Ashley Cleveland is an ecologist turned city planner whose expertise and focus on equity and representation have formed her dynamic approach to seeking out opportunities to progress and evolve.
She earned her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science & Resource from California State University Channel Islands, after which she moved to Utah in 2014 and completed a master’s degree in City & Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah.
While in her master’s program, Cleveland was part of an Urban Design class which explored urban design principles, resources, and services for people experiencing homelessness in the state. She used her personal experience with chronic homelessness in her childhood to design a resource center for families experiencing homelessness.
While still enrolled in school, Cleveland took a position as research and community engagement assistant with Salt Lake City Corporation.
In 2017 Cleveland went on to make history by becoming the first Black woman city planner in Utah when she took a position as Millcreek’s first Planner 1. There she launched Promise, a partnership between Millcreek and the United Way of Salt Lake City aimed at mobilizing and supporting success for youth and families in Millcreek, with specific goals related to health, safety, economic well-being, and education.
She’s a founding member and sits on the board of directors for CurlyMe!, an organization focused on families with children of color, specifically black girls between the ages of 5-14 years, with the goal of providing mentoring opportunities to help educate, empower and encourage girls to be their best selves. She is also on the board of trustees for Tracy Aviary, a Governor’s Outdoor Recreation Advisory Board member, and is Utah’s only Outdoor Afro Leader. Cleveland is also a mother.