Jovelyn Richards, M.F.A., M.A.
Jovelyn Richard has worked for over 25 years in challenged communities as a Family Advocate and Community Educator. Ms. Richards was instrumental in designing and implementing one of the first culturally diverse sensitive home-based programs in the state of Minnesota. In 2003 Ms. Richards moved to the Bay Area and continued advocating for families as a Therapeutic Behavior Specialist for Edgewood Family Center in San Francisco for three years. Throughout her career in social service Ms. Richards has integrated modalities of storytelling for community, families and individuals for healing.
Ms. Richards believes genuinely that communities are invested when they share and tell their own stories in their own voice. Ms. Richards’ belief extended itself as an Art’s Integration Instructor for both the Oakland Unified School District and San Francisco Unified School District where she worked with teachers, volunteers and anyone directly involved with student learning.
Ms. Richards practices her belief in storytelling as a radio journalist to encourage and inspire change around issues of diversity, inclusion and social justice. Her work can be heard on Pacifica Radio, 94.1 FM including her live call-in show The Space Between Us, the Bay Area’s first global consciousness raising programing focusing on girls and women.
As a strong believer in film and theater as tools of activism, Ms. Richards was selected to hold the position of Artist in Residence for La Peña Cultural Center December of 2017-2019. The Zellerbach Foundation and Theater Bay Area have funded her work as a writer and director.
Ms. Richards recently gave a FRED TALK: Magic & Imagination, Women Taking Center Stage, for the 2018 United States Department of Cultural Affairs, Cultural Shift Conference in New Mexico. Inspired by the diverse voices of the conference attendees, Ms. Richards is in conversation with local policy makers for The Cultural Strategists-in-Government Pilot Program which endeavors to advance cultural equity, belonging and well-being for all communities in Oakland.
In addition, Ms. Richards has lead Racial and Cultural Diversity and Inclusion trainings, as well trainings on White Fragility for Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Theater Bay Area, Early Head Start, Alameda Point Collaborative, the Stockton Unified School District, and First Responder’s of Domestic Violence.
Ms. Richards holds both an MA and MFA in humanities and is a visiting lecturer at California Institute of Integral Studies and Napa College.