Candace P. Kenyatta is an esteemed practitioner with over two decades of experience as an educator, learning and development professional, change management leader, executive coach, researcher, and knowledge management consultant; this includes 13 years of experience delivering high-quality technical assistance, professional learning, and sharing expertise with state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and institutes of higher education (IHEs), ten years providing coaching and strategic support to leaders of mid and large organizations relating to change management, organizational culture (including DEIB), and organizational development, and 14 years leading and facilitating research and evaluation projects to support organizational leaders in using data to drive change.
Candace started her career as a high school English teacher in the Newark Public Schools. After serving in the classroom, she held several school and non-profit leadership positions working in school turnaround and restart in Philadelphia, PA, and Trenton, NJ. As a part of this work, she managed strategy, program design, and professional learning initiatives. As a result of her success in organizational change management with a focus on staff development, distributed leadership, and capacity building, Candace was asked to lead network learning initiatives and provide professional learning across the country, including training state agency leaders, coaching and supporting district superintendents, consulting on citywide talent initiatives for Philadelphia schools, and providing strategic support within IHE’s, nonprofits, and K-12 learning environments. As a member of the New Jersey State Committee on Professional Learning, she helped to design equity-centered research-based professional learning initiatives focused on preparing teachers and leaders to drive student achievement across the state. Because of her work, she was named a 2011 Apex Power 30 under 30 honoree.
Candace’s experience coaching and consulting with school and LEA leaders to design systems that lead to aligned, standards-based instruction and improved student achievement resulted in her appointment as Director of Intermediate and Secondary Education for the New Jersey Department of Education. During her tenure, she managed the Common Core revision, facilitated the implementation of the NextGen Science Standards and the National Arts Standards, and led the design of the statewide model curriculum. In this role, she also supported LEAs in executing innovative, job-embedded, capacity-building professional learning models (including designing structures for coaching, peer observation, and professional learning communities), managed the development of content-specific policies, and designed and facilitated professional learning and technical assistance initiatives to assist superintendents, principals, and other district and school-based leadership in executing against priorities and meeting strategic goals.
Candace is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Grovider, a knowledge management consulting firm committed to optimizing organizational performance and enhancing human lives. In this role, she drives the company’s vision to become globally recognized and respected for using a multidisciplinary research-based approach to consulting that disrupts the knowledge management industry while situating historically underrepresented people at the forefront of the knowledge economy. Throughout her career, Candace has maintained a professional commitment to incubating, supporting, elevating, and developing BIPOC talent. She has extended this commitment to her work at Grovider, where she and her business partner work tirelessly to source talent of color, partner with HBCUs, and create an environment that respects, centers, and acknowledges the contributions of BIPOC professionals. In addition to driving the company vision, Candace remains proximate to the client-facing work, managing business development and client service delivery while also maintaining several coaching, evaluation, and organizational culture clients. Candace uses her practitioner experience and training in quantitative and qualitative research methodology to design research and data-informed solutions for leaders across industries. Finally, Candace founded and convenes the Anti-Racist Research Collaborative consisting of Grovider, Project Evident, and the University of Pennsylvania’s ImpactEd organization. This work focuses on the application of equity-centered research practices, demystifying research and data to make it more accessible outside of the academy and eliminating barriers to engaging in the research process.
For the past three years, she has served as TA Specialist for the Region 8 Comprehensive Centers. In this work, she provides technical assistance to state education agencies in Ohio and Michigan. In Ohio, she partners with the Office of Instructional Innovation to design resources and capacity-building initiatives that increase the effectiveness of the Ohio Improvement Process and works with the Office of Educator Effectiveness on teacher development and equity projects. In Michigan, she supported teacher diversity and equity-centered curricular initiatives. Candace received her M.S.Ed. In Education, Culture, and Society from the University of Pennsylvania and her BA in English from Cornell University. She began her Ph.D. in Urban Education at Temple University, where she completed National Science Foundation research with Presidential award winner Dr. Jennifer Cromley and published her own work in the American Educational Research Association’s Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research. Candace was recognized as a Philadelphia Business Journal “Forty under Forty” honoree, one of “Philadelphia’s Most Influential African Americans” by the Philadelphia Tribune and was a Greater Philadelphia Social Innovations Awards Finalist in the area of Social Justice.