Lakeisha Wolf – Executive Director
As a first-generation Pittsburgher, LaKeisha Wolf has developed her roots across the community working at the intersection of social justice, arts, culture and entrepreneurship. She is a founding member of the Hill District based non-profit Ujamaa Collective, serving as Executive Director since 2013. In this role, LaKeisha focuses on the business affairs and cooperative development of emerging Africana women-owned craft industries. She has over 15 years experience in community, organizational and leadership development, consulting with numerous organizations including Sankofa Community Empowerment, Inc., Community Human Services Corporation, The Legacy Arts Project, Inc., and the Alliance for Police Accountability. LaKeisha holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Penn State University (2001) where she served as Black Caucus President, helping to establish the State of Pennsylvania’s first Africana Research Institute at PSU. In addition, she’s also a graduate of NASCO Institute’s Emerging Cooperative Leaders Program.
She is a poet, dancer, artist and entrepreneur; founding a micro-enterprise shortly after graduation called EnjoyourSelf, creating gemstone jewelry and producing a brand of healthy body and hair care products called E-Ma’s. With this knowledge, LaKeisha facilitates workshops with youth and adults on the health, economic, and environmental impacts of toxins and chemicals in personal care products, specifically to help women of color make more informed choices about their overall wellness and that of the community.
As a writer, LaKeisha uses her talents not only behind a mic presenting spoken word and sharing stages with established performers such as cellist Akua Dixon, but also providing marketing, public relations and communications support to a number of small businesses, artists, and non-profits across the city including the Alliance for Police Accountability. She has performed in the community-based arts organization, The Legacy Arts Project, Inc for over six years and has operated as a freelance dancer for other groups as well. The understanding of creative activism she brings to the table is unique, as she has worked and volunteered with young people in elementary through college age in various settings over the past 15 years teaching subjects ranging from dance instruction to creative writing, jewelry design, leadership and activism, as well as creative entrepreneurship.
LaKeisha became a birth doula in 2009, nurturing women during the most miraculous time in life by providing emotional and physical comfort and support during labor and delivery. She is an advocate of cooperative economics and businesses that are guided by triple bottom line principles. She is inspired by nature and the power of the community when we work together.
Frankie Harris – Boutique Merchandiser/Special Event Decorator
Frankie Harris is the creative genius behind Ujamaa Collective’s fabulous window display in the Centre Avenue business corridor. She is a merchandiser and works to design coordinating scenes and product arrangements in the Ujamaa Boutique that help sell the products and tell the stories of our talented artists, locally and from around the world.
Frankie’s sole proprietorship business, The Power of One, is a special event planning service, dedicated to helping you to gather your family and friends using fun, tasteful and extraordinary themes and adding a special touch with custom designed gift baskets. Her flair for creating these baskets adds a unique feel to any occasion.
Frankie is a single mom and nine year resident of the Hill District. She has been a member of Ujamaa Collective since 2011. She also specializes in creating designs and displays for our organization’s events, including the fun 70’s Throwback Cabaret fundraiser, our annual Kwanzaa Celebrations and bi-monthly Word of Mouth Open Mic in the boutique.
Her many years of work with a catering company taught her the finer points of a good design and set-up. Gathering family and friends together is what makes it all worthwhile. Frankie says, “It’s true, when you love what you do, it’s not work!”