Dr. Ronke A. Oke is the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) and Deputy Title IX Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) where she is responsible for driving the strategic implementation of PAFA’s diversity change agenda. Dr. oke also has a faculty appointment in PAFA’s Liberal Arts Department. Dr. oke received her BA in Political Science and Philosophy from Spelman College, MA in Philosophy from the University of Memphis, and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Penn State University. Dr. oke has taught at West Chester University, Penn State University, Prince Georges Community College, Philadelphia Futures, and Walker Mill Middle School. Dr. oke specializes in race and identity formation with a particular emphasis on transnational conceptions of Blackness, decolonial feminist politics (Afro-feminism), and anti-racist social justice. Dr. oke’s work as an educator goes beyond the limits of teaching and is strongly influenced by her commitment to public philosophy and a continual striving to provide educational access for all. In the past, her work sought to reconstruct a philosophical account of lived experience that does justice to the experience of race. Dr. oke has since departed from a specific focus on how race works in the US to consider how the racial imaginary operates on the African Continent and in African Diasporic communities. Currently Dr. oke’s projects merge her interest in questions of race, citizenship, and identity with her love of African literature. In addition to a strong research profile, Dr. oke has extensive experience creating public programs, events, conferences and literary products. In 2016, she founded The African Literati, a public programming company that provides curated events for companies, community organizations and co-working spaces. Through her company, and since 2018, Dr. oke has been hosting monthly interactive workshops in Philadelphia framed around African literature and African writers from the Continent and the Diaspora (#StayLitPhilly). Dr. oke is a 2019 Leeway Foundation Art & Change grantee. She is a storyteller and is currently writing a novel depicting a non-traditional coming-of-age story about love. In 2020, she decided to live stream her writing journey in a weekly IG Live series -- #WritersBlockWednesday -- where she interviews new Black writers about their writing process and discusses how they overcome writer’s block. Dr. oke has a long history of moving throughout the non-profit, academic and community-organizing worlds and has developed a substantial reservoir of national contacts and viable networks.
Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)