Sandra Harris Howard

Sandra Harris Howard, Ph.D.

Senior Trainer and Facilitator

Sandra Harris Howard, Ph.D., has 25 years of experience specializing in addressing issues of equity and inclusion while working with diverse communities on facilitation, qualitative research and nonprofit leadership.

Sandra’s broad expertise includes experience working with African American, Latino, American Indian, and mixed racial and ethnic groups, as well as rural, urban and suburban residents and people of different cultural groups, diversities of incomes, sexual orientations and religions. Her focus has included efforts to eliminate the health disparities disproportionately affecting black and brown communities.

Sandra recently facilitated strategic planning retreats for Denver Indian Health and Family Services, Inc. and Kids First Health Care—strengthening her belief in and experience with promoting health equity through engagement and effective community-focused strategies. Before coming to JVA, Sandra held leadership roles at the YMCA of the USA, Assets for Colorado Youth, Compassion International and the Colorado Governor’s Office—working directly within communities of color and across other underrepresented groups to drive toward shared growth and prosperity.


JVA Experience

Sandra’s other recent engagements for JVA include the following:

  • Working with the Denver Mayor’s Office to design and facilitate eight roundtables and sessions on housing at the Sustainable Denver Summit
  • Facilitating focus groups and interviews to help inform the Tri-County Health Department on how to best provide prevention and education services related to diabetes and blood pressure.
  • Facilitating focus groups and analyzed data to help Arapahoe County gain a better understanding of the needs, gaps and assets of lower-income residents, organizations and other community stakeholders.


Sandra has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Boston University, a master’s degree in human services from Springfield College, and a Ph.D. in human services from Capella University.

Community Involvement

Sandra is a facilitator for the Kingdom Group and a professional development consultant for The Potter’s House of Denver. She recently served as a board member for the House Community Development Corporation and was the ministerial alliance director and taught Christian education at the Rehoboth Apostolic Worship Center.

Fun Fact

Sandra and her husband, Ernie, collectively have eight children and 11 grandchildren.