About Us

Kia Darling-Hammond, Phd

Kia Darling-Hammond, PhD, is the Director of Education Programs and Research for the National Black Justice Coalition. In this capacity Dr. Darling-Hammond is responsible for leading NBJC’s efforts to ensure that policy, practice, and the space in between (praxis) account for the diverse experiences of, and unique contributions made by, Black trans, queer, and non-binary youth in and out of schools. She manages the Thriving Campaign, is establishing the organization's research agenda, and is helping to position NBJC as a global leader in research, thought, and cultural competence support that advances radically inclusive social justice. 

Dr. Darling-Hammond has distinguished herself as a thought leader and collaborator in the worlds of youth service, education, mental health, well-being, and social justice research. Through decades of work across communities, nonprofits, universities, K12 schools, think tanks, and foundations, she has developed a deep understanding of how to support young people, teams, and organizations. Kia’s mission is to increase possibilities for thriving among those who experience complex marginalization. Her particular focus at the intersections of age x sexuality x gender x race x ability is grounded in the knowledge that design driven by those furthest from power improves all of our lives. Through her scholarship, Dr. Darling-Hammond has developed an intersectional Bridge to Thriving Framework© (BtTF©), which she uses with activists, educators, scholars, youth, and others to advance the shared project of building universal thriving.  


Kia’s diverse clients have included Bank Street College of Education, Stanford Schools Corporation, Lean In, NEO Philanthropy, and other organizations and private individuals. Kia speaks widely, has published in academic and popular press, and mentors an ever-growing cadre of students and professionals nationwide. Also, at the national level, she has contributed her expertise as a member of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus’ Suicide Prevention Taskforce workgroups, given testimony before the Federal Communications Commission, and helped design and facilitate a White House Summit on Educational Excellence for LGBTQ+-identified African-American Youth. 

You can follow Kia on Twitter (@drkiadh) or LinkedIn (@kiadarling).