Evita Ellis is the Founder of Ready and Relevant, the culmination of her lifelong dreams to improve the lives of young women of color and give them the tools they need to succeed. "By helping them heal, these women are able to help themselves—and future generations," says Evita.
Evita faced many challenges during her formative years and, through her own resilience of spirit and mind, Evita went on to thrive in school as a dedicated and accomplished learner.
Evita connects deeply with the women she serves and sees the potential in each individual. As a longtime resident of Minneapolis, Evita has spent thirty years tirelessly serving the community, resolving conflicts, and providing guidance to those in need, along with planning and implementing community programs in the areas of homelessness, mental health, child protection, racial justice, education and empowering young women of color.
“Education is important to me; I am a descendant of slaves and sharecroppers. I am part of a people that was told they were inferior to the American dream because of the color of their skin. I knew I was becoming more than myself when I was able to define my worth and then own it,” says Evita.
Evita is the first college graduate in her biological family. She received her Bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA, a Master’s degree in public and nonprofit administration from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN, and has completed her doctoral coursework to the dissertation stage towards a PhD in human services through Capella University. Other professional certifications include: Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC), Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resistance (S.T.A.R.), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Child Development (CDC), Healing Touch Therapist, Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF), and CPI Paraprofessional.
Evita has a very active life. She works in education and she is also a writer, blogger, avid community volunteer, activist, event planner, history nerd, and consultant. In addition to owning two small home décor businesses, she is creating Speaking in Color, an educational site regarding the Black experience.
"My inspiration for Ready and Relevant comes from lived experiences while navigating systems of institutionalized racism and intergenerational historical trauma as a Black Woman. I want to assist women of color when it comes to how they are being represented within the world and how they show up in the world."
—Evita Ellis, Founder