Jessica Newman is an extremely proud native of Chicago. Growing up in Englewood and attending school in Bridgeport, Jessica consistently considered the educational inequities of her city at an early age.

As a proud alum of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Jessica was a multicultural advocate, student activist, co-founder of Ikenberry Rainbow Community, dancer, and a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta, all while receiving her B.A. in global business. Thus, equity and advocacy has always been at the forefront of her work.

After her time at UIUC, Jessica attended Illinois State University, where she received her M.S.Ed in college student personnel administration. Soon after, she went to spread her Black Girl Magic in the central coast of California as the Coordinator of the Cross Cultural Center at Cal State Monterey Bay.

In 2017, in hopes of giving back to the community that raised her, she moved back to Chicago and co-founded Modos Dance Company. It is rooted in dance therapy and acts as a bridge to low-income communities of Chicago to navigate healing and building technical dance skills. During this time, she also worked at OneGoal on the National Programming Team, which is an organization that works alongside low-income, first generation, and students of color to gain access to college and graduate from college throughout the nation.

Jessica is a social justice educator, artist, and cultural bridge builder. Her passion to see all minoritized communities thrive is what drives all the work she does. Jessica currently works at K&L Gates as the Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, fostering an inclusive work environment. Aspiring to obtain her doctorate in organizational leadership, she hopes to be a leader in equity work in educational and/or corporate environments to build ecosystems, structures, systems, and cultures that center the diverse needs of all humans in and beyond the workspace.