Dr. Evisha Ford is the Founding Executive Director of iCan Dream Center. She began her career serving inner-city homeless youth in Chicago by providing therapeutic intervention and linkages to community resources. She worked with various community agencies to build their capacity to support the needs of vulnerable youth via training, resource development and program evaluation. Dr. Ford was recruited by Chicago Public Schools launching her path in education. She is a former Assistant Superintendent, Director of Special Education, and Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership.
Dr. Ford is a sought after thought leader and consultant in schools nationally and internationally. She specializes in trauma-compassionate leadership, program design, cultural and racial equity, developing continuums of service for diverse learners, and a variety of other topics relevant to effective school and nonprofit leadership. She is the author of Benches in the Bathroom: Leading a Physically, Emotionally, and Socially Safe School Culture.
Dr. Ford has a passion for marginalized youth which began at an early age. She earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and completed her doctoral studies at Aurora University in Educational Leadership in 2010. Her research focus was students with disabilities, youth resiliency, and systemic injustice.
Additionally, Dr. Ford serve as President of the Board for the United Way Blue Island Robbins Neighborhood Network. In March 2018, Dr. Ford was awarded “Woman of the Year” by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. In July 2018, she was honored as one of the influential “100 Black Women in Chicago” for her educational contributions. Dr. Ford was recognized by the Professional Women’s Network as a “Community Ignitor” In July 2019. In Winter 2019, she received the Paige Award for her impact within the special needs community. In July 2022, Dr. Ford received the “Dream Maker Award” from the Bronzeville Children’s Museum of Chicago. However, her most generous recognition as “best mom ever” is granted by her two sons.
To learn more about Dr. Ford’s work visit her website www.drevisha.com.