Freda Epum, Program Director

Freda is the Program Director at Public Allies Cincinnati. Her responsibilities include facilitating and developing curriculum, recruiting partners committed to equity and professional development, as well as mentoring the next generation of leaders.

Before joining Public Allies, she worked with a variety of audience groups in museums, higher education, and learning centers. Her work has led to a passion for increasing accessibility in education, including gender, sexuality, racial diversity, and nontraditional education programs like for ESL students or those with developmental disabilities. She currently serves on the board of EQUITABLE, which is helping organizations and communities to build whole new, round table-and-chair sets together, with seats to fit everyone.

She has co-authored the Black American Tree Project, a participatory performative history lesson (melding DEI, arts/activism, and Truth & Reconciliation) which has had over 200 participants for international and national conferences and nonprofits. This project has received support from the Ohio Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Freda is a graduate of Smith College (BA) and Miami University (MFA) where she studied creative nonfiction, poetry, disability studies, critical race theory, and Women & Gender Studies. A 2018 Voices of Our Nation/VONA fellow, her work has also been supported by the Tin House Writers Workshop, the Ragdale Foundation, the Anderson Center at Tower View Residency, and the Jordan Goodman Prize. She is the author of the chapbook, Entryways into memories that might assemble me, and is at work on a memoir about the intersections of race, illness, and belonging in America.