Sharing our stories is how we build and maintain relationships and community. Dr. Baranda Fermin’s story began thirty days before she was expected to arrive on this earth at her cousin’s third birthday party, and she’s learned, loved and worked at the center of surprises and adventures ever since. For more than 20 years she has worked with communities and individuals to preserve, uncover and amplify the stories that make their narratives critical to the survival of urban communities. She has decades of experience bringing together knowledge, resources and people to recover the economic, educational, and cultural landscape of urban communities.

Dr. Baranda Fermin is a writer, speaker, yoga teacher, pastor and community curator. Her professional work builds the human capacity and organizational potential for transformative change, leading to whole, healthy, loving and creative relationships and communities. As an accomplished leader in the fields of community development, nonprofit leadership, higher education, as well as equity and access, her expertise has shifted the way that communities engage in development, change agents create strategy, and leaders measure outcomes.

She makes life beautiful by curating communities for holistic wellness, and sharing the stories of our lives as a writer and preacher. She has numerous published articles including those in Social Forces, College & University, Better Homes & Gardens, Visible Magazine and her book of prayers and prose published in 2017, For Our Boys: A Mother's Prayers. She structures solutions for success that increase sanity, and her clients flourish. Her work helps us understand that resilience is the appropriate combination of risk and relationship at any given time.

Dr. Baranda Fermin has over 15 years of experience bringing together knowledge, resources and people to recover the economic, educational, and cultural landscape of urban communities. She knows it’s nearly impossible to predict the future, yet thriving over time is based on resilience. She has long standing experience in strategic planning & capacity investment within in low-income communities in Oklahoma City; Harlem, NY; in the Lansing & Detroit Michigan areas; and communities throughout DFW. 

Dr. Fermin has facilitated, built and directed experiential learning programs, professional talent incubation collaborative, and collective impact initiatives in partnerships with local & county municipalities, as well as for-profit and non-profit organizations. Overall, her work is embedded within community development. Her training in human development, social organizations, and policy design and evaluation make strategic planning and capacity development her most constructive assets to organizations, corporations, leaders and influencers alike. 

 Her life experiences make her a champion for living a life of service, cultivating peace and building platforms for advocacy. As the daughter of an immigrant, an army brat, first generation college student, and a woman who has lived with grace and humor through domestic violence, infertility and pregnancy loss she no stranger to navigating transitions and working through challenges until they lead to success. Her research, writing and training work focus on issues of social identity , navigating urban social environments, mental health and wellness access, and urban education innovation from cradle to career.

Dr. Fermin is an advocate, storyteller and builder with a track record of successful system innovation, capacity building and urban revitalization. Her current work builds resilience and capacity in faith communities and social justice work by evaluating and designing strategic solutions for sustainability, scalability and stability. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Michigan State University; a master’s in Human Development from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from The University of Oklahoma. Her favorite things on earth are yoga, tacos, watching Murder She Wrote, and her son, Montgomery James.