Black University Team


Nhawndie Smith

Fellowship Coordinator

Nhawndie Smith, Black University Co-founder and Fellowship Coordinator, is a young Black, non-binary troublemaker from Durham, NC.  They graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with a Bachelors degree in Political Science. Currently, Nhawndie is the Triad Coordinator for Ignite NC and a member of Durham Chapter of Black Youth Project 100. They are dedicated to building the power of young people and making interventions that bring us closer to liberation. 


Delaney Vandergrift

Communications Coordinator

Delaney Vandergrift, Black University Co-founder and Communications Coordinator, is a Political Science student at the illustrious North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She was an organizing and communications fellow with Ignite NC and currently serves as the Association of Student Government liaison for NC A&T. She has been a driving force in the reemergence of civic engagement on her campus has a passion for making Black radical political education accessible to all people. 


Ajamu Dillahunt 

Program Coordinator

Ajamu Amiri Dillahunt, Black University Co-founder and BU Summit Coordinator, is a student at North Carolina Central University majoring in Political Science and History. He is the 2017-2018 recipient of the Violet Wurfel Scholarship awarded by NCCU's Department of Political Science. Currently, he is on staff with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Digital Gateway Project. He is a member of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) and Black Workers For Justice. Ajamu has a passion for political education and applying historic context to current movements. 


Tamika Lewis


Tamika Lewis, Black University Advisor, has an overall passion for supporting local initiatives, develop local youth leadership, and securing resources to help unify and advance the efforts of marginalized community members. Currently, they're the Program Coordinator at Blueprint NC where they coordinate various statewide initiatives that focusing on collaborative efforts, youth and civic engagement, and community development within an equity and social justice framework. Locally, they organize  with The Tribe and Ignite NC. 


D'atra Jackson 


“Dee Dee” Jackson, Black University Advisor, attended Cheyney University of Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation and Leisure Management. Currently, she is the Executive Director of Ignite NC.  Dee Dee has led Ignite NC’s higher education campaign for over a year and a half. Dee Dee served as the HBCU Coordinator for Ignite NC, growing its HBCU base from four campuses to eight, before she became the Executive Director. Dee Dee has a track record of building base-building organizations, facilitation, and crafting training curriculum.