Ebony Roberts

Ebony Roberts works to lift the veil of shame for those who have an incarcerated loved one.

Why you should listen

Ebony Roberts has worked with a number of initiatives to uplift the voices of those impacted by the criminal justice system and is best known for her work as a community organizer.

Her work in prisons led her to meet Shaka Senghor, who at the time was serving a 17-40 year sentence for second-degree murder. Their correspondence and the love that grew through letters and visits is chronicled in her memoir The Love Prison Made and Unmade, which was named a Notable Memoir by The New York Times.

Roberts is a former school administrator and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology and teacher education at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. Her research has been featured in numerous journals and edited volumes including Race, Class and Gender, American Educator and Instructional Leader. She has developed social studies curriculum for middle and high school students and is the co-author of Building Bridges, a workbook for children with an incarcerated parent. 

She is the principal consultant and founder of QualOne Research, a Los Angeles-based research firm specializing in qualitative market research within the African American, urban and millennial consumer segments. She has led countless teams of researchers in the field conducting primary research and has conducted issues advocacy research in the areas of education, community development, criminal justice and health.

Ebony Roberts’ TED talk