Community and Economic Development, Education, Social Work

35724_1420104554577_753790_nDr. Ramona E. James, Ed.D. was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois in the Greater Roseland community. She received her early education from Chicago Public Schools and is a graduate of Kenwood Academy. Dr. James has an earned Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago, a Master’s of Social Work degree from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta Ga, and an earned doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University.

Dr. James currently serves as the Manager of Student Volunteerism at the University of Chicago. In this role, she works with students, staff, and community partners to encourage student involvement in community service, civic engagement, and student life at the University of Chicago. She is contracted with After School Matters as an instructor for several summer and afterschool programs, and provides specialized employment opportunities to high school youth. Additionally, Dr. James is an online adjunct undergraduate and graduate lead professor at Kaplan University in the Department of Human Services.

Dr. James is the President and Owner of Accents Events and Consulting, a consulting and event-planning firm. The firm provides all facets of event and wedding planning, including décor, gifts, event consultation, and budgeting. Additionally, Accents coordinates training sessions, organizes workshops, serves as a resource for non-profit organizations, and provides a speakers bureau for various social and community issues.

Previously, Dr. James served as the Director of Health and Wellness at Centers for New Horizons, Inc. for three years. In this role she was responsible for the Bronzeville Healthy Initiative Project (BHIP) that worked to reduce childhood obesity and diabetes, and provides culturally responsive programming that addresses the complex range of challenges of residents in the Mid-South community of Chicago. Dr. James worked with community residents to participate in fitness activities, nutritional cooking classes, and health inspired workshops to assist in developing healthier lifestyles. Prior to working in the health and wellness department, Dr. James was the Assistant Director of FamilyWorks and Workforce development at Centers for New Horizons, Inc.

Dr. James has 20 years of non-profit experience extending across the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana areas. This experience includes organizational leadership and management, program development, strategic planning, grant writing, operational oversight, and fiscal management. Clinically, she has worked with the Mentally Ill Substance Abuse (MISA) population as therapist, group leader, and trainer. She is a contributing published author and has presented and served as a panelist for several community health focused events and seminars.

Dr. James sits on several boards including the University of Chicago’s Community Advisory Review Council for the Institute of Translational Medicine (CARC) and is the Second Vice President elect and Health and Wellness chair of National Council of Negro Women, Chicago South Central Section. She is also a member of Top Ladies of Distinction and serves and the area Health and Wellness chair and locally as the Parliamentarian for the Will County Black Diamond Chapter. She is an active member of First Corinthians Missionary Baptist Church in the Greater Roseland community.  In 2013, she was awarded the Community Partner Award by the University of Chicago. To date, Dr. James considers her greatest achievement her sons, Ramon a fourth year student at Morehouse College and Malik a graduating senior at Urban Prep Academy West who will be entering Tennessee State University in the Fall of 2016.