The Learning Tree
Vice President of Positive Deviance, Culture, and Research
Mark Latta is the vice president of positive deviance, culture, and research at The Learning Tree, a Black-owned and resident-led asset based community development and collective impact firm in Indianapolis, IN. His project portfolio includes Poetic Justice, an approach to peacebuilding through poetic inquiry and asset based community development; Abundant Healing, an community health worker certification program confronting the public health crisis of racism through abundance frameworks and social practice arts; Community Voices Press, a micro-press focused on cultivating intellectual and literary contributions from emerging voices; and The Learning Tree Community Institutional Review Board, a research review board dedicated to developing and promoting ethical and co-owned community-based research practices.
His research and social practice interests focus on the intersections between community engagement, decolonization, systems change for human needs, and the uses of literacy to resist oppression and enact equitable futures. A life-long learner and educator, Latta gained his first experience teaching through an AmeriCorps term of service at Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility and remains actively involved in carceral education, community-based learning, and radically reworking educational institutions.
Prior to his current position with The Learning Tree, Latta was assistant professor of English and Director of Community Engaged Learning at Marian University (Indianapolis) and a founding faculty member of the Women’s College Partnership, a collaboration between the Bard Prison Initative and Indiana Women’s Prison.