Cokethea Hill is the CEO + Founder of BLAQUE (Black Leaders Advancing Quality Urban Education) KC, a non-profit organization committed to significantly improving the academic, economic, social, emotional, and life outcomes of African American Children in public schools. She is an innovative collaborator with over 15 years of experience working in the non-profit sector organizing communities, building collaborative partnerships, and strengthening assets in low-income urban communities. Known for her strategic approach to assisting organizations with aligning their organizational mission with the needs of the people they serve, Cokethea has a keen ability for building relationships and mobilizing others toward an identified goal. A native of Kansas City, she earned her undergraduate degree from Central Missouri State University, a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Avila University, and a Doctoral degree from the University of Kansas in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.
Recognizing the correlation of where one lives to the opportunities or lack thereof to healthcare, quality education, and gainful employment, Cokethea’s passion for education soon led to an increased focus on neighborhood and community conditions within the urban core. Cokethea’s previous employment with Mid-America Regional Council’s Green Impact Zone provided an avenue to leverage her community organizing, grant writing, and strategic planning skills to secure housing redevelopment projects, lead energy efficiency Smart Grid efforts, and public infrastructure improvements within 5 neighborhoods in the urban core of Kansas City.
A champion of diversity and inclusion, Cokethea worked at The University of Kansas’ SWIFT Educational Center, where she provided executive coaching to school leaders implementing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support ( MTSS) to improve educational outcomes for students. With a commitment to servant leadership, Cokethea has served on Kansas City’s City Council and The Kansas City Public School Board. Prior to founding BLAQUE KC, Cokethea managed a $1.3M funding portfolio with SchoolSmartKC, a funding collaborative working to improve access to quality schools in Kansas City. Cokethea currently serves on several local boards and commissions including Board Chair for the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, Vice-Chair of The City Planning Commission (KCMO), The Urban Neighborhood Initiative (UNI), Turn the Page Kansas City, KC Rising Steering Committee, and Communities In Schools of Mid-America Board.