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.