Our People

Meet Our People

The Ubuntu Center is comprised of core research and administrative staff, a strategic council, post-doctoral fellows and the Ubuntu Movement Fellows. Hover or tap to see what Ubuntu means to each member of our team.

Our Leadership Team

"The Ubuntu Center’s name is not an anemic commitment to unity without accountability and justice, but rather a radical act of solidarity rooted in our shared humanity, unapologetic truth-telling and a commitment to bold collective action that dismantles oppressive systems, disrupts narratives and dares to imagine and build the just and equitable world we all deserve."

Sharrelle Barber, ScD, MPH

Dr. Sharrelle Barber is a social epidemiologist and scholar-activist whose research focuses on the intersection of “place, race, and health” and examines the role of structural racism in shaping health and racial/ethnic health inequities among Blacks in the United States and Brazil. Dr. Barber is a faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health. Deeply rooted in the rich legacy of “Black Women Radicals” from the South, the legacy of activism of her beloved alma mater, Bennett College, and experiences that have taken her to cities across the United States and Brazil, Dr. Barber seeks to use empirical research and scholarship to make the invisible visible and mobilize data for action.

"Ubuntu is essential for our survival. We are all connected and I truly believe that collective power and solidarity with people dismantling oppression in its many forms is how we change this world and focus on respecting our humanness over profit and exploitation and honor those who sacrificed before us."

Jennifer Ware, MPH
Deputy Director

Jennifer Ware was born and raised in Philadelphia and is a proud Girls’ High Girl. She is the daughter of Dorothy and Richard, the sister of Jackie, the mother to two beautiful sons, Harlem and Davis, and the partner to Jared. Her passion in life is to unleash the power of collective action for social change that will lead to the liberation of all people.

She holds a Master of Public Health, from Simmons University, has worked to advance racial equity in southern Oregon through the coordination of a governor supported regional health equity coalition, and is the co-founder of the Southern Oregon Racial Equity Coalition (REC) formed following the killing of Michael Brown.  

"Ubuntu means family, kinship, openness and shared knowledge. It means a commitment to uplift community."

Tanisha Barnes, MA(c)
Administrative Coordinator

Tanisha Barnes was once part of a team that fought for heat and safe housing in various Brooklyn housing projects. She mentors young girls between the ages of 12 and 18 on how to increase their self-esteem by talking with them, shopping with them and teaching them basic computer skills.

Tanisha has always been a creative spirit and received her undergraduate degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology and is graduating in Spring 2022 with her Bachelor of Arts in Non-Profit Communication. She plans to pursue her MPH degree in Health Equity and continue to fight the good fight. Tanisha plans to continue to do all she can for the betterment of the Black community, in particular the youth.

Our Staff

"Ubuntu reminds us of our humanity, and that the only way towards liberation is together."

Talia Charidah is a public health researcher and writer whose work has focused on the impact of displacement on identity formation and mental health, particularly for refugees and immigrants from the SWANA (Southwest Asia and North Africa) region. She is interested in the ways in which displaced people cultivate community and connect to their ancestral homelands, transcending borders.

She holds a Master of Public Health from Thomas Jefferson University. Rooted in her commitment to collective liberation and international solidarity, Talia hopes to learn alongside her colleagues in the Ubuntu Center and work to dismantle all systems and structures of oppression, from Philly to Palestine.


"To me, Ubuntu means acknowledgment of our interdependence, commitment to supporting each other and our communities, and trust in our shared knowledge and work."

Jessica Whitley, MPH, is a senior project manager working alongside Sharrelle Barber, ScD, MPH, at the Urban Health Collaborative. Ms. Whitley previously worked as an epidemiologist with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

She received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Wellesley College and a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Our Strategic Council

The Ubuntu Center Strategic Council is comprised of internal and external researchers, and community innovators who will provide recommendations to expand the center’s impact and growth. This team of distinguished, passionate educators and founders work collectively to advance the integrity, ethics, mission and vision of the Center while at the same time preparing it for tomorrow’s challenges.

"Ubuntu means breaking down the silos that have created stagnation in advancing the health of marginalized populations."

"Ubuntu means 'collective', 'it takes a village', and 'purposeful'. The mission of the Center encompasses all of these things."

"Ubuntu, I am because we are, speaks to our collective power to move together towards a more just future. It celebrates and draws connection with those who came before us in this work."

"Ubuntu is about the interdependence and interconnection of all people, all of Mama Earth, and the realization our *collective* liberatory pasts, present, and futures."

"Ubuntu means focusing on the compassion and connectivity between all of us - we rise and fall together. We have to work together to truly advance health equity, human rights and social justice."

"Ubuntu means our social nature and our biology are forever intertwined. Therefore, the ways in which we envision and design society must consider that interrelation at its core and reimagine what it means to center shared humanity in the context of all policies and operations."

"Ubuntu represents a relevant possibility to strengthen the anti-racist struggle through networking."

Our Ubuntu Movement Fellows

The inaugural Ubuntu Movement Fellows will work alongside the Center’s Director, Deputy Director and Strategic Council as thought and action partners to inform the work of the center. The Ubuntu Movement Fellows have a range of perspectives, expertise, and experience that will mobilize The Ubuntu Center’s strengths and capacities.

"Ubuntu means to me that we all are in this together and it means that every individual, every single person, has a stake in society."

"Ubuntu is a positive step forward to address racism, root causes, health inequities and poverty. “I am because we are."

"'I am because we are’ makes The Ubuntu Center a pioneering space - the confluence of social movements, researchers, activists towards an agenda for equity and combating racism. The Ubuntu Center is a seed with many fruits."

Our Researchers & Trainees

"Ubuntu means the possibility of transforming humanity and continuing the effort of those who came before us. It is a way to build a new bridge among the diasporic territories worldwide and transform our communities and ways of life."

The Ubuntu Center was made possible through the generosity of Dana and David Dornsife.
© 2022 The Ubuntu Center on Racism, Global Movements & Population Health Equity, Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University