Kimberly C. Ellis, Ph.D. ( is a scholar of American and Africana Studies who merges her scholarship with art and activism.  She is Executive Director of the Historic Hill Institute and the Arts Outreach and Architectural Historian for the completion of the Hill District Master Plan. Affectionately known as “Dr. Goddess”, she is also a poet, playwright and performing artist ( An expert on the works of the late, great, playwright, August Wilson, Dr. Ellis taught the first seminar course on his works at the University of Pittsburgh and continues to lecture, teach and workshop his dramas. Also an activist, Dr. Goddess received the 2009 Thomas Merton Center’s “New Person” Awards for combining art and activism with social media and the 2008 YWCA Racial Justice Award for organizing the successful “Raise Your Hand! No Casino on the Hill” Campaign. She was most recently given one of the "Fab 40" awards in the 100th Anniversary year of the New Pittsburgh Courier, as an honor to the next generation of leaders.