Skip to Main Content
Michigan State University

Tamika D. Payne, Alumni Service Award

Tamika D. Payne, Alumni Service Award

Tamika D. Payne, Alumni Service Award

She is an international expert in reducing gender-based violence, a humanitarian and a Spartan.

B.S. Lyman Briggs College, 2011

Alumni Service Award: Presented to Michigan State University alumni who have demonstrated service to MSU and/or meritorious public service on a local, state, national or international level.

With nearly 25 years of experience, both domestically and internationally, Tamika D. Payne has

dedicated her life and career to ending sexual violence, and more broadly to reducing gender-based violence (GBV) and promoting gender and racial equity in our world. She is an experienced, respected leader with proven skills in organizational leadership, building more inclusive environments, developing strategies for change, and local-, national- and global-level advocacy.

Payne’s time at Michigan State University was transformative. Lyman Briggs College with its practical, hands-on approach, provided the scientific foundation that fostered her curiosity and skillset to make a difference. However, it was her unyielding efforts to overcome the trauma and inequality she endured that concretized her commitment to gender and racial equity.

She chose to make a difference. She chose a life of service. She started volunteering for a crisis hotline, she was the President of the Black Caucus and a community organizer during her time on campus. Pivoting from there, to training and creating programming and policy for global teams; on how to do what they do, while still protecting the most vulnerable.

Payne has been a counselor for survivors of sexual violence, she ran a sexual assault counseling program in Michigan and then served as the Executive Director of the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Broadening her scope, she served as the West Africa GBV Technical Advisor with the International Rescue Committee and then the Global GBV Coordinator with the United Nations. Now, through Ending Payne Consulting Services, she continues to provide technical guidance, does public speaking engagements, and shapes local, national, and international policy. Volunteering is still at her core, and she serves as President of New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Payne’s public policy successes have included extending the statute of limitations against child sexual assault in Colorado, enacting the Gender Acts in Sierra Leone, and conducting research on reducing female genital cutting/mutilation. Her personal experience with sexual violence led her to fight for a safer, more inclusive campus. Today, she employs a holistic approach to social inclusion that prioritizes understanding culture and community before acting, especially in her work with domestic and international nonprofits.

Payne is a thought leader and organizational driver who understands programming, advocacy, and the complexities of social and cultural change. She pairs technical knowledge and executive leadership skills with a genuine interest in understanding and respecting the diversity and uniqueness of every community where she works. She hopes to grow Ending Payne Consulting Services and bring this intersectional approach to even more organizations, and into higher education and corporate America.

“It’s critical to always engage with the community and the people your work will impact. Be curious, ask questions, and put your judgment—expertise—aside. Become a partner.”

Who will change the world? Spartans Will.

Author: Aimee Klevorn