Mandisa Routheni is blessed to be a mother and a wife; and to be apart of a larger village working for justice and peace for black folk, children, and the greater human family. In line with the writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Mandisa believes “the well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established. Mandisa comes from adventurers, scholars, artists, entrepreneurs, and matriarchs. She is a 6th generation Black New Mexican (yes, we’re here!). Mandisa is proud of her work in developing curriculum, events and professional development that explores equity and policy. Mandisa is interested in economic empowerment; communications putting the public in policy; and how the sociology of organizations contributes to groups being solutionaries (or not).
Mandisa currently works at the New Mexico Association for the Education of Young Children, where she supports Early Childhood Professionals to soar. Mandisa is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Affiliate Advisory Council, Friends of Africana Studies Advisory Team and the New Mexico Women of Color Nonprofit Leadership Initiative. Mandisa is an Institute for Policy Studies’ New Mexico Fellow. She served as Vice President of Africana Leadership Opportunity Team—a hybrid organization providing Africana based PD & programming. Mandisa also worked within the University of New Mexico Community Engagement Center, and completed three AmeriCorps terms. Mandisa is a recipient of the Ella Baker Leadership & Service Award and Sara Belle Brown Community Service Award. She is a published poet; McNair Scholar; Ankh Maat Wedjau Honor Society Member; and University of New Mexico Africana Studies alum. Mandisa gathers strength from words—poetry, lyrics—and the Sandia Mountains. Mandisa finds the most joy in expressing and living her own self; AND with her husband and daughter, who remind her that the universe bends towards justice/love.