The World Food Prize Foundation

2020 Speaker | Marlysa D. Gamblin

Marlysa D. Gamblin
Senior Domestic Policy Advisor for Racial and Gender Divides, Bread for the World

Marlysa D. Gamblin is a dynamic public speaker, a thoughtful researcher, and a committed thought leader, primarily on issues within the intersection of racial and socio-economic injustice. She has gone, and continues to go, around the country to speak on these issues, share the tools that she has designed, and encourage people and non-profits to shift toward a more justice-orientated, racially equity-centered approach. 

Currently, Marlysa is the founder of GamblinConsults, a consulting business that helps organizations and networks promote racial equity in their internal practices. She is also the founder of the Racial Equity and Hunger National Learning Network, a national network that helps anti-hunger and poverty organizations learn how to promote racial equity in their internal and external work. 

Marlysa is the Senior Domestic Policy Advisor for Racial and Gender Divides at Bread for the World Institute. Her expertise is providing research and analysis to close the racial and gender hunger and income divides. At Bread, Marlysa has designed the Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation, an interactive tool that helps people understand how structural racism was created. Over 1.5 million people in the public and private sectors have engaged in this tool. It has truly been effective at helping people, work places, and communities initiate the conversation of racism and the importance of racially equitable policies and research. Following the design of the simulation, Marlysa authored the first-ever report that applied a racial equity lens into federal policy. This report featured a Racial Equity Methodology—a tool that helps people understand step-by-step how to apply a racial equity lens to their research, policy analysis, program design, and other every day projects. Most recently, she designed The Racial Equity Scorecard, a tool to help policymakers, organizations, and communities rate how well their policies, initiatives, and programs are promoting racial equity. 

Marlysa has previously staffed on the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships during the Obama Administration, where she proposed key recommendations to the White House on race, justice, and poverty. She also chaired the Economic Empowerment work for the NAACP DC Branch, where she piloted the “Starting a Black Business 2-Month Capacity Building Program.” This program provided weekly classes and a modest amount of start-up funds to aspiring Black entrepreneurs. It also paired these participants to Black entrepreneur mentors working in the same field and walked them through the Black Business Start-Up Toolkit that Marlysa and her team designed. She has also been a Program Manager for Prosperity Now, where she had a particular focus to close the racial wealth divide, and worked on Capitol Hill where she drafted legislation aimed at supporting Black men and boys. 

Marlysa holds her Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. with honors from the University of California, Berkeley. 

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