Dr. Kelisha B. Graves is a scholar-educator, author, speaker, and educational impact strategist. She has a passion for research and discovery, and a gift for oration, teaching, and educational administration. She is the Chief Research, Education, and Programs Officer at The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and a higher education educator.


Dr. Graves teaches and works at the intersection of education and the global Africana experience. From excavating and uplifting the stories of historical Black women from obscurity to providing impact strategies for higher education teaching and learning, Dr. Graves embraces a mission to inspire transformational learning journeys for all people. She speaks widely on education; leadership; culturally responsive teaching; African American history, intellectual history, and philosophy; influential women in Black history; and diversity, equity, justice, and social change.


Dr. Graves holds a doctorate in education with a concentration in higher education. Known for her oratorical gifts and charismatic teaching style, she has delivered thought-provoking presentations and keynote lectures to audiences around the world. She has authored/co-authored works in the fields of education, African American history, and philosophy. Her book, Nannie Helen Burroughs: A Documentary Portrait of an Early Civil Rights Pioneer, 1900-1959 was published by the University of Notre Dame Press in 2019 and represents the first work of its kind to focus on the intellectual history of Nannie Helen Burroughs, an early 20th-century institution-builder. Her next book project, The Next Hundred Years, will look US-Africa relations at the nexus of higher education and development with an eye toward defining new trajectories for sustainability, shared value, and policymaking. The book is conceived as a contribution to the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent and its theme: “People of African Descent: Recognition, Justice, and Development.” This project not only brings together Dr. Graves’s interests in US-Africa relations, educational history, international development, and issues of sustainability, but also reflects her desire to foster innovative paradigms in educational networking through strategic futures-thinking. She is also committed to writing an official book project on Coretta Scott King, architect of the King Legacy and wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Graves has been featured in the Washington Post and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, among other outlets.


nannie Helen

Nannie Helen Burroughs (1879–1961) is just one of the many African American intellectuals whose work has been long excluded from the literary canon. In her time, Burroughs was a celebrated African American (or, in her era, a "race woman") female activist, educator, and intellectual. This book represents a landmark contribution to the African American intellectual historical project by allowing readers to experience Burroughs in her own words. This anthology of her works written between 1900 and 1959 encapsulates Burroughs' work as a theologian, philosopher, activist, educator, intellectual, and evangelist, as well as the myriad of ways that her career resisted definition. Burroughs rubbed elbows with such African American historical icons as W. E. B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, Anna Julia Cooper, Mary Church Terrell, and Mary McLeod Bethune, and these interactions represent much of the existing, easily available literature on Burroughs' life. This book aims to spark a conversation surrounding Burroughs' life and work by making available her own tracts on God, sin, the intersections of church and society, black womanhood, education, and social justice. Moreover, the volume is an important piece of the growing movement toward excavating African American intellectual and philosophical thought and reformulating the literary canon to bring a diverse array of voices to the table. 





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  • Higher Education

  • Educational Leadership

  • African American History, African American Intellectual History, and African American Philosophy

  • Socio-cultural epistemologies

  • Influential Women in Black History

  • Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Social Change 

  • Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Africa

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