Ella Hartley is an educator, facilitator, and writer committed to illuminating and healing systems of oppression in all of her communities. She approaches her work with a balance of head and heart, centering authenticity, connection, and intellectual rigor. Her work is driven by the understanding that everyone suffers in dehumanizing systems and that breaking these cycles is too heavy a lift to do on our own—everyone is needed; we cannot go it alone.
Raised in a diplomatic family between Europe and the DC suburbs, Ella was exposed to the wider world in all its beauty and complexity as a kid. This, and a propensity for the question “But, why?” influenced Ella to live and travel in South Africa, the Middle East, and South America as a young adult. She has been to 47 of the states in the U.S. and in 2016 she hiked the length of New Zealand. Now Ella travels and learns in one place. She is an active community member in her home of Astoria, New York, and reads everything she can.
Ella began her career as a mountaineering instructor and staff trainer for the outdoor leadership school, Outward Bound, facilitating challenging learning experiences in a wilderness setting for youth and U.S. military veterans. Over a decade, Ella helped transform the outdoor industry by successfully advocating for the creation of an Incident Support Network to support the mental health of staff and students after traumatic incidents in the field. Ella earned a Bachelor of Arts in Arabic and Religious Studies from Indiana University and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in Racial Justice and Healing.