Headshot of Racquel Asante, a black woman with long curly hair partly shaved on one side, wearing a white shirt. She stands in front of a brick wall and shrubbery.
February 2, 2023

Meet the Educopians: Racquel Asante

In October 2022, Educopia moved to a new collaborative leadership model. Racquel Asante took on the role of Co-Executive Director along with Katherine Kim and Jessica Meyerson. Racquel’s focus as Co-Director is on finance and people operations.

Below, Racquel reflects on the new co-leadership model, how it’s going so far, and what she is excited about for the future of Educopia.


What are your goals and priorities for the shared leadership model and Educopia going forward?

Looking to the year ahead and Educopia moving forward, I know that this new shared leadership model is something that we need to grow into as individuals and as an organization. We’ve experienced a lot of change in the last year, and I’m looking forward to stability as we settle into these roles.

Can you reflect on the process of moving to a shared leadership model?

We closely evaluated the potential for continuing with a single director model during our organizational transition to a new model in 2022. There are many considerations that go into leadership change, and as we were preparing for [previous Educopia Executive Director] Katherine Skinner’s departure, adopting this model allowed us to create our own path.

How does your previous work inform your work as a Co-Director at Educopia?

I spent thirteen years in retail management before moving my professional home to the University of Chicago. At the university, I moved from the English Language and Literature Department to the Humanities Division to the Shared Services Central Office. Accounts payable, reimbursements, transactions, budgeting and finances–my work over the years has scaled up and that’s been part of my trajectory to Educopia.

Can you say a bit about your work, and what brought you to Educopia?

Here at Educopia, my focus is finance and people operations. I have always appreciated and flourished in taking part as the operational support. A supportive role is very important to me in both my personal and professional life. I am very passionate about foundation work and I am thrilled to work for an organization that allows me the latitude of incorporating problem solving skills, creativity and influence.

What keeps you energized? 

I enjoy laying foundations, and I’m energized by supporting my colleagues. Since this role is responsible for finance and people operations, I see my work as the organization’s backbone. That behind-the-scenes, internal organization work is very rewarding for me.