Dr. Leonie is by no means your typical Ph.D.! Despite the many barriers stacked against her, she learned to utilize her unique cultural wealth to achieve her own success. Her mission is to show you how to unleash your own cultural wealth while teaching you how to “unbelieve” or “un-box” negative perceptions of yourself and others, especially those who are racialized or marginalized.
Dr. Leonie was born in England to Jamaican parents and moved to Canada at an early age. She was schooled in both Canada and the US and graduated with honours with a BA in Sociology and Psychology from Alabama A & M University. After teaching in Atlanta, GA, for several years, she returned to Canada and entered graduate school, where she earned her Masters’ degree in Higher Education and Policy, and a Ph.D. in Leadership, Adult and Higher Education in 2012 from the University of Toronto (OISE/UT).
Dr. Leonie has over 12 years of teaching experience in Higher Education. Informed by her own eclectic cultural and experiential knowledge, Dr. Leonie designs educational programs and cutting-edge solutions aimed at supporting Black and other racial minorities in universities and colleges, as well as Black and immigrant professionals and management in the corporate workplace.
In addition to her professional work, Dr. Leonie writes about her own difficult educational journey in her memoir, “Unbelieve It!” The lie she had to “unbelieve” was that she was “not academic material.” Yet she managed to survive a totally unsupportive educational environment and went on to succeed against the odds, earning a Ph.D., at an elite university.
Dr. Leonie is also passionate about helping others like herself realize their educational or professional pursuits. As a result, she is determined to expose people to the value of their hidden wealth found in their sometimes layered cultural backgrounds. This knowledge is essential to achieving one’s ultimate success in education as well as in the corporate and professional spheres, which benefits all stakeholders alike. This is the mission of BrownTree Consulting Group.
The book, Unbelieve It! is in progress and due for release in the New Year. Her academic article: Keys to Cultural Wealth is available at:
Archives: Volume 6, No.1, 2019.