Meet the Community

Joy Lindsay

I help to develop impactful, justice-centered community leaders.

Joy Lindsay is an Ed.M. candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Founder and CEO of Butterfly Dreamz, Inc. Based in Newark, New Jersey and Gary, Indiana, 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 holds a BBA in Finance from Howard University and an MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. While at Harvard, Joy has 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 also 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 future doctoral studies, Joy hopes to explore how experiences at work and school shape the identity and leadership practices of public sector leaders. Joy is 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.

As a Cheng Fellow, Joy aims to build impactful community-based organizations that empower marginalized people—particularly women and girls of color—to lead authentically and achieve upward mobility.