Background: Ebony Lambert is a senior analyst with Bellwether Education Partners in the Policy and Evaluation practice area. Her work adapts a lens that integrates education, psychology, and health into research, evaluation, and capacity-building. Since 2016, Ebony has worked on a range of projects aimed at fostering a culture of health advocacy in educational institutions. Prior to joining Bellwether, Ebony was a National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate research fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University. As a researcher with the Discrimination and Health Lab in the psychology department, Ebony integrated basic social psychology research of intergroup bias with applied health and education disparities research to examine schools as unique health care settings. Ebony also served as a doctoral fellow on the School-Based Health Center (SBHC) Taskforce with the Office of the Secretary of Education in Virginia. In this capacity, Ebony focused on SBHC expansion in Virginia, conducting legislative research on the national landscape of SBHCs and Virginia-specific student health needs. At its core, Ebony’s research sought to broaden conceptualizations of the education-health link.
Ebony holds a doctorate in health psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and a bachelor’s degree in both psychology and Africana studies from the College of William & Mary. She is a proud bookworm, aunt, sister, and daughter.
Why I do this work: As a child, I felt safest in school with my nose in a book, reading and learning about new things. Throughout my educational career, however, I came to realize that schools are not always safe spaces for all students, and that students from marginalized backgrounds in particular bear the brunt of educational inequity. The matriculation of my nieces and nephews into K-12 institutions amplified this concern, demonstrating that an individual’s background can shape their education and health outcomes almost as much as their own behaviors and motivations.
Because of these experiences, I am passionate about providing students from marginalized backgrounds with the tools and supports necessary to divest themselves from deficit perspectives, and providing educational institutions with strategies and solutions to better serve students from diverse backgrounds. I do this work for my nieces, nephews, and other students like them, because I truly believe that an empowering education can transform lives for the better.