Essence Kimes

Essence Kimes (she/her) joins ELC’s Pittsburgh office as an Equal Justice Works fellow, sponsored by PNC Bank and McGuireWoods. Through direct representation, strategic engagement, and community-driven policy advocacy, Essence will work to improve educational outcomes for Black girls in Pennsylvania and ensure that they have less interaction with police in schools and more mental health support from culturally affirming counselors and caring professionals.

Essence is a 2020 graduate of University of Pittsburgh School of Law. While studying at Pitt, Essence led the Black Law Students Association and was a member of the Prisoner Legal Support Project, Outlaw, and the Pitt Law Women’s Association. Essence also interned with KidsVoice, the Pennsylvania Innocence Project – and the Education Law Center!

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Essence is a graduate of Pittsburgh Public Schools CAPA 6-12, where she majored in dance. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied administrative justice and worked in the university’s Title IX office. Essence was inspired to do this work after growing up as a Black woman in Pittsburgh and seeing first-hand the need for change. She has benefited from mental health resources and looks forward to providing the same opportunity for Black girls in her community.