Dr. Leeja Carter is an expert on inclusive and equity-focused practice in health and wellness. Dr. Carter’s work has been featured on CNN’s Connect the World, Self Magazine, Livestrong, Bustle, Women’s Health, Pride Magazine, Beauty INC, and Psychology Today. In 2021, Dr. Carter quite literally jumped: she walked away from a 15-year career as a professor to articulate her applied research and sports psychology practice centering Black women’s health, community health, and wellness into her nonprofit the Coalition for Food and Health Equity where she holds the position of Chief Executive Officer. At CFHE, she toils in racial equity, health, and access often and brings her wide range of skills in research, health and sports equity, development, and leading to accomplish practical goals with visionary reach.

What is the mission statement for your nonprofit? 

Dr. Leeja: Through placing hunger within the larger context of racial health equity we work to build power within communities through co-creating sustainable, community-grown cultures of health with the goal of ending hunger, improving health, and advancing economic equity within historically marginalized communities.

What was the inspiration behind starting Ujamaa Cafe?

Dr. Leeja: I wanted to create a corner-by-corner model where folks could access healthy food options procured from local entrepreneurs but in a manner that reduced shame, increased health, and optimized usage.

What is your proudest business accomplishment? 

Dr. Leeja: I have a few but launching our Ujamaa fridge at the Abramson Cancer Center and being able to crack that institution for cancer patients and food security, still blows my mind.

What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?

Dr. Leeja: Just enjoy the ride! It’s such a wild ride, there are ups and downs, however, if you believe this is your path then take it all in, go easy on yourself, and enjoy the journey.

How can our viewers remain connected with you?

Dr. Leeja: Connect online:


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dr. Leeja