Cynthia Ruff

Consultant

“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” 

Audre Lorde

Cynthia Ruff is a consultant at Cook Ross. As a graduate from the University of Delaware (BS), James Madison University (M.Ed) and currently, a Ph.D student at Old Dominion University, she brings 6 years of experience in the specialty areas of unconscious bias, allyship, race, ethnicity, and leadership to our team. In her role, she works with stakeholders to impact organizational culture by developing solutions that engage employees, support leaders, and respond to the shifting needs of our global world.  

As a Black woman who stands on the shoulders of her ancestors, Cynthia sees the journey towards social justice as a lifelong commitment that cannot be made half-heartedly.She believes that in order to learn, you must be committed to the process of unlearning and relearning. It is her intentionality with her own growth and education surrounding social justice, diversity, equity, access, and inclusion that separates her from the growing pool of D&I practitioners.

She explains, “The work is never done – it’s a marathon, and one well worth running. I do this work for those who came before me, for those who will come after me, and most importantly, for those that I share space within the here and now. Reminding people of their undeniable worthiness is also what draws me to this work. Finally, dismantling systems of oppression and violence bring me back to this work every day with a renewed sense of purpose and vigor. 

When she’s not spreading the word about her new book, The Black Square Project, you can find Cynthia consuming anything produced by NPR, carving out time to visit local museums, enjoying a night out experiencing art and tasty food, catching up on her favorite shows that span from 90’s cult classic Living Single to action-packed thriller The Blacklist to the lighthearted Everybody Loves Raymond, or talking walk with her Yorkiepoopom, Nala. 

“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” 

Audre Lorde