JACKSONVILLE, FL. (March 24, 2022) – After a national search Edward Waters University (EWU) and President & CEO, Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr. is pleased to welcome Dr. Tameka Bradley Hobbs as the Inaugural Executive Director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute for Law, Race, Social Justice, and Economic Policy at EWU. Dr. Hobbs’ tenure at EWU became effective as of March 15, 2022 where she will lead the university’s first of its kind Institute named for one of its most distinguished alumni.
Under the direct auspices of the Division of Academic Affairs with a corollary relationship with the Office of the President, Dr. Hobbs will provide intellectual leadership to create, advance, and implement the mission of the Institute and oversee all of its programs including its research agenda, community involvement, faculty and student involvement, and the development of policies that will help guide local, state and perhaps national law, economics, race and social justice agendas.
Over the coming years, the Randolph Institute will seek to accomplish positive change through the promulgation of research based policy recommendations made to state and local Jacksonville governmental, law enforcement, business, civic, and economic development agencies, or other related organizations with the intention of achieving qualitative and/or quantitative improvements related to the aforementioned intersectional matters of race, law, and social and economic justice. An additional primary long-term goal of the Randolph Institute will be to increase public confidence and trust amongst all citizens and communities related to overall law enforcement interactions and to ensure equitable uses of discretion with regard to prosecutorial charging decisions made by district/state attorneys.
“The Randolph Institute represents a unique and powerful opportunity to advance our collective goals of making our community more open, equitable and inclusive,” said Mari Kuraishi, President of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. “We are proud to honor the legacy of A. Philip Randolph by expanding opportunities for scholarship, open dialogue, and policy recommendations at a critical time for our community.
“Our foremost aim was to identify a scholar of renowned depth that would lead in establishing the A. Philip Randolph Institute at Edward Waters as a seminal resource and solution provider towards achieving greater racial, social and economic equity in Jacksonville, throughout our state, nation, and the world,” said EWU President & CEO, Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr. “I’m confident we have found precisely that and more in Dr. Hobbs and I am ecstatic to welcome her to the Edward Waters University community,” President Faison said.
As an accomplished senior administrator with an impressive higher education career spanning over 20 years, Dr. Hobbs has served in leadership capacities at several colleges and universities from throughout the country including institutions in Georgia, Florida and Virginia. From 2011-2018, Dr. Hobbs served in the role of Assistant Professor of History, Chair of the Department of Social Sciences, and University Historian for Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Florida. In 2019, Dr. Hobbs began her tenure as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, overseeing student success and career development. Dr. Hobbs also served as coordinator of the African American Studies Program at Valdosta State University, the Director of Projects and Program for the John G. Riley Museum and Center of African American History and Culture in Tallahassee, Florida and Program and Educational Coordinator for the Library of Virginia.
“I am excited to join the dynamic team President Faison has assembled at Edward Waters University, and thrilled to launch the meaningful work of the A. Philip Randolph Institute for Law, Race, Social Justice, and Economic Policy. Historically Black Universities have always played a critical role in producing the change necessary to advance opportunity for historically marginalized groups. The Randolph Institute is the next iteration of the continuing work of creating access, opportunity, and justice in our society that will be achieved by leveraging the intellectual, material, and human capital that exists on this campus, in partnership with stakeholders in the broader community,” said Hobbs.
Dr. Hobbs was founding president (2016-2018) of the South Florida Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc. (ASALH, Inc.). She is currently the chair of the board of directors for the South Florida People of Color (SFPoC), a non-profit organization based in Miami Shores, Florida, which is dedicated to eradicating racism through education and advocacy. During her time with the organization, she has been a curriculum designer, facilitator, and led the work to establish the organization’s Awkward Dinner ™ series.
In 2020, Dr. Hobbs founded the Social Justice Institute at Florida Memorial University, a Historically Black University located in Miami Gardens. In its first year, the SJI garners support from regional and local foundations, and has launched several impactful programs and collaborations with the goals of creating a resource exchange between FMU and community partners, while fostering student leadership in the area of social justice.
Dr. Hobbs earned her undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University, and her master’s (M.A) and doctoral degrees (Ph.D.) in U.S. History and Historical Administration and Public History from Florida State University.