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Ebonie Cooper-Jean

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Associate Clinical Professor; Faculty Director, Nonprofit Executive Education and Training, DGI

Ebonie Johnson Cooper-Jean leads the development and expansion of nonprofit executive education and training, including as the academic director of the graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. She believes Black giving is magic. She leads from a place of intention and passion while serving in her most rewarding roles a mother to Marcus Kelly and wife to Marcus.

For nearly 15 years, Cooper-Jean has used her voice, research, thought-leadership and expertise to impact and influence nonprofit racial equity, African American donor engagement, church ministry, partnership development, and fundraising strategies. She has worked with numerous institutions and nonprofits alike including, WK Kellogg Foundation, The Lilly Endowment, and Washington Area Women’s Foundation.

A bi-vocational leader, Cooper-Jean is a full-time Associate Clinical Professor and the Faculty Director for Nonprofit Executive Education and Training within the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, while also serving alongside her husband as the Minister to Young Adults at Kingdom Fellowship AME Church (Calverton, MD). She’s taught at other institutions of higher learning, including Georgetown University School, Trinity University and Johns Hopkins’ Social Innovation Lab. In her spare time, she serves as a trusted nonprofit consultant through Friends of Ebonie, LLC, and leads the Young, Black & Giving Back Institute (YBGB) as its founder and Executive Director.

Cooper-Jean was recognized by ESSENCE Magazine (April 2022, November 2016) and JET Magazine (September 2013), as one of the nation’s top leaders for her innovation around NextGen African-American philanthropy. Cooper-Jean’s leadership and achievements have also been featured on CNN’s HLN network, The Washington Post, and Huffington Post Impact. She is a National Museum of African American History & Culture Ambassador, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Black Benefactors Giving Circle (DC). Cooper-Jean is an ordained Itinerant Deacon in the AME Church and a proud graduate of North Carolina A&T State University (BS), New York University (MS) and Wesley Theological Seminary (MDiv.)

Areas of Interest
  • Nonprofit DEI; African American donor engagement; church ministry; partnership development; fundraising strategies