Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, and a University of North Carolina Board of Governors Fellow. Design
Blackwell has decided to continue her work with the nonprofit, which began in 2018, for the next year serving as its first Executive Director in an effort to ensure some continuity in leadership. She will also work with the Durham Compact until a new Manager is identified.