Bio

Think. Create. Engage. is the consulting firm of Rebecca Renard. For more than 20 years, Rebecca has designed and led nationally-recognized initiatives, programs, and systems-change efforts that powerfully center and uplift youth and community voice, story, leadership, and knowledge in public libraries, schools, arts organizations, and local governments. She has a particular interest in genuine audience engagement, youth development, participatory program design, community knowledge management, and creating powerful self-defined narratives.

Always working at the intersection of education, art, and social justice, Rebecca has enjoyed a career that has spanned many fields and applies her deep knowledge of diverse systems, operations, and relationships to her current work.

Rebecca holds a Master’s Degree from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study (specializing in arts-based critical pedagogy), a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the Catholic University of America (specializing in public programs), and a Bachelor’s Degree from Oberlin College in African American Studies. She is certified as a facilitator of youth development theory and practice through the DC BEST program.

Prior to launching Think. Create. Engage. Rebecca was the Executive Director of the renowned Los Angeles-based social justice dance company CONTRA-TIEMPO, where she helped shape and strengthen the company’s community engagement and education work, secure prominent awards–including a MAP Fund award and James Irvine Foundation Exploring Engagement grant–and streamline operations. She contributed to the LA County Arts Commission’s groundbreaking Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative, as well as Create CA’s public will campaign to expand arts education for all California youth.

Before moving to Los Angeles with her family in 2015, Rebecca was the lead strategist of Washington, DC’s Communities on the Rise (COR) initiative, the city’s first place-based, multi-year initiative bringing together youth-serving government agencies, community-based organizations, and community residents to develop and strengthen community infrastructure and leadership, towards the achievement of sustainable youth and family outcomes. She coordinated the One City Youth initiative, DC’s interagency youth development collective impact strategy. She spearheaded several youth leadership initiatives in public housing communities and a peer-to-peer youth mental health program. And she designed a grant initiative to help fund and build the capacity of small, hyper-local grassroots youth organizations. 

As the DC Public Library’s Teen Program Coordinator, she developed the library system’s nationally-recognized teen employment program, a youth workforce development program aimed at transforming the library institution to be youth development-centered and creating a pipeline for young people traditionally under-represented in library science professions to enter the field. She also created and facilitated the Youth202 Program, the city’s first multi-modal youth information and radio program led by and for teens, working from a community knowledge management framework. In 2011, she was identified as a “Mover and Shaker” by the Library Journal, for her innovative work with teens, and she shared the TEDx MidAtlantic stage with other trailblazers.

Prior to entering the field of library sciences, Rebecca was the Director of Youth Media at the Earth Conservation Corps in DC and the Co-Director of the Basic Documentary Workshop at the renowned Educational Video Center in New York City. In both places, she used inquiry-based methods to teach “disconnected” youth video production, interviewing, and research skills that they used to make social issue-based documentaries.

Rebecca’s career began in the public school classroom, using visual arts, performing arts, and literature to help middle school students in San Francisco investigate important social and historical topics.

A lover of culture and story, an avid museum goer, and a devourer of Afro-futurist literature, Rebecca is also a wife and the mother of two beautifully-spirited and very active children.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s