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Joy Lindsay is a Ph.D. Student at the Yale School of Public Health and the Founder and CEO of Butterfly Dreamz, Inc. Based in Newark, NJ, and Gary, IN, Butterfly Dreamz is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that equips girls to be confident leaders and supports them in achieving their dreams through holistic leadership development, mentorship, and intergenerational community action. Joy is the author and publisher of several young adult books and has worked in consulting, finance, and public education management.



Joy is a 2023 Harvard University Cheng Fellow, an AMEX 100 for 100 Founder of Change, an Echoing Green Social Innovation Challenge Awardee, and the recipient of the Impact100 Essex County, NJ Impact Award and the BMe Vanguard Award. Joy is a proud member of the North Jersey Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She is passionate about education, social entrepreneurship, and sustainable community development.  



Joy holds a BBA in Finance from Howard University, an MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and an Ed.M. in Human Development & Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


While at Harvard, Joy served as an Identity Project Fellow with Dr. Adriana Umaña-Taylor’s AERID Lab, conducting research on adolescents’ ethnic-racial identity development and culturally sustaining pedagogy. Joy has worked as a Research Assistant with The Project on Workforce at Harvard, helping to better understand the role of community colleges in supporting regional economic development.


In her current doctoral studies, Joy is conducting community-engaged research that explores how school-community partnerships can promote the well-being and leadership of women and girls of color, particularly Black women and girls. 



"Care more than others think is wise, Risk more than others think is safe, Dream more than others think is practical and Expect more than others think is possible." ~African Proverb

Through her research and practice, Joy aims to build impactful community-based organizations that empower marginalized people—especially women and girls of color—to lead authentically and achieve upward mobility.

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