Evisha Ford, EdD, is the founding executive director of the iCan Dream Center in Illinois and a sought-after thought leader specializing in trauma-compassionate leadership, equity, and diverse learners. She is a former assistant superintendent and director of special education.
Evisha Ford, EdD, is the founding executive director of the iCan Dream Center, a therapeutic school in Illinois that serves the needs of neurodiverse learners and their families. As a sought-after thought leader and consultant for social-impact organizations across the United States 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 a former assistant superintendent, director of special education, and assistant professor of educational leadership.
Dr. Ford’s passion for helping marginalized youth began at an early age. She started her career working with inner-city homeless youth in Chicago, providing therapeutic intervention and linkages to community resources. She partnered with various community agencies to build their capacity to support the needs of vulnerable youth via training, resource development, and program evaluation. Chicago Public Schools recruited Dr. Ford, which launched her onto her path in education.
Additionally, Dr. Ford serves as president of the board for the United Way Blue Island Robbins Neighborhood Network. In March 2018, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority named Dr. Ford Woman of the Year. In July 2018, she was honored as one of the influential 100 Black Women in Chicago for her educational contributions. In 2019, she received the Paige Award for her impact in the special needs community, and the Professional Women’s Network recognized her as a community igniter. In July 2022, she received the Dream Maker Award from the Bronzeville Children’s Museum of Chicago. Dr. Ford’s most significant and generous award came from her two sons, Nolan and Josiah, who have repeatedly named her “best mom ever.”
Dr. Ford earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and completed doctoral studies in educational leadership at Aurora University in 2010. Her research focus was students with disabilities, youth resilience, and systemic injustice.
To learn more about Dr. Ford’s work, visit her website or follow her on LinkedIn at DrEvishaFord.