Breann LaJune (Norwood) Branch was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, and attended Los Angeles Unified Public Schools. She graduated magna cum laude from Howard University in Washington, D.C., completing a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Culture in 2012. In 2014, she earned her master’s degree in Organizational Development Psychology from Avila University in Kansas City, MO. Where she was awarded the Gradated Student of the Year. Driven to further her education, she pursued her doctoral degree and recently earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations, and Social Science Consortium from the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC). Her dissertation topic was on “African American Female Millennials’ Sense of Self in Higher Education Support Roles.”
Breann has worked in higher education for seven years and returned to southern California in 2019. She served as the Associate Director of the Women in Engineering department (WE@UCLA) at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Computing at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Continuing her passion as a researcher, Breann served as the Director of Research and Organization Change for Culture Journey-Critical Social Justice Project, Inc. (a consulting firm based in Kansas City, MO). She worked with government, corporate, education, and community organizations to provide evidence-based transformative change for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. She also led their research team and assisted organizations with coaching and capacity building.
Currently, Breann’s work as a DEI practitioner, researcher, and educator has led her to new opportunities. First, as an Adjunct Professor for Avila University, teaching in their online DEI certificate program for graduate students. She is a Racial Equity Fellow for Research 2 Impact, Inc., studying diversity in innovation and patents. Lastly, Breann is the new Equity and Inclusion Director at the National Outdoors Leadership School, where she provides her expertise to lead school-wide DEI and transformational change initiatives.