I was born and raised in the U.S. Deep South. I come from a people who were entrepreneurs, Black church leaders, NAACP + SCLC members, mass meeting attendees, HBCU graduates, sharecroppers, and, five generations ago, enslaved people.
I grew up learning about the history of the Black Freedom Struggle in the U.S. at the dinner table from my parents and family in Alabama who shared their personal stories and from the books they told me to read. Later as a high school teacher and youth organizer, I was further radicalized by young people who helped me understand the impacts of oppression on identities beyond race and gender and inspired me to root my approach to education with an intersectional and liberatory lens.
Mia Henry (she |her) is the founder and CEO of Freedom Lifted, a company that supports justice-centered leadership development through online learning, training, and coaching. She has more than 20 years of experience in organizational leadership, group facilitation, intergenerational community organizing, and history education. Mia started Freedom Lifted as a civil rights tour company in 2011 and has since led its shift and growth to one of the leading training organizations for understanding frameworks for justice and equity.
Mia previously served as the Executive Director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College which provides education and capacity-building to activists of all ages. She was also the founding director of the Chicago Freedom School, a nonprofit organization that provides political education for young people and the adults supporting youth-led social change. She has also worked across the U.S. building relationships with Black community organizers through Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity (SPACEs).
Mia has been a staff administrator and lecturer in higher education, a high school history teacher, and an coordinator for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Her clients have included several organizations including Press On, the Public Library Association, and Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Michigan. Mia earned her B.S. from Rutgers University and her M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania.