Skip to main content
Identity Talk 4 Educators LIVE

Identity Talk 4 Educators LIVE

By Kwame Sarfo-Mensah
The "Identity Talk 4 Educators LIVE" Podcast highlights the unspoken and unsung heroes who are changing the education game as we know it! Everyday, we come across the work of so many incredible educators who simply don't get the recognition they deserve! In this podcast, we will provide the viewers with an opportunity to learn the personal stories of these incredible educators and the specific elements that shape who they are as educators.
Listen on Spotify
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Castbox Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

"Fighting Ableism in Our K-12 Schools" (Dr. Jen Newton & Dr. Mira Cole Williams)

Identity Talk 4 Educators LIVE

"Fighting Ableism in Our K-12 Schools" (Dr. Jen Newton & Dr. Mira Cole Williams)

Identity Talk 4 Educators LIVE

Inclusive Classroom 101 Panel Discussion (Françoise Thenoux, Craig Martin & Destiny Clarke)
For this special episode, I'm excited to have the following three panelists lead this important discussion about using intersectionality as a tool to humanize diverse student identities and create classroom spaces that are inclusive, equitable, and foster a sense of belonging:   Craig Martin is an experienced, award-winning school leader and a managing partner for CCM Education Consulting Group.  Through his company, he partners with school leaders and organizations by supporting them in creating inclusive and student-centered learning environments.   TWITTER - @CraigCMartin12  WEBSITE -  Françoise Thenoux is an ABAR consultant, as well as an ESL and Spanish educator with almost 20 years of teaching experience. While working as an ESL teacher, she helped Latinx families understand the benefits of bilingualism via workshops and conferences. She is a passionate advocate for equitable, inclusive, social justice-oriented World Language curriculum. Francoise shares her passion and resources with a wide community through social media as "The Woke Spanish Teacher".    INSTAGRAM - @thewokespanishteacher  TWITTER - @TWSteacher   Destiny Clarke is a former middle and high school English teacher who now serves as the Founder & CEO of DiscoverED with Destiny.  Through her company, Destiny helps educators use equitable and LGBTQ+ inclusive strategies to create communities of care for LGBTQ+ youth.  She is also the host of the Closeted History podcast.   INSTAGRAM - @discoveredwithdestiny  TWITTER - @discoveredwdes  WEBSITE -
July 02, 2022
"Controlling Our Narratives as Educators" (Patrick Harris II)
For this special episode, I caught up with the one and only Patrick Harris II to learn about his unique journey in education, his new book, "The First Five: A Love Letter to Teachers", and the important of controlling our personal narratives as educators in the midst of this Great Resignation period.  To learn more about Patrick's work, you can visit his website at or follow him on Instagram & Twitter (@PresidentPat).   BIO: Patrick Harris II is a Black queer writer, storyteller, and middle school humanities teacher. He has won multiple national teaching awards for his leadership and innovation in the classroom, including recognitions from NCTE, ASCD, and ILA. Teaching and creating is only part of who Patrick is. He is a big brother, a cat dad, lover of all things horror, a WWE fanatic, and is obsessed with scenic hikes.
June 16, 2022
"Latinas with Masters" (Christina V. Rodriguez)
In this episode, I had the honor of interviewing Christina Rodriguez to learn about her journey in education, her Nicaraguan upbringing, life as a Latina in academia, the founding of Latinas with Masters, and so much more!  To learn more about Christina's work, you can visit the Latinas with Masters website at and/or you can follow her on Instagram (@latinaswithmasters) and Twitter (@latinaswmasters).   BIO: Christina V. Rodriguez is a first-generation Nicaraguan-American Latina with a multi-cultural and equity-minded mindset with a commitment in creating equitable opportunities for Women of Color in Business, Housing and Academia. Christina received her Bachelor's degree in Latino/a Studies from San Francisco State University and went on to receive her Master's degree (MBA) with an emphasis in Marketing at Notre Dame de Namur University.   She is a currently pursuing her doctorate in Educational Leadership and provides 15+ years of marketing experience in the San Francisco Bay Area. When Christina is not working on Latinas with Masters or doing research for her dissertation, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and two children, including their family dog Frijol.
June 02, 2022
"Culturally Relevant Teaching for Emergent Bilinguals" (Lizette Roman)
In this episode, I had the pleasure of welcoming my good friend Lizette Roman to the podcast to share her educator journey, as well as engage in a conversation about engaging our emerging bilingual learners in a culturally responsive manner within the classroom.  She also shares how growing up as a first-generation Cuban-American has shaped her development as an educator.  To learn more about Lizette's work, you can follow her on Instagram (@educating_with_love) and Twitter (@lizetteRoman13).    BIO: Lizette Roman is a certified bilingual educator in one of the most heavily integrated school districts on Long Island, NY. The need for specialized, actionable teaching methodologies that can be implemented into the classroom became a pressing need, in order to effectively teach & connect with her students.  Her classroom environment has been created so all students feel and know they are respected and that their individual needs will be met. Walking into her bilingual classroom, Lizette finds a variety of flexible seating arrangements, evident Sheltered Instruction Operation Protocol strategies & planning, differentiated instruction, flipped classroom & student lead 21st century lessons infused with technology!  In addition to teaching her students the material necessary to progress through their studies, she also works to equip them with life skills that challenge many children of non-English speaking parents. She teaches them how to set goals for themselves, bring in a financial advisor to teach students about financial awareness, teach students how to handle conflict-resolution & to listen like a diplomat!  Lizette also works to help advocate for parents by regularly meeting with them, speaking with them on the phone, to connect them to community resources for things like legal advice, or helping them communicate with medical professionals on behalf of their children. She strives to help them advocate for their children in the classroom which includes making suggestions on how to better help their children meet their individual needs, how to prioritize goals & setting them up for success with proper study skills & organization skills.  Her main focus as a teacher is to build up her students & teach them self-love, providing them with the social & emotional confidence so they can feel confident in their ability in the classroom. It’s from this place that Educating With Love was born.  Lizette believes, with the right tools, teachers can do the same for their students. As both a speaker & consultant she is available to come to your educational facility or education conference to teach others how to implement these practices and strategies into their classroom. The goal of Educating With Love is to empower teachers to reach & teach their students with new confidence.
May 19, 2022
"Building Antiracist Children as Parents" (Britt Hawthorne)
In this episode, I had the special honor of interviewing Britt Hawthorne to learn more about her educator journey, life as an antiracist momma, and her new book, "Raising Antiracist Children: A Practical Parenting Guide".  To learn more about Britt's work, you can visit her website at or follow her on Facebook & Instagram (@britthawthorne).    BIO: Britt Hawthorne (she/they) is an antiracist educator, teacher, speaker, visionary, and advocate. She is the current PBS Children’s Media and Education- Educator and Community Engagement: Antiracist and Anti-bias Consultant and Advisor. She also serves on the Association Montessori International/USA Human Rights and Social Justice Committee and works with the Sankofa Learning Center, an African-centered learning ecosystem, in New Haven, Connecticut.   She is committed to raising a generation of antiracist children by centering families of the global majority and fostering equitable learning environments for students and children of all ages and backgrounds. Britt’s work moves the idea of equity in education from a goal to reality. She partners with action-orientated educators to create classroom environments that are inclusive and equitable for all learners.  Britt was an antiracist educator in the classroom but was pushed out of teaching when her two Black sons experienced educational racism. Now, as an anti-racist facilitator, she creates spaces where the intersection of education and social justice may be explored. Her honest and inspiring journey to create space, documented on Instagram, has since garnered over 100k engaged readers as well as a deeply committed online community.
May 05, 2022
"Fighting Ableism at the K-12 & Higher Education Level" (April Boyce)
In this episode, I had the honor of welcoming April Boyce to the podcast for a deep dive into the significant impact of ableism at both the K-12 and higher  education level.  To learn more about April's work, you can visit the Beyond Inclusion website at or follow her on Instagram (@gobeyondinclusion) and Tiktok (@ms.april_)  BIO: April Boyce is a doctoral student and researcher based in Seattle, WA.  She has been in the field of education for over ten years,  serving as an early childhood educator, K-5 accessibility specialist, and adjunct professor for racial equity coursework.  After working with students with disabilities, she became increasingly frustrated with the inequities and injustices my students faced within the education system. She began advocating for anti-racist and anti-ableist education through social media but was distracted by the noise of those not yet ready to engage in this work. April sensed the urgency to continue professional learning at a deeper level, so she created Beyond Inclusion to reach educators that are open to the possibilities of a more equitable education system.   April's goal for Beyond Inclusion is to engage anti-racist/anti-ableist educators through learning opportunities that enable them with the skills to liberate every child. They welcome all teachers, specialists, and administrators at every stage of the journey to become more anti-racist/anti-ableist professionals.  This is a space for educators to build connection, engage in the process of inquiry, and empower one another to reflect and transform our own practice and school communities. Through our collective work, she knows that meaningful change can be made in education.
April 21, 2022
"Lead With Truth" (Dr. Qiana O'Leary)
In this episode, I welcomed Dr. Qiana O'Leary to the podcast for a conversation about her personal journey in education, the founding of Minty Educational Services, the impact of Black women in educational leadership, and much more!  To learn more about Dr. O'Leary's work, you can visit the Minty Educational Services website at or follow her on Instagram (@mintyes20).     BIO: Dr. Qiana O'Leary is an Assistant Professor for the Texas A&M University System and the co-founder of Minty Educational Services, a former administrator for charters and public schools, and a Social Justice educator. She co-created and produced a web series highlighting the success of Black Educators teaching unique and creative lessons for students called BlackademX.  Dr. O’Leary is dedicated to transforming schools by mentoring school leaders as they examine issues of equity, inclusion, and racism in their effort of becoming agents of radical school reform.
April 07, 2022
"Faith, Joy & Motherhood" (Camille Joy)
In this episode, I had the special honor of being in community with Camille Joy for an in-depth conversation about her story of overcoming adversity, discovering joy through her faith and motherhood, creating harmony in her life as a thriving entrepreneur and a mother to a child with autism, and so much more!  To learn more about Camille's work, you can visit her website at and/or follow her on Facebook and Instagram (@momentsofjoypodcast)     BIO: Camille Joy is a wife and a Mom to 5 amazing boys. She wears many hats entrepreneur,  podcaster, survivor, advocate, and a voice of hope to the brokenhearted mommy. Like her name, Camille is a woman of joy who uses her various platforms to encourage  As a form of self-expression and healing, Camille Joy launched her podcast, Moments of Joy in 2018 to encourage, uplift, and motivate people who are rebuilding their lives after experiencing traumatic situations. Through the weekly podcast, she shares her own life experiences and inspiring stories from other moms around the world. On a new audio app called "Clubhouse" She is the founder of an international Moms Club, the largest parenting club on the app called The Real Moms Club. Her hope and mission is to unite moms from all over the world through community. They meet weekly for conversations all about Motherhood.    LINKS:   Instagram -   Apple Podcasts -  Spotify -   Google Podcasts -  Anchor -
March 24, 2022
"Liven Up Your Library" (Julia E. Torres)
In this episode, I had the honor of chatting with teacher-librarian extraordinaire Julia E. Torres about her personal journey in education, her evolution in librarianship, the current banned books controversy impacting schools during the pandemic, and so much more!  To learn more about Julia's work, you can visit her website at and you can also follow her on Instagram & Twitter (@juliaerin80).   BIO: Julia E. Torres is a veteran language arts teacher and librarian in Denver Public schools.  She is a teacher/activist committed to education as a practice of freedom. Her practice is grounded in the work of empowering students to use Language Arts to fuel transformative resistance and social progress. Julia has been awarded the 2020 NCTE Colorado Affiliate Teacher of Excellence award chosen as a 2020 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, and serves educators as a member of the ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE) Board of Directors, Educolor Collective Steering Committee member, Book Love Foundation Board Member and Co-founder of #DisruptTexts. Through her work with The Educator Collaborative, and other organizations, Julia facilitates workshops and professional conversations about anti-bias/anti-racist education, social justice, and culturally sustaining pedagogies in Language Arts, as well as digital literacy and librarianship. Her work has been featured in several publications including NCTE’s Council Chronicle, NPR, AlJazeera’s The Stream, PBS Education, KQED’s MindShift, NY Times Learning Network, The Chicago Tribune, ASCD’s Education Update, Rethinking Schools, School Library Journal, and many more. Her forthcoming co-authored title Liven Up Your Library will be published by ISTE in 2022. LINKS:   Instagram -   Apple Podcasts - Spotify -   Google Podcasts - Anchor -
March 10, 2022
"Abolishing Anti-AAPI Narratives In Our Schools" (Tony DelaRosa)
In this episode, I had the honor of welcoming Tony DelaRosa to the podcast to share his personal journey into education, how schools should combat anti-AAPI racism and xenophobia, the need for AAPI representation in the teaching profession, achieving cross-racial solidarity in the pursuit of collective liberation, and much more!  To learn more about Tony's work, you can visit his website at or follow him on   Instagram and Twitter (@tonyrosaspeaks).    BIO: Tony DelaRosa (he/siya) is an aspiring Anti-Bias & Anti-Racist Educator, Motivational Speaker, DEI Consultant, Poet, and overall Cultural Broker. In 2013, he co-founded Pulse Poetry, a school elective course and after school program which uses spoken word pedagogy and public speaking to empower youth voice in Indianapolis, Boston, Miami, and across the globe. He has a Masters in Teaching at Marian University and a Masters in Education with a focus on Arts Non-Profit Management from Harvard University.  In 2015, because of his work with Pulse Poetry, he was invited by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico to speak on the power and impact of Arts Education and International Exchange. He served as a Board Director of the Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) a 501c3 sponsored by the Ayala Foundation and Philippine Embassy to strengthen US to Philippine relations in the field of education. His work has been featured in NPR, Harvard Ed Magazine, the Smithsonian, Columbia University's Hechinger Report,  Hyphen Magazine: Asian American Unabridged and elsewhere. He's currently working on an education series called "#ISANGBAGSAKasVERB" which focuses on cross-racial & cross-ethnic coalition building to help communities practice solidarity in action and has co-founded NYC's first Asian American teacher support, development, and retention initiative called AATEND under NYC Men Teach, the NYC DOE, and Office of the Mayor.  In 2021, he was awarded the INSPIRE Award given by the National Association of Asian American Professionals & United Airlines.
February 24, 2022
"Finding Your Purpose as a School Leader" (Dr. Ian Buchanan)
In this episode, I had the honor of welcoming long-time education leader Dr. Ian Buchanan to the podcast to share his personal journey in education, his process for developing strong leaders through his company The Nia Education Group, his perspective on the current state of educational leadership during COVID-19, and so much more!  To learn more about Dr. Ian's work, you can visit his company's website at and/or follow him on Twitter (@docianbuchanan).   BIO: Dr. Ian Buchanan, President/CEO of Nia Education Group, has committed almost three decades in service of students, organizations, families and communities. “Dr. Ian” has an impressively broad range of leadership, coaching, teaching and professional development experiences. His work has primarily been in the sectors below:  - Traditional Public School District Leadership (St. Louis Region) - Public (Portfolio) Charter District Leadership (Achievement School District-Tennessee) - Informal Science Education Leadership (National Science Foundation, St. Louis Science Center) - Education Nonprofit Leadership (Teach For America-St. Louis, Inspire STL) - Higher Education Administration (Harris-Stowe State University) - Adult Basic Education  (The School of University City – Adult Education Program) - Board Leadership (Jamaa Academy, IamESTL Foundation)  Capacity-building is a skill, passion and gift for Dr. Ian. This commitment to capacity-building is driven by two guiding principles. The first guiding principle is “To whom much is given, much is required.” Ian recognizes his level of access, opportunity and capital. He leverages that and decades of experience, technical skills and passion for change to help individuals and organizations reach their fullest potential.  The second principle that undergirds the work at Nia Education Group is the West African concept, ubuntu. Loosely translated, in means, “I am because we are.” Nia Education Group understands that we can only achieve transformative change if we embrace a commitment to a collective responsibility. We do our work with the belief that our commitment to our clients will translate into structural and systemic change.
February 10, 2022
"The International Impact of Anti-AAPI Racism" (Jessica Wei Huang)
In this episode, I had the chance to chat with Jessica Wei Huang and learn about her personal journey in education, her socialization process as an Asian-American, the current state of anti-AAPI racism internationally, the dire need for cross-racial and cross-ethnic solidarity during the pandemic, and so much more.  To learn more about Jessica's work, you can visit her website at or follow her on Instagram and Twitter (@huangjaz).   BIO: Jessica Wei Huang has eighteen years of combined teaching and leadership experience. She believes that facilitating cross-cultural and diverse conversations around personal identity, cultural difference, and systemic inequities is a powerful way to build community and understanding in educational settings in order to drive systemic and dynamic change in school settings. She has co-facilitated professional development for school districts and non-profits in creating and sustaining a culture of equity and anti-racism and is also a certified coach for ACSA (Association of CA School Administrators). She is currently based out of Singapore.   LINKS:   Instagram -   Apple Podcasts - Spotify -   Google Podcasts - Anchor -
January 27, 2022
"Radical Love & Liberation in Education" (Dr. Melanie Dillett-Dukes)
In the final episode of 2021, I bring on my good friend Dr. Melanie Dillett-Dukes for a timely conversation about the importance the radical self-love and liberation as educators.  We also discuss her life abroad as a United Nations baby, how she navigated her multiple identities as a Black woman,  the release of her debut book, "My Freedom Journey"', and so much more!  To learn more about Dr. Dukes' work, you can visit the BeyondFree website at or you can follow her on LinkedIn and Instagram (@maddukes).   BIO: Dr. Melanie Dillett-Dukes is passionate about creating brave spaces for diverse groups of people to engage in discussions, empower action, and create change.  Growing up outside of the United States for 15 years of her life, as a United Nations baby, gave her great insight into the intricacies of varying perspectives and their connection to practices and ideologies of people.    With 20 plus years in the educational arena, Melanie has taught school-aged children from preschool to high school, founded her non-profit Creative Community to ignite student voices, coached teachers on culturally relevant pedagogy, designed curriculum, analyzed statewide data systems, and facilitated diversity, inclusion & equity workshops for adult professionals.   To deepen her contemplative practices, she has completed intense training on Cognitive Based Compassion Training (CBCT) through Emory University. Her experience as an Equity Facilitator Fellow through CREATE, deepened her skills to facilitate conversations and create actionable items around identity, systemic oppression, and anti-racist work. In her current role, she is leading equity work with over 110 teachers and staff members and the parent/guardian community.  Melanie’s ability to listen for understanding, empathize, and to connect with others translates easily into developing organic and holistic coaching strategies that fosters growth mindsets and stimulates environments for people to thrive.  ​  Over the many years of working in traditional education and facilitating sessions in equity, social justice, and anti-racist work in corporate and educational arenas, has revealed the deep need for healing and reconciliation.  Motherhood and the deep desire to restore hope to people has led her on this journey of liberating the minds of people and creating platforms to create viable solutions to breaking systems that bind our true selves.     Dr. Dillett-Dukes graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in education from Spelman College.  She fostered her skills in curriculum development when she earned her Masters of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.  Melanie remained at Columbia to complete her Education Doctorate in International and Transcultural Studies with a specialization in Family and Community as Educator.  She has inherited her mother’s green thumb at a later stage in life, enjoys cooking her father’s Belizean dishes, and watches her children embark on their unique journey of life in pure amazement.
December 23, 2021
"A FRESH Approach to Culturally Responsive Teaching" (Dr. Stephanie Boyce)
In this episode, I had the honor of welcoming Dr. Stephanie Boyce to the podcast to share her personal journey in education, the founding of The FRESH Classroom, the release of her new book, "The FRESH Classroom: Why Culturally Responsive Education Can't Wait", the evolution of scholarship around culturally responsive teaching, and so much more!  To learn more about Dr. Boyce's work, you can visit The FRESH Classroom website at or follow her on Instagram (@freshclassroom and @dr.srboyce) and Twitter (@Fresh_Classroom).  BIO:  Dr. Stephanie R. Boyce is an edupreneur driven by her passion to reshape the educational landscape by making culturally responsive teaching a way of life. For the last decade, Boyce has focused her studies and work on matters of racial justice and equity for historically marginalized people with a focus on educational spaces. She currently serves as the Chief Education Officer of Stephanie Boyce & Associates, LLC., the parent company of The FRESH Classroom, Professor & Director of the Writing Program at Paul Quinn College, and Lecturer of African American Studies at the University of Houston. Dr. Stephanie Boyce’s ironic journey along the path of academia was anything but typical, having taken her from being a rebellious student in at-risk schools to teaching and leading in at-risk schools, and eventually serving as a researcher and advocate in the same schools. By the time her journey is half complete, she will be added to a list of phenomenal innovators who advocate tirelessly for the millions of students who may otherwise be left voiceless in classrooms across America. In addition to her work within educational institutions, Dr. Boyce works as an educational advocate partnering with allies in the fight for equitable policies and legislative priorities for ALL. In a world where the complicated processes and verbose industrious jargon cause many citizens, especially those in marginalized groups, to disengage with the legislative entities that govern them, Dr. Boyce’s goal is to demystify complicated systems and show ALL people entry points into engaging with the political processes and collaborating with elected officials to ensure equitable outcomes for students and distribution of resources and opportunities.n addition to her work within educational institutions, Dr. Boyce works as an educational advocate partnering with allies in the fight for equitable policies and legislative priorities for ALL. In a world where the complicated processes and verbose industrious jargon cause many citizens, especially those in marginalized groups, to disengage with the legislative entities that govern them, Dr. Boyce’s goal is to demystify complicated systems and show ALL people entry points into engaging with the political processes and collaborating with elected officials to ensure equitable outcomes for students and distribution of resources and opportunities.
December 16, 2021
"The Joe Clark Tape" (Vernon Thompson Jr.)
In this week's episode, I welcomed hip-hop educator Vernon Thompson Jr. to the podcast to share his personal journey in education,  the making of "The Joe Clark Tape", the emergence of hip-hop pedagogy in education, and so much more!   To learn more about Vernon's work, you can follow him on Instagram & Twitter (@vernonsthompson).  You can also purchase "The Joe Clark Tape" right now on Amazon ( and Apple Music (   BIO: Vernon Thompson graduated from Quinnipiac University with a BA in Marketing.  He was the school’s first Division 1 walk-on to receive a scholarship. He also served as the Assistant Basketball Coach at Albertus Magnus College leading the school to its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.  He received his Masters in Special Education with a concentration in Learning Disabilities from Southern Connecticut State University.  He completed his 092 Educational Administrators certification at the University of Bridgeport. He has taught in the Bridgeport Public school district for 14 years.  In the 2018-2019 school year he served as Assistant Principal at Hartford Public High School, he is currently the Assistant Principal at Warren Harding High School. As a teacher he utilized community organizing and community relationships to advocate for Bassick students and families. He has made himself known as a Hip Hop Educator, utilizing Hip Hop Visual Arts to send positive messages to the urban community.  His videos have received over 120,000 views. His most recent project titled "The Joe Clark Tape" has received nearly 10,000 streams in the last two months.
December 09, 2021
"A Principal With P.E.A.R.L.S of Wisdom" (Fatihah Abdur-Rahman)
In this episode, I had the honor of welcoming award-winning principal Fatihah Abdur-Rahman to the podcast to share her inspirational journey into education, overcoming homelessness as a teenage mother, navigating the waters of educational leadership as a Black woman, and so much more!  To learn more about Principal Rahman's work, you can follow her on Instagram (@principal_rahman) and subscribe to the Born to Win in Education podcast.  BIO: Fatihah Abdur-Rahman is a passionate and dedicated educational leader who is committed to academic excellence. She views education as a way to defy societal challenges that impact urban communities. Rahman’s desire in urban education was ignited while working as an assistant teacher at a Camden Head Start over twenty years ago. There she interacted with elementary students who were performing below their grade level, which prompted her to pursue a BS in Elementary Education.  Rahman is a servant leader called to serve those who experienced many of the challenges she faced and overcame. After graduating from Oakwood University in Alabama, she returned to Camden ready to serve as a teacher in Camden City Public Schools. In her first year as a teacher, she made tremendous gains with her students, and was selected by her colleagues as Parkside Elementary School’s teacher of the year. Some of her accomplishments include: being selected in 2008 by the Camden City BOE to pursue an MPA in Educational Leadership at Rutgers University. She also was the first educator from Camden, NJ to travel to South Africa with the Rutgers South Africa Initiative.  Fatihah has served as an educator, School administrator, PLC facilitator, NJ trained mentor, and Camden PLUS resident. Rahman is currently completing the coursework for her Doctorates degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at Walden University, and plans to graduate in the near future. Fatihah attributes her professional achievement to education. As a visionary, Fatihah Abdur-Rahman sees beyond the here and now and recognize the potential in everyone she is called to serve. Rahman holds a high bar, and yet believes in providing high level of support for teachers and students. Through her implementation of social emotional learning programs, culturally relevant curriculum, and community driven approach, Ms. Abdur-Rahman envision a school where all of her students are valued, challenged, and prepared to break cycles and close gaps.  Ms. Abdur-Rahman is also a transformational leader who sees herself as an agent of change. One of her goals is to re-envision the culture of parent and community engagement for the development of the whole child. It is her belief that education equality and equity can and will be achieved for all students. Fatihah Abdur-Rahman is change the narrative for many of her scholars. Not only is she changing the narrative, Fatihah is doing it in a short amount a time. In her tenured as principal at Forest Hill, Ms. Abdur-Rahman ran a Reader Are Leader Pop Up story time in the park to combat the summer reading slide. She engage families with her book giveaways at her Water Ice Wednesdays. During the school year, she opened her doors to the community with her Leaders are Readers series, Pearl to Wisdom Tea, and "Knot" for Me boy program that shared with young men those things that are "not for me" (drugs, gangs, bullying, etc.). She and her school community faithfully give and serve food at various shelters for women and families on what she calls Thankful Thursday. In years to come, she plan to have a greater impact through her various partnership and mindset that her scholars are born winners. They will win!!!!
December 02, 2021
"More Than a Music Teacher" (Franklin Willis)
This week's episode is dedicated to all the music educators who are making a positive impact in schools all over the world!  I had the honor of interviewing award-winning music teacher Franklin Willis to learn about his journey in education, how Music came into his life, the importance of culturally relevant teaching in the music classroom, and so much more!   To learn more about Franklin's work, you can visit his website at or follow him on Instagram (@fwillismusic and @princerhythmcompany).    BIO: For more than a decade, educator, and leader, Franklin Willis has served the students and families of the Metro Nashville Public Schools community. Through music, Willis has educated, mentored, and developed young minds to be forward thinking contributors to society. A servant leader specializing in authentic culturally relevant teaching, empowering student contributions, and developing teachers to reach their full capacity, Willis finds true joy when at the service of others.  As Elementary Music Coach for MNPS, he equips teachers with instructional support and necessary resources to strengthen their professional acumen and enhance their classrooms. This includes shepherding colleagues and teachers through the reality’s students are faced with around equity, inclusion and racism.  Through his work, he has developed a passion in the cultivation of musicianship for young minds as every child has musical potential and deserves a music teacher who will see the best in them. Willis believes that music education is a vital tool to teach students about other cultures, create community, and inspire a love for learning. Willis consistently uses his network to provide opportunities for students to utilize their passion for music for all to see. This includes producing music videos and stadium performances at CMA Fest, a four-day music festival in Nashville, TN.  Willis has created and facilitated professional development sessions for music teachers of all grade levels sharing his unique and relevant teaching practices. He consistently collaborates with colleagues, community organizations, local businesses, colleges, and universities to advocate for the importance of music education in our schools as well as developing curriculum that will lead to higher engagement from students.  Through his work Willis has received national recognition for his commitment to student learning, his passion for the profession and his innovative teaching practices. He is a three-time recipient of the CMA Foundation Music Teacher of Excellence Award. ('16, '18, '19).  Willis is a children’s book author and graduate of the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Music in 2009. In 2012, he earned the Master of Education Degree in Nonprofit Leadership from Belmont University. Most recently Willis completed the Education Specialist Degree with an emphasis in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Technological University.
November 25, 2021
"Decolonizing International Schools" (Kevin Simpson)
In this episode, I had an awesome conversation with veteran international education leader Kevin Simpson about his personal journey in education, life as an international educator, the need to diversify the international teaching force, and so much more! To learn more about Kevin's work, you can visit the Association of International Educators & Leaders of Color website at and/or you can follow him on Instagram (@kdslglobal) or Twitter (@GlobalKdsl).     BIO: KDSL Global is an education consulting company launched by Kevin Simpson in 2016 in the USA and in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Simpson and his team have served thousands of schools, organizations, educators, and leaders worldwide in over 25 countries. The majority of this work in education has centered on American curriculum schools.  Since 2008, Simpson has been focused on education in the MENA region, assisted numerous schools with accreditation, training, development, and served as a thought partner to investors on school start-up projects. Simpson is co-founder of the UAE Learning Network and leads the GCC ASCD Connected Community. In addition, he has co-authored papers on American curriculum in the MENA region with a focus on Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, social studies, the arts, and the history of American Education in the UAE.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Teaching from Michigan State University (USA).
November 18, 2021
"Rising Up Against White Supremacy & The Politics of Academia" (Dr. Crystal Marie Fleming)
In this episode, I had the honor of interviewing bestselling author and critical race sociologist Dr. Crystal Marie Fleming.  In our conversation, she shares about her childhood and humble beginnings, her time at Wellesley College, her new book, "Rise Up!: How You Can Join in the Fight Against White Supremacy", her evolution as a scholar in academia, and so much more!  To learn more about Dr. Fleming's work, you can visit her website at and follow her on Twitter (@alwaystheself). BIO: Crystal Marie Fleming is a critical race sociologist, the author of three books and an internationally recognized expert on racism and antiracism. Her work empowers people of all backgrounds to become change agents and dismantle white supremacy. She is Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at SUNY Stony Brook where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on racism and ethnic relations, sociological theory and qualitative methods. Dr. Fleming’s passion for speaking truth to power and promoting social transformation infuses her scholarship, writing and pedagogy. She earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in Sociology from Harvard University and graduated with honors in Sociology and French from Wellesley College. Her research appears in leading journals such as Social Problems, The Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Poetics, Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race and Mindfulness. Her first book Resurrecting Slavery: Racial Legacies and White Supremacy in France (Temple University Press, 2017) uses critical race theory and qualitative research to significantly advance scholarship on racism in France and Europe. The book marshals ethnographic data, archival research and in-depth interviews with French activists and Afro-Caribbean descendants of slaves to consider how commemorations of enslavement and abolition both challenge and reproduce the racial order.   Her critically acclaimed primer, How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy and the Racial Divide (Beacon Press, 2018), combines memoir, critical race theory, social commentary and satire to debunk common misconceptions about racism. The book earned a starred Kirkus review and has been widely praised as essential anti-racist reading by everyone from Publisher’s Weekly to Bustle, ESPN/The Undefeated to the Los Angeles Lakers, Buzzfeed, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and MarketWatch. Dr. Fleming's latest book, RISE UP! How You Can Join the Fight Against White Supremacy, is a YA nonfiction work that explores the roots of racism and its modern day legacies while empowering young people with actionable ways to create a more just and equitable world. It will be published in October of 2021 by Henry Holt for Young Readers. She is currently co-editing a fourth book, Beyond White Mindfulness: Critical Perspectives on Racism, Health and Wellbeing, forthcoming with Routledge and completing a fifth project, Words to Remake the World: A People's Dictionary for Social Change, under contract with Beacon Press. A public intellectual known for her frank talk and insouciant humor, Crystal's provocative writing, lectures and workshops engage a wide array of scholarly and social topics, from racism and white supremacy to pop culture, spirituality, feminism, sexuality and philosophy. Her work and commentary are regularly featured in a range of national and international media, including Courrier International, The Sunday Times, France24, Agency France Presse, Newsweek, Vox, Black Agenda Report, The CBS Sunday Morning Show, The Root, NPR, and the New York Times among others.  She is represented by literary agent Michael Bourret and Outspoken Agency for keynotes and speaking engagements.
November 11, 2021
"All This Math" (Akil Parker)
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with fellow Math educator and Pan-African scholar Akil Parker.  In our conversation, we touched on his personal journey in education, how attending HBCUs shaped his development as an educator, the founding of his company All This Math, the role that mathematics can play in the Pan-Africanism movement, and so much more!  To learn more about Akil's work, you can visit the All This Math website at or you can follow him on Instagram and Twitter (@allthismath) BIO: Akil Parker retired from the School District of Philadelphia in 2018 to grow and develop his math tutoring and educational consulting company, All This Math, LLC. He works diligently to empower youth through mathematics education.  He worked in Philadelphia Public School classrooms as a math teacher for over 15 years, teaching courses ranging from pre-algebra to calculus, including state-standardized test prep and SAT/ACT prep. He has transitioned from working on the front line in the classroom to working behind the scenes as a math tutor, preparing students to perform well in their classrooms. Even in a different capacity, his goal has remained to empower youth to understand mathematics as a viable tool for student benefit. His own children have inspired him to expand his mathematics teaching and tutoring beyond the classroom.
November 04, 2021
"Fighting for Anti-Colonial Education in Our Schools" (Nicole Butler-Hooton)
In this episode, I had the honor of welcoming 2021 Oregon Teacher of the Year Nicole Butler-Hooton as my special guest.  In our conversation, Nicole shares her personal journey in education, how she centers her identity as an Indigenous educator in the classroom, her educational advocacy work throughout her home state of Oregon, transitioning from the classroom into her new role as a Teacher mentor for this new school year, and so much more!  To learn more about Nicole's work, you can visit the CCSSO website at or follow her on Instagram (@nbutlertoy2021) and Twitter (@ButlerHooton).  BIO: “Be the Change you wish to see in the world,” by Mahatma Ghandi, is the quote that best describes 2021 Oregon Teacher of the Year Nicole Butler-Hooton. She is a thoughtful, connected, loyal Native American woman who believes in the value of family, friendships, community, and growth. She exemplifies living each day to its fullest. Born into a minority family where neither parent graduated high school and raised in a small coastal town, Butler-Hooton’s personal drive to excel at the highest level resulted in her success in high school academics, sports, college, and in her personal and professional life. Butler-Hooton earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Oregon (UO) in sociology with a minor in ethnic studies, and she was a recipient of the Sapsik’ʷałá grant, provided to high-performing Native American students striving to earn their Master’s degree in education. Upon receiving her Master’s, she secured a job in the Bethel school district teaching second grade at Irving Elementary in Eugene, Oregon, where she has taught for 15 years. Irving Elementary boasts a supportive community, which has empowered and affirmed Butler-Hooton’s vibrant, inclusive, and culturally competent teaching style. Her colleagues, families, and students respect her well established classroom culture. Each day she teaches and transforms the lives of her students and families. Butler-Hooton’s primary professional goal is to build rapport and make a positive difference. Butler-Hooton is involved in the Oregon Indian Education Association, Eugene Education Association, Northwest Christian University consortium, UO elementary education, and the Bethel School District professional learning community for culturally sustaining practices.
October 28, 2021
"Transforming Schools with Restorative Justice" (Neha Sobti)
In this episode, I had the honor of interviewing Transformative Justice practioner and educator Neha Sobti.  In our conversation, Neha shares about her personal journey in education, the need to decolonize restorative justice practice in our schools, life as a queer South Asian woman while engage in antiracist education work, and so much more!  To learn more about Neha's work, you can follow her on Instagram and Twitter (@nehajoya). BIO: Neha Sobti is a Transformative Justice practitioner, anti-racist school leader, scholar and poet. She supports educators in creating school communities grounded in relationships, healing, care, and culturally sustaining practices. She dreams and leads conversations about dismantling systems of racism in schools while supporting you on your journey to adopt anti-racist and transformative practices. Neha is currently a Doctoral Student at New York University in the Department of Administration, Leadership and Technology. She writes on topics of school discipline and transformative/restorative justice in education.
October 21, 2021
"What is White Supremacy Culture?" (Dr. Tema Okun)
In this episode, I had the special honor of welcoming Tema Okun to the podcast to talk about her personal journey in education, her evolution as an antiracist scholar under the mentorship of the late Dr. Kenneth Jones, the publishing of her widely used article, "White Supremacy Culture", the need for white educators to transition from performative ally to active co-conspirator, and much more!  To learn more about Tema's work, you can visit the White Supremacy Culture website at or you can follow her on Instagram (@okuntema) and Twitter (@TemaOkun).     BIO: Tema Okun has spent over 30 years working with and for organizations, schools, and community-based institutions as a trainer, facilitator, and coach focused on issues of racial justice and equity. Dr. Okun currently co-leads the Teaching for Equity Fellows Program at Duke University, which works with faculty seeking to develop stronger skills both teaching about race and racism and across lines of race, class, and gender. She was a member of the Educational Leadership faculty at National Louis University in Chicago and has taught undergraduate, master's, and doctoral level students in educational leadership and education.   She is the author of the award-winning The Emperor Has No Clothes: Teaching About Race and Racism to People Who Don't Want to Know (2010, IAP) and the widely used article White Supremacy Culture. She publishes regularly on the pedagogy of racial and social justice. Tema is a participant in the Living School for Action and Contemplation and a member of the Bhumisphara Sangha under the leadership of Lama Rod Owens. She is an artist, a poet, and a writer. She lives in Durham, NC where she is fortunate to reside among beloved community. Her current project is deepening her ability to love her neighbor as herself. She is finding the instruction easy and the follow through challenging, given how we live in a culture that is afraid to help us do either or both.
October 14, 2021
"What Does It Mean to be an ABAR Educator?" (Liz Kleinrock)
In this episode, I had the special honor of interviewing anti-bias anti-racist educator and consultant Liz Kleinrock to learn about her personal journey into education, growing up as a transracial adoptee, the release of her debut book, "Start Here, Start Now", what it means to be an ABAR educator, and so much more!  To learn more about Liz's work, you can visit her personal website at or you can follow her on Instagram (@teachandtransform) and Twitter (@teachntransform).   BIO: Liz Kleinrock is an anti-bias anti-racist educator and consultant based in Washington, DC. A transracial adoptee, Liz was born in South Korea and grew up in DC before attending Washington University in St. Louis, MO. After graduating, Liz moved to Oakland, California, where she served as an AmeriCorps teacher with Girls Inc. and Super Stars Literacy for two years. Following her service, Liz moved to Los Angeles, where she attended UCLA's Teacher Education Program, where she earned her M.Ed. After spending a year student teaching a 5th grade class in Watts, Liz joined the founding faculty of a startup school in East Hollywood where she spent seven years teaching 1st through 4th grades.   In addition to classroom teaching, Liz also works as an anti-bias anti-racist facilitator for schools, organizations, and companies across the country. Her work has gained national recognition through a documentary short produced by Fluid Film, and media outlets such as CNN, The Washington Post, NPR, and BBC. In 2018, Liz received Teaching Tolerance's 2018 Award for Excellence in Teaching, and currently serves on the Teaching Tolerance Advisory Board. Liz is proud to share her 2019 TED Talk from "Education Everywhere" on building foundations of equity with young learners, and is the author of “Start Here, Start Now: A Guide to Antibias and Antiracist Work in Your School Community”.
October 07, 2021
"Allusio Academy" (Siriana Abboud)
In this episode, I had the honor of interviewing Siriana Abboud on the podcast.  In our conversation, Siriana shares about her personal journey in education, the founding of Allusio Academy, the public perception of early childhood programs pre and post-COVID-19, her thoughts to the colonial situation in Palestine, and so much more!  To learn more about Siriana's work, you can visit the Allusio Academy website at or you can follow her on Instagram ( and Twitter (@siriana_).    BIO: Siriana Abboud, founder of Allusio Academy, is devoted to a life in early childhood education. Her career began at Carnegie Mellon University. She received her B.S. in Psychology, with concentrations in developmental and social/personality psychology. Her additional major in French and Francophone Studies introduced her to bilingual acquisition and multilingual learning.   At Columbia University, Teachers College, Siriana gained her Masters in Early Childhood Education, in both general and special education. There, she became the youngest student selected as a QUIERE scholar, studying education through social justice. She received an additional certification in French teaching.   She has taught in twelve classrooms across New York City and Pittsburgh, ranging from infant to second grade. Her extensive experiences have equipped her with the knowledge and skills to serve students of all diverse backgrounds and abilities.  Through her latest role as a head teacher in an NYC Universal Pre-K, Siriana developed an elementary mastery of Spanish, adding to her linguistic skills in English, Arabic, and French.  Siriana values progressive pedagogies that are child-centered and informed by developmental research. As a teacher, she honors families as leaders of their child’s education. Her approach is inspired by those of Reggio Emilia, Montessori, and other play-based philosophies. She invites children to explore their communities while bringing their world into the class. She has been featured on NPR’s On Point Radio, Vogue Living Arabic, The Telegraph Food UK, and Pittsburgh Today Live.
September 29, 2021
"The Evolving Education Project" (Dr. Tiffany M. Nyachae)
In this episode, I had the honor of interviewing Buffalo's finest Dr. Tiffany M. Nyachae on the podcast to learn about her personal journey to education, her transition from the classroom to academia, how she manages racial battle fatigue as a Black woman in academia, the importance of incorporating 'race space' critical professional development in our school communities, and so much more!  To learn more about Tiffany's work, you can visit The Evolving Education Project at or you can follow her on Instagram (@tiffany.m.nyachae or @evolvingeducationproject) or Twitter (@tiffany_nyachae or @EvolvingEduProj) BIO: Tiffany M. Nyachae is Assistant Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The Pennsylvania State University, College of Education. She is also podcaster, educational consultant, and founder of the Evolving Education Project; a fellow in the STAR (Scholars of Color Transitioning into Academic Research Institutions) Mentoring Program through the Literacy Research Association (LRA); and 2018-2020 Cultivating New Voices (CNV) Among Scholars of Color Fellow through the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Dr. Nyachae earned her Ph.D. in Literacy Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning at the University at Buffalo (SUNY).  As a native and longtime resident of the city of Buffalo, NY, at the heart of her research agenda is, has been, and will be improving the educational experiences of students of Color. This agenda is evident in her research on supporting the racial literacy, social justice ideological becoming, and classroom practice of urban teachers committed to social justice through “race space” critical professional development. Additionally, she provides educational consulting and professional development to college/university faculty, school districts, administrators, and teachers through the Evolving Education Project.  As a former middle school teacher of urban Black youth, Dr. Nyachae is interested in the continuous transparent and reflective work that is required from those who claim to center social justice in their leadership, instruction, and research. Thus, she also facilitates social justice literacy workshops and programming for youth of Color broadly—and for Black girls specifically at times—interrogating the degree to which these spaces are liberatory in actuality. Dr. Nyachae finds her greatest joy in learning with (and from) young people. Her publications have appeared in journals such as Urban Education, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Multicultural Learning and Teaching, Gender and Education, and Qualitative Inquiry. Finally, she also volunteers her service to various community and professional organizations.
September 23, 2021
"Know Your Hairitage" (Zenda Walker)
In this special episode, we switch things up a little bit!  My wife Natalie makes her podcast debut as my co-host and we're excited to chat with our good friend Zenda Walker about her natural hair journey, creating the Know Your Hairitage book series, redefining hair education, her thoughts on the CROWN Act, and so much more!  To learn more about Zenda's work, you can visit the Know Your Hairitage website at or you can follow her on Instagram (@zzenlife or @know_your_hairitage) and Twitter (@knowurhairitage).   BIO: Zenda Walker is recognized as a dynamic and accomplished Marketing and Sales Executive with a proven track record in developing and executing strategic business plans that achieve sales goals for global beauty brands. She also has a strong background in managing marketing campaigns to increase profits and brand awareness, and she makes informed, data-driven decisions to support growth initiatives and transform key brands.   Zenda is respected as a motivational, influential leader and collaborator who guides teams in realizing aggressive sales goals. She leverages a passion for the beauty industry to deliver exceptional customer service, and educate team members in best practices, service techniques, and product knowledge. Zenda drives new business by establishing strategic partnerships, and she is a natural networker and communicator, who fosters and maintains lasting relationships with strategic partners, C-Level executives, and key stakeholders. She also thrives in fast-paced, challenging environments that champion diversity and innovation.  Zenda holds a Masters of Business Management from Cambridge College to support her exemplary educational and service background. She is also the author of the No. 1 Amazon New Release, "Know Your Hairitage: Zara's Wash Day", a children's book that celebrates diversity.
September 16, 2021
"Classroom to Go" (Jerilee Melo)
In this episode, I had the honor of interviewing early childhood educator Jerilee Melo on the podcast!  In our conversation, she share about her early upbringing in Southern California, her family's influence in directing her to a career in teaching, the founding of Classroom to Go, the overall impact of COVID-19 on early childhood programs and students, and so much more!  To learn more about Jerilee's work, you can visit the Classroom to Go website at or you can follow her on Instagram (@classroomtogo).   BIO: Jerilee Melo is the founder and creator of Classroom to Go, a mobile classroom that provides preschoolers with the social interaction they were missing during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Born and raised in Southern California, she knew at a very early age that she wanted to be a teacher, just like her mother and two of her grandparents. Jerilee loved watching The Elephant Show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Lamb Chop’s Play-Along, and Reading Rainbow as a child and still looks to those shows for inspiration. She has had the privilege of working with children for more than 16 years and was able to learn and teach in a variety of schools with various approaches to education including Montessori, Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, and Reggio Emilia.  Prior to teaching, I was a co-director at My Gym Children’s Fitness Center and even developed their Preschool Prep (Jump Start) program which is now offered at locations domestic and worldwide.
September 09, 2021
"The Worldwide Educator" (Adrienne Waller)
For this week's episode, we're going international with my good friend and special guest Adrienne Waller!  In our conversation, Adrienne goes in depth about life as a Black woman expat and international educator, the founding of Worldwide Educator, how teaching abroad has impacted her educational practice and worldview, why more educators should tap into Clubhouse, and much more!  To learn more about Adrienne's work, you can visit her company's website at or follow her on Instagram (@worldwideeducator) and Twitter (@worldwideeduc8r)   BIO: Adrienne Waller is originally from Metro-Detroit, Michigan, USA.  She studied at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor for undergraduate studies with a concentration in Organizational Studies and Sociology.  She received her masters for National Louis University in Elementary Education with a concentration in Special Education.  Adrienne has been in education for 15 years doing parent involvement work, teaching and leadership; serving in public, private and charter schools in the US, Qatar and China.  Her leadership learning includes earning a Cambridge Leadership Certificate, Michigan School Administrator’s Certificate (August 2021) and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Certificate.  Matched with her leadership qualifications is a teaching certificate in Illinois for Elementary Education, Special Education, Middle School Social Studies and Middle School Math.    Adrienne is the owner of Worldwide Educator, LLC an education consulting company focused on empowering educators to own their instructional genius while activating students.  She has worked with educators across the country and the world in a variety of topics including but not limited to Differentiated Instruction, Student Centered Learning and Effective English Language Arts Instruction.
September 03, 2021
"Selecting & Using Indigenous Children's Books in Our Classrooms" (Dr. Debbie Reese)
In this episode, I had the special honor of interviewing educator and scholar Dr. Debbie Reese!  In our conversation, Dr. Reese goes in depth about her personal journey in education, the founding of her organization, American Indian in Children's Literature (AICL), the misrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in children's books, and so much more!  To learn more about Dr. Reese's work, you can visit the AICL website at or follow her on Twitter (@debreese) or Instagram (@dreese_nambe).     BIO: Dr. Debbie Reese is an educator and founder of American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL). She is tribally enrolled at Nambe Owingeh, a federally recognized tribe, and grew up on Nambe’s reservation. She earned her teaching degree from the University of New Mexico and taught elementary school in Albuquerque before moving to Oklahoma to work on a Master's degree in school administration.    During her time in Oklahoma, Dr. Reese taught at Riverside Indian School in Anadarko. Then she moved back to Nambé and taught at Santa Fe Indian School in Santa Fe and Pojoaque Elementary School in Pojoaque (just down the road from Nambé).    In the early 1990s, she moved to Illinois to work on a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. At the time, the University of Illinois had a stereotypical Indian mascot. Working alongside Native students and our allies, they were able to establish the Native American House at the University, and soon after that, launched an American Indian Studies program. A few years later, the university's mascot was discontinued.   During graduate school at Illinois, she reviewed for Horn Book. She has written for library publications such as Horn Book Magazine and School Library Journal, and educational publications like Language Arts, published by the National Council for Teachers of English. She has served on the Multicultural Advisory Board for Reading is Fundamental, and the board for Reach Out and Read American Indian/Alaska Native. Dr Reese has been invited to give lectures and workshops around the country and has recently begun using technology to work with libraries and colleagues in Canada, too. In 2018, she was selected to deliver the American Library Association's 2019 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture.
August 26, 2021
"Centering Black Women Educators" (Deidra Fogarty)
This week's episode was necessary and special!  If you are a Black woman in  education, this episode is for you!  For this conversation, I welcomed my good friend and thriving edupreneur Deidra Fogarty to the podcast to talk about her personal journey in education, the founding of Black Girls Teach, the need for school districts to create safe community spaces for Black women educators, and much more!  To learn more about Deidra's work, you can visit the Black Girls Teach website at or follow @blackgirlsteach on all social media platforms.   BIO: Deidra Fogarty is a native of Bridgeport, Connecticut and is currently an Educator, Literacy Consultant and Entrepreneur.  Deidra has worked in education for over a decade in various capacities. Her natural leadership ability allowed her to venture into leadership positions in Washington Metropolitan area. After a decade working in education and frustration with the current state of it, Deidra decided to make a pivot in her career entering back into the classroom as a teacher.  Deidra used this as an opportunity to develop her teacher craft by working with students who needed the most academic support. With her new setting and role, came a happier mindset, thus allowing her to use her time to focus on her other passions such as diverse children’s literature, supporting teachers, providing resources literacy to parents and bringing awareness to current issues in Urban Education. She, along with her sister, launched a successful subscription service called WAM! Book Bundle where she provides a selection of diverse children’s books to parents and educators each month.  Through all of her ventures, Deidra realized that there was a void in Urban Education. Along her journey, there was never a support system, community or outlet for Black women in Education, besides her own educator friends.  She knew that women like herself often felt isolated and frustrated with not being able to share their thoughts about Education and their role in it, unapologetically. She wanted to create a community where other Black women working in Education could discuss topics, get advice, share best practices and connect with one another. She wanted to create a way for more people to see and hear the perspective of Black women working in Education.  Black Girls Teach was the solution.
August 19, 2021
"Liberation Lab" (Bobby Morgan)
In this episode, I had the pleasure of chatting it up with my good friend Bobby Morgan.  In our conversation, Bobby shares his personal journey in education, the founding of Liberation Lab,  his thoughts on the state of teacher performance evaluations, the need for antiracist solidarity in the fight for liberation, and much more.   To learn more about Bobby's work, you can follow him on Instagram (@liberation.lab), Twitter (@myliberationlab) or you visit his website at    BIO: Bobby Morgan is an educator, writer, speaker, and consultant who specializes in working with other educators to promote equity and culturally responsive teaching practices. With over a decade in education, primarily in under resourced populations, Bobby is passionate about cultivating the brilliance in Black and Brown communities. Through coaching, workshops, and meaningful professional development, Bobby desires to change the educational landscape, ensuring pathways of success for students. In addition to his work within educational institutions, Bobby works as an educational advocate partnering with allies in the fight for equitable policies and legislative priorities for all students. He founded Liberation Lab, an educational consulting firm to build pathways for internal and external accountability. Internal accountability for teachers to put liberatory practices to work, immediately benefitting student outcomes. External accountability will come through empowering parents and families with the resources necessary to hold schools accountable for more than aspirations of equity.
August 11, 2021
"Building Antiracist Solidarity In Our Schools" (Yaribel Mercedes)
In this episode, I welcome Yaribel Mercedes to the podcast to talk about your  personal journey in education, life as a teacher influencer on social media, the need for principal preparation programs to train principal candidates into anti-racist school leaders, and much more!  To learn more about Yaribel's work, you can follow @yari_mercedes on Instagram.   BIO: Yaribel Mercedes is a graduate of the 2018 Cohort o the Summer Principals Academy, New York City.  Currently, she serves as an Academic Response Team Specialist, situated in Manhattan’s Borough/Citywide Office, for the Department of Education. As an ART Specialist, she works in a collaborative partnership with districts, school leaders, and various stakeholders to build capacity and accelerate student learning. More specifically, she leads through a social justice and anti-racist leadership disposition to advance racial equity, inclusion, access, and opportunity.   As a radicalized being, she understands the impact of race in education, and her passion and purpose is grounded in her commitment to disrupt racist and oppressive systems, structures, and policies that marginalize and minoritize Black, Indigenous, students of color.  She deeply believes in the brilliance of every child and work with community stakeholders to cultivate curiosity, knowledge, intellect, and skills for all students to achieve at the highest level possible. Her greatest superpowers are words, writing them, speaking them, and BEING them.
August 05, 2021
"Black History Saved My Life" (Ernest Crim III)
In this episode, I was honored to have educator, speaker and activist Ernest Crim III on the podcast to talk about his personal journey in education, the inspiration behind the making of his book, "Black History Saved My Life", how his college years served as a pivotal point for his evolution as an activist, and much more!  To learn more about Ernest's work, you can visit his website at or follow him on all social media platforms with the handle @mrcrim3.   BIO: Ernest Crim III is a self-proclaimed Black History Advocate who is a native of the southside of Chicago and a product of the late 80s. He is a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign alum who advocates for Black History, equity and justice as a speaker, cultural consultant, sociopolitical commentator, cast member on the PBS documentary ‘Divided We Fall’, author of the Amazon best-seller Black History Saved My Life, former City Council Candidate and high school social science instructor.  As a consultant and speaker, he uses his experience with fighting a hate crime that went viral, to teach the important role Black History plays in becoming cultural compliant and equitable in the workplace, school and broader community. He has spoken at various conferences and institutions nationally, such as the United States Department of Education’s Black History Month panel, the University of Chicago, Illinois State University and Nevada State College. Internationally, he’s been a featured speaker in Canada and the United Kingdom.   As an educator and activist, Mr. Crim has been awarded “Most Inspiring Teacher” more than five times, the “Joliet Chamber of Commerce’s Great Teacher Award”, the National Hook-up of Black Women’s “Gold Star Award for Education”, the P.E.P.S. “Community Activist of the Year Award”, and the “Dr. Isaac Singleton Award for Extraordinary Service” by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition in Joliet.  His debut book, Black History Saved My Life: How My Viral Hate Crime led to an Awakening, which chronicles his experiences and triumphs with racism in relation to the hate crime he was the target of, is an Amazon best-seller. He has been featured on WVON radio, the NY Post, the Chicago Sun-Times and Tribune, PBS as a cast member on the documentary Divided We Fall, NPR, CBS, Matter of Fact (a television show produced by former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien), the podcast of Red Table Talk co-host Adrienne Banfield-Norris, which is entitled Positively Gam and several other podcasts.  Mr. Crim hopes to use his life experiences to inspire others to fight injustices and educate themselves for the purpose of empowerment, equity and justice. Black History saved Ernest’s life. What’s going to save yours?
July 29, 2021
"Creating Queer-Affirming, Abolitionist Learning Spaces in K-12 Schools" (Akiea "Ki" Gross)
In this episode, I had the honor of having Akiea "Ki" Gross on the podcast to talk about their personal journey in education, the founding of Woke Kindergarten, what needs to be done to improve our education system for our early childhood educators and students, the need to create queer-affirming, abolitionist learning spaces in our schools, etc.  To learn more about Ki's work, you can visit the Woke Kindergarten website at and you can follow them on Instagram (@WokeKindergarten, @WhyAbolition, @WomxynAmplify and @SistersUnsigned) and Twitter (@akieag).   BIO: Akiea “Ki” Gross (they/them) is an abolitionist early educator, coach, consultant and creative entrepreneur currently innovating ways to unlearn, heal, liberate and create with their pedagogy, Woke Kindergarten. In the many years they spent teaching in classrooms, their experiences spanned infancy to 6th grade. Prior to leaving the school system, they served as a Kindergarten Teacher and an Instructional Coach of Inquiry-Based Learning in Harlem.   Recently, Ki was selected as the Early Childhood Education Assembly’s 2020 Social Justice Award Recipient and has participated as a speaker, panelist and moderator for many organizations and events including Bank Street’s Black Lives Matter at Schools Week Symposiums, SXSW EDU, Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented, Teachers for Social Justice, Montclair State, UMBC, NYPL, Abolitionist Teaching Network and more.  It was their experiences with the carceral state of schooling and the trauma enacted upon Black children in these systems, that galvanized them to create #BlackTeachersMatter, Black Teachers Mentor and Equitable Schools years ago. As their ideologies and experiences with abolition evolved, they dissolved Equitable Schools and created @WhyAbolition.   Their commitment to creating safe, inclusive and liberatory spaces for BIPOC queer & trans artists also led them to create Sisters Unsigned, an intimate concert series that amplifies the voices of independent queer, trans, gender and genre expansive BIPOC artists and creators.  Along with their partner Sonic and creative team, Womxyn Amplify, they’ve directed, curated and hosted many other creative pursuits including Sisters Unsigned presents: Women in Hip Hop, Archway Pride, and SEASONS: A Voyage Through Sound, their team’s 2020 artist residency at National Sawdust.  Currently, they serve as Coaching Manager for 4.0 Schools, an early stage investor and incubator for education entrepreneurs, and are working on the release of a few entrepreneurial projects of their own.  They hold an M.A. in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, an M.S. in Childhood Education/Special Education from the Progressive Education Institute/Touro College and two B.A.’s in Child Development and Family Studies and Psychology, respectively.   You can find them on Twitter @akieag and their work on Instagram @WokeKindergarten, @WhyAbolition, @WomxynAmplify and @SistersUnsigned.
July 22, 2021
"The Rebellious History Teacher" (Lucia Reyes)
For this week's episode, we welcome ethnic studies teacher and curriculum specialist Lucia Reyes to the podcast to talk about her personal journey in education, her Chicana heritage, the importance of incorporating ethnic studies into our K-12 curriculum, the founding of her company, ESTE Publishing, and much more! To learn more about Lucia's work, you can visit the ESTE Publishing website at or you can follow her on Instagram with the handles @the_rebellious_history_teacher (Personal) and @a_rebellious_education (Business).    BIO:  Lucia Reyes is a proud Chicana mama to one special little human & a “Mama Reyes” to hundreds of special bigger humans. She is a 7th grade Social Studies & 7th/8th grade Ethnic Studies public school teacher and the founder of ESTE Publishing. Through ESTE, which stands for Empowering Students Through Education, she offers services & curriculum that is 100% dedicated to racial equity, social justice, & decolonized historical truth. SHE IS NOT A NEUTRAL EDUCATOR. She has spent 20 years in education advocating for the most underserved & underestimated youth in Los Angeles County to have the same educational access, rights, & opportunities as other kids. She’s tired of fighting. She just wants to teach but she’s seen too much, knows too much, hugged too many sobbing kids, seen too many kids struggle in a system that was designed to hold them down instead of lift them up.
July 15, 2021
"School Librarians for Social Justice" (K.C. Boyd, Sandra Albini & Forrest Evans)
This special episode is dedicated to the librarians and media specialists who are holding it down in their schools!  I had the honor of interviewing K.C. Boyd, Sandra Albini, and Forrest Evans, who took the time to share their personal journeys to librarianship, the significant role that librarians play in supporting students and teachers, the need for racial equity and diversity within the librarian media specialist field, and much more!  To learn more about their work, you can check out their respective websites or follow them on their social media handles:   K.C. BOYD:  Website:;  Social Media: (IG & TWITTER  - @boss_librarian)   SANDRA ALBINI: Social Media: IG - @hoodlibrarian   FORREST EVANS: Website:  Social Media: (IG - @favoritelibrarian, TWITTER - @MsForrestnoGump) BIO: K.C. Boyd is currently a school librarian with the Washington D.C. School System.  She has previously worked as the Lead Librarian for the East St. Louis District #189 in East St. Louis, IL., a Area Library Coordinator for Chicago Public Schools and a District Coordinator for the Mayor Daley Book Club for Middle School Students.  She is a second generation educator and holds Master’s degrees in Library Information Science, Media Communications, and Education Leadership.  Boyd currently serves on the executive boards for the District of Columbia Library Association and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.  She is an active committee member for the American Library Association Chapter Council representing Washington, D.C., American Association of School Librarians Digital Tools, American Library Association’s Center for the Future of Libraries Advisory Group, Every Library Institute and Advisory Board, and the Washington Teachers’ Union Equity Collaborative.  In addition, Boyd is a National Ambassador representing the Washington D.C. are for the Checkology Virtual Classroom and The News Literacy Project. Sandra (Maríne) Albini earned a BA in English from Cal Poly Pomona. As an undergrad, she worked as a Foster Child Caregiver in a group home for teenage girls in L.A. County. She earned an MA in English from Cal State University, Los Angeles. Sandra has worked as an English and AVID teacher for almost two decades. She has taught in Orange County, Los Angeles County, and Santa Clara County, all at Title I schools. She occasionally teaches night classes in adult education. Sandra has recently completed an MLIS degree and Teacher Librarian credential from San José State University.  Sandra has worked as a Teacher Librarian for three years. She was also the 2020 recipient of the California State Library Association’s Leadership for Diversity scholarship. Sandra is now an active member of the CSLA Leadership for Diversity committee.  Forrest Evans is an Atlanta-based, licensed librarian working at the Auburn Avenue Research Library. Evans has worked in various libraries from Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the south to special collections and television. The avid DC Comic Book collector combating under education, and fighting for gender equality. Their love for reading fuels my passion to circulate Black and Queer Literature, and resources. The low country native, also known for her published poetry in Pen+Brush, Lavender Review: Lesbian Poetry and Art, TQ Review: A Journal of Trans and Queer Voices, and The Apogee Journal. When the poet is not in the library, they are with their Queer Tribe combating xenophobia or sharing joy. For more information about Evans, visit or their official social media.
July 08, 2021
"Keepin' It Real about Critical Race Theory & the Academy" (Dr. Angel Jones & Dr. Kate Slater)
With the national conversation about critical race theory gaining so much momentum in recent weeks, I invited Dr. Angel Jones and Dr. Kate Slater to educate our listeners of what critical race theory is, the true origins of the theory, and the specific actions that K-12 educators can take to integrate the basic tenets of the theory into their curriculum and daily teaching practice.  They also shared about the ups and downs they experienced being women in the Academy.  To learn more about Dr. Jones' work, you can visit her website at and follow her on all social media platforms with the handle @angeljonesphd.  To learn more about Dr. Slater's work, you can visit her website at and follow her on Instagram (@katerslater).    BIO:  Dr. Angel Jones is a passionate educator with 15+ years of experience in K-12 and Higher Education. At her core, as both an educator and a researcher, she endeavors to improve the lives of marginalized students while providing opportunities for their stories to be told. Broadly, her research focuses on the experiences of Black and Brown students at historically White institutions. More specifically, she examines how their experiences impact their mental health and overall well-being. Her areas of interest include microaggressions, racial battle fatigue, gendered-racism, and the psychological impact of each on Students of Color. Additionally, her research is informed by Critical Race Theory, Critical Race Feminism, and other theoretical frameworks that acknowledge and highlight the impact of race, gender, and other marginalized identities on the experiences of Students of Color. ​She is a proud first-generation college student who received her Ph.D. in Education from George Washington University with a focus on inequality in Higher Education. She also has an M.Ed. and Ed.S. in School Counseling from Georgia State University, as well as a B.A. in Political Science from Syracuse University. She is also a Brooklyn native and proud Afro Latina.   Dr. Kate Slater is a White anti-racist scholar and educator.  She is currently the Assistant Dean of Graduate Student Affairs at Brandeis University. Previously, she was the Associate Director & Manager of Programs at the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers, a nonprofit that promotes racial equity in the American educational sector. She is also a lecturer at the University of New Hampshire for the course Teaching Race, which explores the history of race and racism in America. Her doctoral research centers the experiences of underrepresented minorities students in higher education, and in particular, at predominantly White institutions. She also investigates White racial identity formation and how racism operates individually, organizationally, and systemically. She leads facilitations, trainings, and affinity groups with K-12 institutions and universities, as well as with numerous private organizations.
June 30, 2021
"Fighting Ableism in Our K-12 Schools" (Dr. Jen Newton & Dr. Mira Cole Williams)
In this episode, I welcomed special education professors Dr. Jen Newton and Dr. Mira Cole Williams to the podcast for an important conversation about combating ableism in our K-12 schools.  They also shared how ableism plays into the national conversation about critical race theory, the founding of the Teaching is Intellectual Platform, the actions that educators & school districts must take to integrate anti-ableist practices into their school communities, the future of special education during the COVID-19 pandemic, and much more!  This episode is dedicated to all the special education teachers and inclusion teachers who are in the trenches!   To learn more about their work, you can visit their website at or you can follow them on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter with the handle @teachingisintellectual.    BIO: Jen Newton, PhD is an assistant professor in special education.  Dr. Newton’s research interests include strengths-based approaches to families, early childhood inclusion, inclusive teacher preparation, and socially just and equitable educational practices.  She presents locally, regionally, and nationally on a range of inclusive educational topics.  She served as an early interventionist and an inclusive prekindergarten teacher prior to pursuing doctoral studies.  Dr. Newton earned her doctorate in special education with a focus on teacher education from the University of Kansas and spent four years as an assistant professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., then three years at Saint Louis University before finding her home at Ohio University.   Mira Cole Williams, PhD, is an associate professor in the Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities Department at James Madison University. Dr. Williams earned a doctoral degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education from the University of Virginia. She also received her Master’s of Teaching and B.S. in Psychology from the University of Virginia. Dr. Williams taught for six years in inclusive early childhood preschool and elementary classrooms in Virginia. In addition, she served as an educational specialist, consulting with teachers and families of children with disabilities, focusing on differentiating instruction and providing curricular access to all children.  She is a strong advocate of high-quality teacher preparation in the area of Early Childhood Inclusive and Special Education and is focused on social justice and equity for young children and their families. She presents locally and nationally on a range of topics related to improving teacher preparation, inclusive practices in early childhood education, and disrupting microaggressions in P-16 educational settings.
June 23, 2021
"Revolutionizing School Leadership in K-12 Schools" (Baruti Kafele)
This week, I had the special honor of interviewing Baruti Kafele on the podcast. In our conversation, we touched on a number of topics, including the different expressions of anti-Blackness in K-12 schools, the specific actions that educators and school districts should take to engage in culturally relevant and antiracist pedagogy that centers Black students, and the release of his newest book, The Equity and Social Justice Education 50. To learn more about Principal Kafele’s work, you can visit his official website at and you can also follow him on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter with the handle @PrincipalKafele. BIO:  A highly-regarded urban educator in New Jersey for over twenty years, Principal Baruti Kafele distinguished himself as a master teacher and a transformational school leader. As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, NJ, he was selected as the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, he was a New Jersey State Teacher of the Year finalist, and a recipient of the New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence. As a middle and high school principal, Principal Kafele led the turnaround of four different New Jersey urban schools, including "The Mighty" Newark Tech, which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national recognition, which included U.S. News and World Report Magazine recognizing it three times as one of America's best high schools. One of the most sought-after school leadership experts and education speakers in America, Principal Kafele is impacting America’s schools! He has delivered over two thousand conference and program keynotes, professional development workshops, parenting seminars and student assemblies over his 34 years of public speaking. An expert in the area of “attitude transformation,” Principal Kafele is the leading authority for providing effective classroom and school leadership strategies toward closing what he coined, the "Attitude Gap.” A prolific writer, Principal Kafele has written extensively on professional development strategies for creating a positive school climate and culture, transforming the attitudes of at-risk students, motivating Black males to excel in the classroom, and school leadership practices for inspiring schoolwide excellence. In addition to writing several professional articles for popular education journals, he has authored eleven books, including his six ASCD best sellers - Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School & in Life, Closing the Attitude Gap, The Teacher 50, Is My School a Better School BECAUSE I Lead It?, The Principal 50 and The Assistant Principal 50. He is also the author of the ASCD book, The Aspiring Principal 50. His next book – The Equity and Social Justice Education 50 will be released in May, 2021. Principal Kafele is married to his wife Kimberley, and is the father of their three children, Baruti, Jabari and Kibriya. He earned his B.S. degree in Management Science/Marketing from Kean University and his M.A. degree in Educational Administration from New Jersey City University. He is the recipient of over 150 educational, professional and community awards which include the prestigious Milken National Educator Award, the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award, induction into the East Orange, New Jersey Hall of Fame, recognition as one of the World’s Top 30 Education Professionals for 2020 & 2021 by Global Gurus Top 30 and the City of Dickinson, Texas proclaiming February 8, 1998 as Baruti Kafele Day.
June 16, 2021
"Dismantling White Supremacy Culture in K-12 Schools" (Joe Truss)
In this episode, I had the honor of chatting with school leader and racial equity coach, Joe Truss.  In our conversation, he shared about his personal journey in education, the need for educators and school leaders to engage in culturally responsive leadership, how to dismantle white supremacy culture in our K-12 schools, his upcoming Dismantling White Supremacy Conference, and many other topics.  To learn more about Joe's work, you can visit his website at or you can follow him on Twitter & Instagram with the handle @trussleadership.    BIO: Joe Truss currently serves as the Principal of Visitacion Valley Middle School in San Francisco, CA and brings sixteen years of experience working with public K-12 students, combining teaching, coaching, counseling, curriculum development, and school administration. He also has extensive experience working in Title 1 schools, serving low-income, immigrant, students of color. Originally born and raised in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, Joe grew up in a single-parent home, after losing my father at the age of five. He attended public schools in San Francisco and found solace in his studies. He later studied the Spanish Language at UC Berkeley in the early 2000s.  He continued my education through the Urban Teacher Training Collaborative and received my Master’s in Teaching from Tufts University, in Boston. He then returned to teach High School Spanish in Oakland. After becoming a lead teacher, with Envision Schools, Joe returned to pursue an Administrator’s Credential through the UC Berkeley PLI program. There, he conducted my Leadership Action Research Project on the effects of Culturally Relevant Curricula in a small urban high school. He later returned to San Francisco, as a high school Assistant Principal, before becoming the Principal of a middle school. There, he introduced a vision focused on Love, Literacy, and Liberation. He has worked to decrease student referrals, increase performance on the SBAC English Language Arts and double 6th-grade enrollment. During my tenure, he worked to bring in a focus on culturally responsive teaching, project-based learning, and trauma-sensitive practices. Through his consulting company, Truss Leadership, he has led various workshops, and offered professional development to over 10,000 educators. In addition, he has begun working with schools, non-profits, and districts to manifest their racial equity goals. This includes onsite (or virtual) antiracist/antibias training for staff, strategic planning with leadership teams, and 1 on 1 coaching of leaders. Finally, he has started 2 year long virtual courses, Antiracist Leadership and Antiracist Teaching.
June 09, 2021
"Centering Asian American Voices in K-12 Education" (Takeru "TK" Nagayoshi)
In this episode, I welcome Takeru "TK" Nagayoshi to the podcast to share his personal journey in education, the prevalence of anti-Asian racism in our K-12 schools, the need to debunk the "Model Minority" narrative that decenters the intersectional identities within the Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, and many more topics.  To learn more about Takeru's work, you can follow him on Twitter with the handle @tk_nagayoshi or Facebook. BIO:  Takeru "TK" Nagayoshi is the 2020 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year. He teaches high school AP English, writing, and research in New Bedford, MA. Having joined education through Teach For America (TFA), Takeru advocates for education policy through an equity lens. When not teaching, he coaches developing teachers and writes on education issues for local, state and national publications. A recipient of the Sontag Prize Award, Takeru has piloted the research-based AP Capstone program. With over 92% of his students passing the AP Seminar course, he not only achieved the highest percentage of qualifying AP scores in his school’s history but also helped the district lead the state in the number of AP Certificates awarded (2018). Outside the classroom, he works with educators through mentorship programs and runs workshops on ELA content, class management, and instructional pedagogy. For example, as school operations manager and educator coach, Takeru has spent his summers training developing middle and high school teachers across the country. During the school year, as one of the content instructional leaders for TFA Massachusetts, Takeru has designed and facilitated dozens of professional development sessions for first and second-year teachers. When not teaching or coaching, Takeru lends his voice to conversations on education-related policy issues, be they through op-ed writing or his participation on panels, committees, and fellowships. He has served as fellow for organizations such as Harvard's Education Redesign Lab, Teach Plus, DESE's Teacher Advisory Cabinet, and InSPIRED ("In-service Professionals Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity") A native of New Jersey, Takeru has lived in Japan for 5 years and in and out of Providence for the past 8 years. He earned a BA in International Relations from Brown University and an M.Ed in Curriculum and Teaching from Boston University.
June 02, 2021
"Healing Racism in Schools" (Sharla Stevens and the Ancestors)
In this episode, I welcomed my good friend Sharla Stevens and the Ancestors to the show to talk about her personal journey in education, how her HBCU experience shaped her development as an educator, the inspiration behind the founding of her company, Healing Racism in Schools, and so much more!  To learn more about Sharla's work, you can follow her on Instagram (@healingracisminschools), Facebook (The Antiracist Educator - Fighting White Supremacy in Schools) and LinkedIn.  You can also visit her company website at  BIO: Sharla Stevens is a passionate educator eager to see our schools deliver on their promise to educate ALL children. In her 20+ year career in education, she has seen the ways that white supremacy causes great harm in our schools. As a mother of 2, her mission became even more urgent! She created her business, Healing Racism in Schools, LLC to provide school leaders with the anti-racism training necessary to serve ALL students.
May 26, 2021
"Developing Racial Literacy with Love" (Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz)
In this special episode, I had the honor of welcoming Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz to the podcast to share about her personal journey in academia, her best-selling poetry book "Love from the Vortex", the love lessons she has learned from her past relationships, her evolving work around racial literacy development, and much more!  If you're a lover of love, this episode is tailor made for you!  To learn more about Dr. Sealey-Ruiz's work, you can visit her website at or follow her on Instagram (@yolie_sealeyruiz) and on Twitter (@RuizSealey).   BIO: Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz is an award-winning Associate Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focuses on racial literacy in teacher education, Black girl literacies, and Black and Latinx male high school students. A sought-after speaker on issues of race, culturally responsive pedagogy, and diversity, Sealey-Ruiz works with K-12 and higher education school communities to increase their racial literacy knowledge and move toward more equitable school experiences for their Black and Latinx students. Sealey-Ruiz appeared in Spike Lee’s “2 Fists Up: We Gon’ Be Alright”, a documentary about the Black Lives Matter movement and the campus protests at Mizzou. Her co-authored book [with Dr. Detra Price-Dennis] Advancing Racial Literacies in Teacher Education: Toward Activism for Equity in Digital Spaces will be published in April 2021.  Her first full-length collection of poetry Love from the Vortex & Other Poems (Kalediscope Vibrations LLC) was published in March, 2020, and her sophomore book of poetry, The Peace Chronicles will be released in Summer 2021.
May 19, 2021
"Sketchnoting in the Name of Antiracism & Social Justice" (Sylvia Duckworth)
In this episode, I virtually made my way to Toronto, Canada to have a conversation with Sylvia Duckworth.  In our conversation, Sylvia shares her personal journey as an educator, the future of ed tech in this virtual learning era, the benefits of sketchnoting as a useful tool for students & teachers in the classroom, and how she has evolved in her engagement in antiracist work during her retirement.  To learn more about Sylvia's work, you can visit her website at or follow her on Instagram and Twitter (@sylviaduckworth).    BIO: Sylvia Duckworth is an award-winning teacher and sketchnoting enthusiast from Toronto, Canada. She is a Google Certified Innovator, Trainer and Apple Distinguished Educator and frequent keynote speaker at educational events. She is the author of two books: "Sketchnotes for Educators" and "How to Sketchnote: A Step-by-Step Manual for Teachers and Students". She blogs and shares her teaching resources at To see samples of the drawings in "Sketchnotes for Educators", please visit For more information on ""How to Sketchnote: A Step-by-Step Manual for Teachers and Students", please visit
May 12, 2021
"Honoring the Cultural Wealth of Culturally Linguistically Diverse Families" (Latania Marr y Ortega)
In this episode, I had the honor of welcoming Latania Marr y Ortega to talk about her personal journey in educator, her Chicana heritage, the emergence of bilingualism, her doctoral work on the community cultural wealth of culturally linguistically diverse families, and much more!  To learn more about Latania's work, you can follow her on Instagram (@_my_own_muse) and Twitter (@LMarr98)!   BIO: Latania Marr y Ortega is an Ed.D Candidate at Kansas State University (K-State) where she facilitates Teaching English as a Second Language courses in the Center for Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy (CIMA). Most recently, she assisted in organizing and facilitating the inaugural conference, "Beyond Envisioning Equity: Situating Teachers of Color Voices".  A New Mexico native, Latania has been an educator for 19 years. She taught in a dual language elementary school program where she also was an instructor in the University of New Mexico (UNM) Family Literacy program in Albuquerque, NM. She continued her work with families when she taught adult ESL programs during her time as a secondary English Language Arts Teacher. Her passion to advocate for and engage BIPOC families in our school communities has continued by sharing strategies to current and future teachers to use the Community Cultural Wealth (Yosso, 2005) to drive instruction as well as resist the injustice and systemic racism that is prevalent in our school systems.  Latania proudly earned her MA in Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies (emphasis: Bilingual Education) at UNM. She earned her BA in Elem.Ed (minors:Bilingual/TESOL & Sociology) from New Mexico Highlands University.
May 05, 2021
"Examining the Vocal Hygiene of Teachers" (Dr. Sandra Stinnett)
For this special episode, I had the privilege of speaking with laryngologist Dr. Sandra Stinnett.  In our conversation, we discussed the importance of teachers exercising vocal health, the correlations between voice disorders and teacher burnout, the need for school districts to invest in sound-field amplification devices for teachers, and so much more!  To learn more about Dr. Stinnett's work, you can follow her on Instagram & Tiktok (@thevoiceboxdoctor), as well as on Twitter (@thevoiceboxdoc).    BIO:  Dr. Sandra Stinnett, popularly known as "The Voice Box Doctor", is most recently from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD where she completed her fellowship in Neurolaryngology (study of the voice box). She received her Medical Degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and was then accepted into the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital - Department of Otolaryngology where she completed her internship and residency training.   She is a classically trained pianist and has performed in venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Cami Hall. She is also a vocalist with experience in performing, recording and leading worship in her local church. Dr. Stinnett joins the University of Tennessee Health Science Center as Assistant Professor and Director of the Division of Laryngology. She is passionate about creating an awareness for vocal hygiene and prevention in the Memphis community and providing state of the art care in this field. Her areas of expertise include the full spectrum of disorders of the voice which range from management of the professional voice, treatment of neurological conditions of the larynx, benign and malignant conditions of the vocal folds, vocal fold paralysis, endoscopic airway and reconstruction as well as swallowing disorders. She also is particularly interested in endoscopic and office-based approaches, in addition to the use of laser treatment in laryngeal disorders.
April 28, 2021
"Centering Indigenous Culture in K-12 Education" (Trisha Moquino)
In this episode, I'm honored to welcome Trisha Moquino to the podcast to talk about her personal journey in education, the inspiration behind the founding of the Keres Children's Learning Center and the Indigenous Montessori Institute, and what actionable steps that educators, school districts, and teacher education programs need to take to center the cultural, historical, and lived experiences of Indigenous People with fidelity.  To learn more about Trisha's work, you can visit her personal website at or the Keres Children's Learning Center website at  You can also follow Trisha on Instagram with the handles @indigenouseducators and @indigenouscheerleader.   BIO: Trisha Moquino (Cochiti, Ohkay Owhingeh, Kewa) is the co-founder of Keres Children's Learning Center (KCLC), a Keres-immersion early childhood classroom using Montessori pedagogy that includes a Montessori dual-language Elementary classroom. The vision for a school supporting Keres language and cultural learning and academic development came largely from Moquino’s master’s thesis in Bilingual Education at the University of New Mexico.    For the last 3 years, Moquino has been working with her KCLC colleagues and Montessori Partners to build the Indigenous Montessori Institute (IMI), a teacher training program that uses indigenous knowledge systems and Montessori philosophy to approach education reform.   Before KCLC and IMI, Moquino taught in public, private, and BIE schools, but realized she was perpetuating an educational system that didn’t work for many Indigenous children, propelling her to develop a different approach to education for her own and other Pueblo children.    Moquino is a founding board member of Montessori for Social Justice and is a Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow with the First Nations Development Institute. She has a Montessori Elementary I certification from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies and completed her Primary training with United Montessori Association.
April 21, 2021
"Dr. Good from the H.O.O.D" (Dr. Tyra Good)
In this episode, I had the honor of having Dr. Tyra Good on the podcast to share about her upbringing in Pittsburgh, PA, how her time at an HBCU (i.e. Howard University) shaped her development as an educator, and the current work she's doing as the founding executive director of the Center for Equity in Urban Education (CEUE) at Elms College in Chicopee, MA.  To learn more about Dr. Good's work, you can follow her on all social media platforms with the handle @tyrathegooddr or visit the Center for Equity in Urban Education website at   BIO: Dr. Tyra Good is the founding executive director of the Center for Equity in Urban Education (CEUE) at Elms College. Good has more than 10 years of experience teaching education, and, most recently, she was assistant professor of practice in education at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. Good is the founder and chief academic consultant for GOOD Knowledge Connections and the founder of the Black Educators Network (BEN) of Greater Pittsburgh. The BEN is a strategic team of K-12, Higher Education, and community educators working across school district and community lines to help ensure the academic and personal success of African-American youth from underserved communities.   For her dedication and commitment to diversifying the teaching pipeline and preparing pre-service teachers to work in urban settings, Good has received a myriad of award recognitions. Most recently, she was awarded a 2019 National Deeper Learning Equity Fellowship through Big Picture Learning and Internationals Network for Public Schools. Deeper Learning Equity Fellows are exceptional leaders, education practitioners, policy advocates, and researchers who are committed to expanding Deeper Learning educational practices aimed at improving public education opportunities for underserved communities.   Dr. Good received her bachelor’s in business management from Howard University, a master of arts in teaching from Chatham University, and a doctorate in educational leadership and evaluation from Duquesne University.
April 14, 2021
"Just Experience the Radical Power of Happyvism" (Justis Lopez)
In this episode, I'm honored to have the good brother Justis Lopez on the podcast.  In our conversation, he shares his personal journey in education, the inspiration behind the founding of his company, Just Experience, the evolution of hip-hop pedagogy in K-12 education, and the reason why "happyvism" is the key for centering youth voice and creating liberatory spaces within our education system.  To learn more about Justis' work, you can visit the Just Experience website at or the Project Happyvism website at  You can also follow him on Instagram (@social_justis) and Facebook!    BIO: Justis Lopez is an educator, consultant, activist, youth advocate, and a  proud native of Manchester, CT. A first-generation college student, Lopez enrolled at the University of Connecticut through the TRIO program and graduated with a Master's Degree in Curriculum & Instruction. Upon graduating from the University of Connecticut, Lopez returned to his alma mater, Manchester High School, as a social studies teacher for a few years before moving to New York to work as a high school Government & Politics teacher and taught hip-hop & civics classes in the South Bronx, an experience that he says transformed him.   He then continued work at a consulting startup he began during his time at UConn, Just Experience LLC, a multiplatform company that seeks to create spaces of joy to entertain and empower others. His consulting work extends to several higher education institutions and K-12 schools, along with the Council for Opportunity in Education, where he had previously served as the Director of Alumni Relations.  Most recently, Lopez, along with his business partner Ryan Parker, launched Project Happyvism, which is a project centered on choosing joy and self-love as a radical form of activism.  Aside from the Project Happyvism, Lopez currently serves as an adjunct professor of Education at Stephen F. Austin State University and plans to return to school to pursue a Master's Degree in Educational Entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania.
April 07, 2021
"Restore More" (Claudine Miles & Kimberlie Milton)
In this episode, I'm honored to have the dynamic duo of Claudine Miles & Kimberlie Milton of Restore More on the podcast.  In our conversation, they shared their personal journeys in education, the inspiration behind the founding of Restore More, and why it's important for K-12 school districts to center social-emotional learning, antiracism, and restorative practices to improve the educational experiences of their students.  To learn more about Restore More, you can visit their website at or you can follow them on all social media platforms with the handle @werestoremore.   BIO: Claudine Miles holds an English Degree from Hampton University, and an Educational Leadership degree from Georgia State University. As a proud TFA alum her work started at KIPP WAYS ACADEMY, a Title I. public charter in SW Atlanta. During her 10 years there, she served in several roles including: 6th grade Science Teacher, Grade Level Chair, Gifted Coordinator, Upper School Dean, and Dean of Restorative Practices. She’s won Teacher of the year and led her school to winning Charter School of The Year in 2016.    Kimberlie Milton is a graduate of Jackson State University in Jackson, MS where she received her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry. After graduating in 2002, Ms. Milton joined the Teach for America program and began teaching at L.J. Price Middle School in Atlanta Public Schools. During this time, she completed the Mercer University Tift College of Education Master’s program with an emphasis in Middle School Education.  Over the past 20 years, Ms. Milton has served in several capacities in the education management arena across the nation. From assistant principal to regional director, Ms. Milton has been committed to developing an effective learning atmosphere for colleagues, parents, and scholars.    In 2018, Claudine and Kimberlie co-founded a consulting firm called Restore More, which helps organizations build capacity with Restorative Practices, Self-Awareness, and Social-Emotional health. The central mission is to continue sharing wellness strategies nationwide to uplift communities of color.
March 31, 2021
"Disrupting Whiteness in Teacher Education" (Dr. Bree Picower)
In this episode, I had the incredible honor of welcoming Dr. Bree Picower to the podcast.  In our conversation, she shares her personal journey in education, her inspiration behind publishing her newest book, "Reading, Writing & Racism", how she has evolved as a social justice teacher educator over the span of her 20+ year career, and so much more!  To learn more about Dr. Picower's work, you can visit her website at or follow her on Instagram (@bossssy13), Twitter (@drbreebree), and Facebook! BIO: Dr. Bree Picower is an Associate Professor at Montclair State University in the College of Education and Human Development. She is the Co-Director of the Urban Teacher Residency, Newark Teacher Project and the Critical Urban Education Speaker Series with Dr. Tanya Maloney at MSU.  Her newest book, Reading, Writing and Racism, is an unflinching examination of recent examples of viral racist curriculum and what it means for our educational institutions to take responsibility for addressing teachers’ understandings of race. Along with co-editors Edwin Mayorga and Ujju Aggarwal, she released a 2nd edition of  What’s Race Got To Do With It? How current school reform maintains racial and economic inequality.  Her co-edited book with Rita Kohli, Confronting Racism in Teacher Education: Counternarratives of Critical Practice, examined patterns of institutional racism by amplifying the voices of non-dominant teacher educators.  In her first book, Practice What You Teach: Social Justice Education in the Classroom and the Streets, she explored a developmental continuum toward teacher activism. Published widely in academic journals, her scholarship focuses on issues of race, racism and education.  Her students’ social justice curriculum is featured at  Across all areas of work, Dr. Picower works to create spaces for educators to sharpen their political analysis and act for educational justice and was awarded the Scholar Activist of 2013 by the Critical Educators for Social Justice SIG of the American Educational Research Association.  She has taught in public elementary schools in Oakland, California and New York City.
March 24, 2021
"Science with Mrs. Broadus" (Angela Broadus)
In this episode, I’m honored to welcome my good friend Angela Broadus to the podcast to share her personal journey in education, her life as a first-generation Ghanaian immigrant, the need for school districts to emphasize Science education in K-12 schools, and so much more! To learn more about Angela’s work, you can visit her website at or follow her on Instagram (@ang.broadus) & Twitter (@angelabroadus6) BIO: Angela Broadus is a wife, mom, educator, and teacherpreneur. She received her Bachelors in Biological Sciences at UMBC. She is certified in STEM Elementary Education via the Resident Teacher Program in Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS). She was awarded a Delegate Citation from the Maryland General Assemblies for being "A Real SuperHero to the Students of Prince George's County Public Schools". In addition, she serves on the PGCPS ES Science Leadership Team where she currently writes Science curriculum and provides Science professional development to K-5 educators across the school district. She also operates as the Science Department Chair and the Engagement and Tech Lead at Kettering Elementary School in Upper Marlboro, MD. Outside of her roles within PGCPS, she is also a teacherpreneur who creates interactive, engaging, tech enhanced Science activities/lessons for educators. Through her business and services, she hopes to equip and empower educators to create resources that engage students in Science and increase student achievement. Angela was recently featured in her local ABC 7 News for creating Science video lessons to close the distance learning digital divide for PGCPS students.
March 17, 2021
"LearninginHues" (Patricia Bebe)
In this episode, I'm honored to have Patricia Bebe on the podcast to share her personal journey in education, the inspiration behind the founding of LearninginHues, the actionable steps that teachers can take to engage in activism and civic engagement, and so much more!  To learn more about Patricia's work, you can visit her website at or you can connect with her on Instagram (@learning_inhues).   BIO: Patricia Bebe is the founder & CEO of LearninginHues and a 4th grade teacher at Lake Silver Elementary who graduated from the University of Florida with her bachelors in English Literature. She then went on to complete her masters in Elementary Education. Currently she is working on customizing and designing diversified classroom decor and materials that is representative of every student.   Having filled a myriad of educator roles for over 12 years through being a camp counselor, children’s choir director, director of bible studies for children, mentor, tutor, and volunteer; Patricia has gained firsthand insight as to what children require to learn.    When not in the classroom, she is in her and her student’s communities, partnering with local non-profit organizations which advocate for equal opportunities for minorities, urban youth, anti gun-violence, and social activism; working relentlessly to aide those who are oppressed and disadvantaged to find their voice and power to make changes in their community.     In her spare time, Patricia travels the world to not only have some fun in the sun, but to conduct service in other countries; and to bring the experiences and knowledge that she has gained back into her classroom and back into the good fight that she is fighting each day to make the world any even better place.
March 10, 2021
"Using Social Studies Education as a Vehicle for Social Justice" (Ben Bruhn)
In this episode, I welcome high school history teacher and adjunct professor Ben Bruhn to the podcast to share his personal journey in education, his insights on the current state of social studies education, and the current gaps that exist in teacher education.  To learn more about Ben's work, you can follow him on LinkedIn and on Instagram with the handle @ben.bruhn.   BIO: Ben Bruhn is a high school social studies, AVID, and credit recovery teacher at St. Helens High School in St. Helens, Oregon. He is also an adjunct instructor at Portland State University where he coteaches the social studies methods courses to future teachers. He grew up in Seattle and did community development work around the USA and overseas before earning his MAT at the University of Washington in 2012 with endorsements in social studies, language arts, and ESOL. He is a National Board Certified Teacher who has worked in a wide range of school settings. He has earned his administrative license and is in the process of completing a Master of Science in Ed. from Portland State University. His desire to help bridge cultural divides and his love for collaboration drives him to engage with all levels of the educational community to foster and advocate for student-centered engagement.   Currently, he is co-leading a grassroots effort in his district to establish a collective vision and infrastructure for equity with a specific focus on antiracist work. He is also on the national leadership team of Teachers for Good Trouble, which is a group of passionate educators focused on reforming learning environments to build safe, nurturing, and justice driven academic communities, by advocating for legislation, policies, and resources that center the well being of students, teachers, and learning communities. He lives outside of Portland, Oregon with his wife and two kids.
March 03, 2021
"Love, Teach, Repeat" (Vennieta Grant)
In this episode, I'm honored to welcome Vennieta Grant to the podcast to share her personal journey in education, her thoughts on the current state of teacher education, her role as an AVID coordinator in her school district, and much more!  To learn more about Vennieta's work, you can visit her website at or you can follow her on Instagram with the handle @loveteachrepeat.  BIO: Vennieta Grant is an 8th grade English teacher at Cesar Chavez Middle School in Lynwood, California. In addition to teaching, she is an AVID coordinator, a curriculum writer, a social justice advocate, and a Lead Teacher for the CSI3 Teacher Education program at California State University Dominguez Hills. Vennieta often vaunts that through her work as an educator, she has truly found her passion and life's purpose. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, impromptu game nights, brunch, traveling abroad, and ridiculously spoiling her three fur babies; Sam, Rebel, and Leo.
February 24, 2021
"Black on Black Education" (Eva Jean-Charles & Jamaal Thomas)
In this episode, I'm honored to have the dynamic father-daughter duo of Eva Jean-Charles and Jamaal Thomas from Black on Black Education come on the podcast to talk about their special relationship as father & daughter, the founding of Black on Black Education, their evolving relationship as business partners, and much more!  To learn more about the work of Black on Black Education, you can visit their website at or you can follow them on Instagram with the handle @blackonblacked.   BIO: Evalaurene Jean-Charles is the founder of Black on Black Education, an education consulting firm dedicated to bridging the gap between the education Black students are getting and the one they deserve by providing educators with the tools to become change agents in the lives of their students. Although their content intends to be catered to the Black community, they are calling for allies in their quest to re-imagine and redefine what a high-quality education means for this community. She recently graduated from the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies program where she studied the sociology of educational inequity and social justice in underserved communities. She also recently started working as a special education teacher in the South Bronx through Teach for America.   Jamaal Thomas is a serial entrepreneur who has long had a passion for transforming our education system.  A budding futurist who is dedicated to being a part of radical systemic and institutional change in order to create a more fair and sustainable future for all.  He is the proud father to Black on Black  Education’s CEO, Evalaurene Jean-Charles, and looking forward to helping her create an organization that develops and curates the tools that will help offer our communities education outcomes equal to those in communities with significantly more resources.
February 17, 2021
"EdGuru: An Online Multilingual Global Platform for Educators" (Dr. Roy Pope)
In this episode, we're going INTERNATIONAL with special guest Dr. Roy Pope. In our conversation, he shares about his personal journey in education, life as an international educator in Dubai, the inspiration behind the founding of EdGuru, and so much more!  To learn more about EdGuru, you can visit the company website at or you can follow the company on Facebook & Instagram (@edguruedge).  If you're an international teacher who's currently abroad or an educator who has aspirations of teaching abroad, you don't want to miss this episode!   BIO:  Dr. Roy Pope has served as a teacher, coach, college professor, and school administrator in the United States and the United Arab Emirates for more than two decades. Dr. Pope is the author of "9 Ways to Increase Student Achievement and School Success."  He is also the founder and CEO of EdGuru, a multilingual one-stop shop for parents, educators, and other professionals.  As a leader in education, Dr. Roy has been honored as Principal of the Year, the City Councils’ Outstanding Citizen, and the City’s Star Principal. He has also received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award and hosted former FLOTUS Michelle Obama as the guest speaker during her Let’s Move Initiative.  When Dr. Roy is not working on EdGuru, he enjoys traveling with his wife,  reading, and watching documentaries. Dr. Pope is a fervent educator and a lifelong learner with a zeal for motivating others to succeed and achieve their goals!
February 10, 2021
"A Culturally Infused Approach to Teacher Education" (Dr. Courtney Rose)
In this episode, I'm honored to have Dr. Courtney Rose on the podcast to talk about her personal journey in education, the state of black women in academia, the actions that institutions of higher learning can take to decolonize their teacher education programs, and much more!  To learn more about Dr. Rose's work, you can visit her website at or you can follow her on Instagram & Twitter with the handle @drcourtneyrose.    BIO: Dr. Courtney Rose is the Founder of Ivy Rose Consulting. Dr. Rose earned a doctorate in Curriculum & Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University, a master's in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelors in Elementary Education from the University of Florida. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Dr. Rose taught Math & Science for three years in the Duval County Public School system in Jacksonville, FL (two years of which were completed during her commitment as a Teach for America corps member). During her years in Jacksonville, she also spent two summers working as a Corps Member Advisor, helping to develop incoming Teach for America Corps members working with a team to prepare and facilitate various professional development experiences.   Currently, her research and work interests include the development and implementation of innovative approaches to social justice-oriented critical and culturally relevant instructional practices and curricular designs, including recent developments in the area of Hip-Hop Education. Her student-centered approach to teacher education and development aims to provide teachers with new tools and understandings on how to incorporate youth culture into curriculum and instruction to better engage students in academic content and facilitate discussions rooted in issues of diversity and social justice.
February 03, 2021
"Black Identity Development in Predominantly White Schools" (Rachel Deleveaux)
In this episode, I welcome Rachel Deleveaux to the podcast to talk about her personal journey in education, her doctoral research on the impact that predominantly white schools have on Black identity development and how after school programs can serve as a tool to build self-efficacy in Black children who are in those environments.  If you would like to learn more about Rachel's work, you can visit her website at or follow her on Instagram at @iamracheldeleveaux.    BIO: Rachel Deleveaux, a Cambridge native, became passionate about developing clearer and more equitable pathways to college while attending the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The personal experience of systemic challenges became the catalyst for grassroots organizing, advocacy, and later student government involvement.   Following her tenure at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Ms. Deleveaux obtained her master's degree in Higher Education Administration from Suffolk University.  Currently, she is pursuing a doctorate in Education with a concentration in Curriculum, Teaching Learning and Leadership at Northeastern University.   Professionally, Rachel has spent over a decade leading high-level operations, strategic planning, and developing sustainable systems that foster successful student outcomes.  Rachel is committed to eliminating systemic barriers that perpetuate gaps in achievement for marginalized students. Ms. Deleveaux has made a significant impact as a leader, consultant, volunteer, and advocate for many organizations and institutions across the United States, leveraging numerous relationships with both academic, and corporate organizations to achieve aggressive growth and development.  Ms. Deleveaux's specialties Include Strategic planning, business expansion, talent management, leadership development, team building, recruiting, training, project management, cultural competency development, grant writing, and public speaking.
January 27, 2021
"The Lopez Effect: Transforming Self & Community" (Dr. Nadia Lopez)
In this episode, I had the honor of interviewing the one and only Dr. Nadia Lopez and we discussed everything from her career in education, her personal self-care journey, and everything in between!  THIS episode is one that you definitely want to bring your notebook for!  So many gems dropped throughout this conversation!  To learn more about Dr. Lopez, you can visit her website at or follow her on Instagram & Twitter with the handle @thelopezeffect.    BIO: Dr. Nadia Lopez is an award-winning, globally recognized thought-leader in education, who opened a school to close a prison. At an early age, she was taught the importance of utilizing education as a tool to solve social issues impacting our society. This served as one of the reasons why, in 2010, she opened Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) focused school, located in Brownsville.  The media often depicts this New York City neighborhood as poor and violent, but rarely do they focus on who and what has caused the inequities directly responsible for the school-to-prison pipeline that exists in this community. Despite its major challenges, Dr. Lopez had the vision to change the narrative by proving that the children of Brownsville are brilliant and have value in this world.  In 2015, one of her scholars, Vidal Chastenet was asked by Brandon Stanton, the founder of Humans of New York, who was his greatest influence, and he said, “My Principal, Ms. Lopez…” The post went viral, generating $1.4 million in donations to provide scholarships for college, summer enrichment programs, and the opportunity to visit universities that include an annual trip to Harvard University. This led to a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, an interview by Ellen Degeneres, and features within the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Essence, Ebony, Black Enterprise, EduWeek, and Glamour Magazine to name a few.   This transformative work has led to Dr. Lopez’s selection as the 2019 LinkedIn Top 10 Voices in Education; 2016 Global Teacher Prize Top 50 Finalists; best selling author of The Bridge to Brilliance and Teaching in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  She is an international speaker who has presented keynotes at conferences such as ISTE, ILA, ASCD, and NCEA, in addition to delivering TED Talk on the Education Revolution with over 1 million views. Her most notable awards include the Barnard College Medal of Distinction, Black Girls Rock Change Agent Award received alongside former First Lady Michelle Obama, Ebony Top 100 Award, Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award, and TV One’s 2019 Education Maverick Award.    Transitioning from the role of a school administrator after recovering from stress-induced illnesses, Dr. Lopez continues to speak internationally, consults with companies to develop strategic partnerships, as well as supporting leaders through 1:1 and group coaching. Through her non-profit organization, The Bridge to Brilliance, she is building bridges between education institutions and private sectors to address issues of inequities that impact Black and Brown children within marginalized communities.    Her company ElevatED BLK offers online courses, conferences, and activations that support participants to prioritize wellness and develop sustainability practices for their personal development.
January 21, 2021
"An Educator's Literary Quest for Racial Justice" (Kelisa Wing)
To kick off 2021, we're excited to have education advocate Kelisa Wing come on the podcast to share her personal journey in education, discuss her new children's book series "Racial Justice in America", and express her thoughts on the future of education in America with the new administration coming into the White House.  To learn more about Kelisa's work, you can visit her website at or follow her on Instagram (@kelisa_javon) and Twitter (@kelisa_I2teach).    BIO: Kelisa Wing has been an educator for 13 years. She taught 8th-grade Language Arts and Reading to military-connected children at Faith Middle School in Fort Benning, Georgia, has been an Elementary School Assistant Principal, and is now a Professional Development Specialist.  Kelisa honorably served in the U.S. Army. She is the author of 'Weeds & Seeds: How To Stay Positive in the Midst of Life's Storms' and 'Promises and Possibilities: Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline'. She is a 2017 State Teacher of the year, a 2016 Association of Supervision, Curriculum, and Development (ASCD) Emerging Leader, and the 2017 University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. She is a member of the Leading Educator Ambassadors for Equity (LEAE) with the Education Civil Rights Alliance(ECRA),a member of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY), and a member of ASCD. She is also on the Advisory Board for Learner Variability Project & Digital Promise, ASCD Global Advisory Council, and the College Football Playoff Foundation (CFP) Diversifying the Teacher Pipeline Working Group. She speaks both nationally and internationally about discipline reform, equity, student engagement, and many other topics.  Kelisa holds a bachelor's degree in English from UMUC, a Master of Arts in Secondary Education, and an Educational Specialist degree with a concentration in Curriculum, Instruction, and Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.
January 05, 2021
"The Insightful Teacher" (Rakim Amalu Jenkins)
In this episode, I'm honored to end the year with high school history teacher and motivational speaker Rakim Amalu Jenkins.  In our conversation, he shares his personal journey into education, how he evolved into "The Insightful Teacher", the impact and future of the"Teachers for Good Trouble" movement, and much more!  To learn more about Rakim's work, you can visit his website at or follow him on Instagram (@theinsightfulteacher).   BIO: Rakim Amalu Jenkins is a high school history teacher, motivational speaker, and life coach based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a 2013 alumnus of The Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York and a 2014 alumni corps member of Teach For America-New York City. He is also a recent graduate of Relay Graduate School of Education (MAT).  Popularly known as "The Insightful Teacher", he uses insights from his life, history, and classroom to speak truth to power, and he believes that we can collectively create a better education system and world for our youth.
December 31, 2020
"The Thriving Teacher Project" (Maria Tan)
In this episode, we're honored to have Bronx, NY based educator Maria Tan on the podcast to talk about her personal journey in education, the emergence of The Thriving Teacher Project, and the urgent need for schools to integrate trauma-informed and mindfulness practices in their day-to-day operations.  To learn more about Maria's work, you can visit the Thriving Teacher Project page on Facebook or follow the organization on Instagram (@thethrivingteacherproject).   BIO: Maria Tan is a high school science teacher turned mindful educator, facilitator, and coach. She promotes equity in education through mindfulness and contemplative practices. During her five year tenure in the Bronx, she chaired her school’s first Equity Team where she delivered staff-level professional development around culturally sustaining pedagogy, facilitated racial affinity groups, and redesigned the advisory curriculum to include restorative circles as a school-wide practice.   Her professional training includes trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness with the Holistic Life Foundation, restorative circle facilitation with Morningside Center, and facilitating the Contemplating 400 Years of Inequality Experience with Dr. Angel Acosta. She is a New York City Teaching Fellow, Relay Graduate School of Education alumni, and a Stanford Hollyhock fellow. Maria is the founder of The Thriving Teacher Project which creates healing spaces for educators to thrive.    She empowers wholeness by incorporating practices of self-care, self-compassion, and reflection as tools to allow teachers to show up fully for their lives and their students. Outside of work, Maria is a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism and she collaborates with DJs and visual artists to create guided meditation immersive experiences.
December 24, 2020
"Little Justice Leaders" (Shelby Kretz)
In this episode, we're honored to have Shelby Kretz come on the show to talk about her personal journey in education, her doctoral work in social justice at UCLA, the founding of her company, Little Justice Leaders, and so much more!  To learn more about Shelby’s work, you can visit the Little Justice Leaders website at or you can connect with her on Instagram (@littlejusticeleaders) & Twitter (@JusticeLeaders).    BIO:  Shelby Kretz is an educational researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the creator of the Little Justice Leaders subscription box. Little Justice Leaders is a monthly box that provides resources for elementary school parents and teachers to engage their kids in meaningful learning experiences about social justice. Her research at UCLA focuses on the connection between the education system and the juvenile (in)justice system.
December 17, 2020
"The Millennial Educator" (Tyshia Seldon)
In this episode, we're honored to have Tyshia Seldon, the founder & CEO of Black University, come on the show to talk about her personal journey in education, the importance of teacher self-care during COVID-19, her passion for creating safe, affirming spaces for educators of color, and so much more!  To learn more about Tyshia’s work, you can visit her website at or connect with her on Instagram (@themillenialeducator, @blackeducatorsconnect and @blackeducatorsapparel).    BIO:  Tyshia Lene’a Seldon, popularly known as “The Millennial Educator”, is a proud native of Baltimore, MD.  She completed her undergraduate studies at Bethune Cookman University and then obtained my Master’s in Education from Relay Graduate School of Education in August 2019. She’s an educator by trade and entrepreneur by nature. Growing up in Baltimore taught Tyshia to be a problem solver and to “hustle” naturally. Relocating to Denver from Florida has been and still is a culture shock. Being 1 of 2 black educators within her school building and feeling like she was just a seat filler prompted the start of her company “Black Educators Apparel, an apparel line dedicated to educators of color who are putting in the win and out of the classroom. She also founded Black Educators Connect, a safe space created for educators of color to connect, feel nurtured and supported. When Tyshia’s not developing her businesses, you can find her motivating others and just living life. Her motto is to simply be light and spread light.
December 11, 2020
"The Reimagining of the Black Male Educator" (Rodney Robinson)
In this episode, I'm honored to have the 2019 National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson come on the show to share his personal journey in education, the importance of prioritizing SEL practices in our schools, his experience as the National Teacher of the Year, his thoughts on who should be our next Secretary of Education, and so much more!  To learn more about Rodney's work, you can visit his website at or follow him on Instagram & Twitter (@RodRobinsonRVA).   BIO: Rodney Robinson is a 20-year teaching veteran. He graduated from King William High School in rural Virginia in 1996. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Virginia State University in 2000 and a master’s in educational administration and Supervision from VCU in 2011.  He started teaching at Virgie Binford Education Center in 2015, a school inside Richmond Juvenile Detention Center, in an effort to better understand the school to prison pipeline.  His classroom is a collaborative partnership between him and the students.  He provides a civic centered education that promotes social-emotional growth.  The knowledge he is gaining from his students is also helping develop alternative programs to keep students from becoming part of the school to prison pipeline.     His accomplishments in education vary from his professional growth to his students’ personal growth.  He has been published four times by Yale University.  He has received numerous awards for his accomplishments in and out of the classroom, most notably the R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence.  He has worked with Pulitzer winning author James Foreman to developing curriculum units on race, class, and punishment as a part of the Yale Teacher’s Institute.    He was named the 2019 National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief States Schools’ Officers.  He is used his time as teacher of the year to advocate for cultural equity to make sure students have teachers and administrators who look like them and value their culture.  He was recently named HBCU male alumnus of the year by He was also named #8 on the Root magazine’s Top 100 influential African Americans of 2019. Last December he was named Richmonder of the Year by Richmond Magazine. His passion is helping the underprivileged and underrepresented populations in America.
December 04, 2020
"Beats, Rhymes & Happyvism" (Ryan T. Parker)
In this episode, we're excited to have poet laureate Ryan T. Parker come on the show to talk about his personal journey in education, the "Happyvism" Project, the evolution of hip-hop culture in public education, and so much more! To learn more about Ryan's work, you can visit his website at or follow him on Instagram (@peaceloveparker). BIO:  Ryan T. Parker is a Manchester, CT based poet, teacher of the year recipient & artivist. Raised by a strong, single mother in Norwich, Connecticut, he has been penning poems and preaching peace since the age of ten. After graduating from Norwich Free Academy, he went on to receive a degree in English at Eastern Connecticut State University and a Master’s degree in teaching at Sacred Heart University. Influenced by the strength, wisdom and humor of his mom, love for hip hop and people, his practices with tutoring at ECSU, and his personal frustrations with his own educational experiences and education system as a whole (his 10th grade English teacher had a sign in her classroom which read, “Silence is Golden” –Ahhh! Freaky stuff!), Ryan developed a passion for teaching and promised himself he would break that golden silence and bring golden noise into education! For the last fourteen years, he has kept his promise teaching English in Manchester, CT public schools, coaching youth poets, and performing and presenting on hip hop poetics and the significance of empowering youth. In addition to teaching middle school students, Ryan also consults with educators running workshops and professional developments centered on The Open Mic Movement in Education and teaching educators strategies for establishing and maintaining effective classroom environments. Ryan has also presented at numerous educational conferences including LID, CONFRATUTE, NYCORE and COESBOC, NEAG, delivered a TEDx Talk titled 'Transforming Struggle into Strength', featured as a guest poet performer along with Pam Nomura in Hartford Connecticut’s Riverwood Poetry Series, starred as the feature poet at Hartford’s RealArtWay’s’ Inescapable Rhythms Poetry Series and is currently writing a Memoir and a guide to The Open Mic Movement in Education. Ryan also devotes time towards traveling to various school communities performing poems, giving motivational talks and training staff and students in igniting open mic movements. When he’s not teaching or presenting, Ryan loves rapping, laughing, poeming, coaching youth poets, running, snowboarding, kayaking, hiking with his bloodhound, Otter, and eating chocolate chip cookies (preferably organic). See Less
November 26, 2020
"The Classy Chemist" (Dr. Yasmine Daniels)
In this episode, we're excited to have Chemistry professor and STEAM advocate Dr. Yasmine Daniels come on the show to talk about her journey in education, the release of her brand new book series, "Building My Self-eSTEAM in Science", the current state of STEAM education for young women of color, and much more!   To learn more about Dr. Daniels work, you can visit her website or follow her handle @classychemist on Instagram & Twitter. BIO: Dr. Yasmine Daniels has a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry and has done a great deal of research in Environmental Remediation. Environmental Remediation a fancy way of saying finding ways to make the environment cleaner. She has worked on projects where she designed eco-friendly particles that were capable of removing toxic substances (like heavy metals) from water. She also spent some time improving analytical methods used for analyzing nanoparticles and inorganic polymers. Currently, Dr. Daniels works as an Industrial Hygienist in government and spends a lot of her time reviewing and assessing industrial and airborne particulate hazards. Her work focuses primarily on ways workers can protect themselves from health hazards while at work (e.g. wearing respirators) and the bulk of her time is spent researching, reading, writing and interpreting the science behind workplace hazards and methods of protection. When she isn’t doing her full time job, Dr. Daniels is a full time mom, a Chemistry Adjunct Professor, volleyball coach, mentor and champion of STEM+Art (or STEAM) outreach.  Dr. Daniels obtained her B.S. in Chemistry from Hunter College and her M.Phil and Ph.D. from the City University of New York, Graduate Center. As a chemistry student, she was inspired and encouraged by her Chemistry professors and she has been dedicated ever since to give back to students and academia. She teaches both General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry and enjoys sharing her passion for Science with her Students.
November 20, 2020
"The Woke Spanish Teacher" (Françoise Thenoux)
In this episode, we're excited to have elementary Spanish teacher and anti-bias advocate Françoise Thenoux talk about her personal journey in education, her work as "The Woke Spanish Teacher", and the importance of prioritizing World Language education in our schools! To learn more about Françoise's work, you can visit her at her website or connect with her on Instagram (@thewokespanishteacher) & Twitter (@TWSteacher). BIO:  Françoise Thenoux has been an educator for almost 20 years. She is a proud Latina and worked as an ESL teacher for years, not only providing the students with the necessary literacy skills to survive the U.S schools system, but also helping Latinx families understand the benefits of bilingualism. She has been teaching Español at Elementary level for 11 years and has an M. Ed in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She is a passionate advocate for equitable, decolonial, inclusive, social justice-oriented World Language curricula. She shares her advocacy, tips, best practices, and self-made resources through social media as “The Woke Spanish Teacher.”
November 17, 2020
"Black Appetite. White Food" (Dr. Jamila Lyiscott)
In this episode, we're honored to have award-winning educator and speaker Dr. Jamila Lyiscott on the show to talk about her personal journey in education, her best-selling book "Black Appetite. White Food", and the importance of integrating social justice education in K-12 schools.  To follow Dr. Lyiscott's work, you can visit her website at or connect with her on Instagram & Twitter with the handle @jamila_lyiscott. BIO:  Jamila Lyiscott aka, Dr. J, is a community-engaged scholar, nationally renowned speaker, and the author of Black Appetite. White Food: Issues of Race, Voice, and Justice Within and Beyond the Classroom. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is the co-founder and co-director of the Center of Racial Justice and Youth Engaged Research. Dr. J is most well known for being featured on where her video, '3 Ways to Speak English,' has been viewed over 4.5 million times, and for her commissioned TED Talk, '2053' in response to the inauguration of the 45th occupant of the white house. She has been invited to over 100 institutions throughout the nation where she works closely with youth, educators, and communities to disrupt racial inequities and enact a vision-driven justice. Dr. J's scholarship and activism work together to explore, assert, and defend the value of Black life globally. As a testament to her commitment to educational justice for youth of color, she is the founder and co-director of the Cyphers For Justice (CFJ) program, apprenticing NYC high school youth, incarcerated youth, and educators into research and activism through hip-hop, spoken word, and media literacy. Dr. J serves as co-editor of the highly acclaimed journal of Equity & Excellence in Education, and holds faculty fellowships at the University of Notre Dame, and Teachers College, Columbia University. She is the recipient of the 2019 AERA Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award and the 2019 Scholar-Activist & Community Advocacy Award. In her active efforts to disrupt the bounds of the academy, she has also been featured in Spike Lee's "2 Fists Up," on NPR, Cosmopolitan, NowThis, and many other media outlets nationally and internationally.
November 13, 2020
"Next Level Teaching" (Jonathan Alsheimer)
In this episode, we're honored to have award-winning educator Jonathan Alsheimer on the show to talk about his personal journey as an educator, his book, "Next Level Teaching", and the importance of empowering students in order to transform school culture.  To follow Jonathan's work, you can follow him on Instagram and Twitter with the handle @Mr_Alsheimer!    BIO: Jonathan Alsheimer is the unorthodox, energetic, and entertaining middle school teacher who refuses to live a life of limitations and works with UFC Fighters, celebrities, and clothing brands.  As a passionate educator and international keynote speaker, Jonathan Alsheimer believes in the limitless possibilities of teachers as a driving force impacting an infectious classroom and school culture. NEXT LEVEL TEACHING is about every teacher bringing their unique flair to better their school every single day, going the NEXT LEVEL engaging your students, establishing community partnerships, building powerful relationships, and always striving to be "That Teacher" that their students remember!  Jonathan, teaches at the world-renowned Fred Lynn Middle School, which was featured in two documentaries "Relentless" and "Relentless: Chasing Accreditation", has been featured as the teacher who forged a partnership with UFC Fighter and light-weight contender Paul Felder to bring a message of never giving up, fighting for their education, and empowering the students to believe in themselves, all principles that Jonathan promotes in his classroom.  Jonathan Alsheimer also partnered with Fear the Fighter, MMA clothing brand to establish a stop-bullying campaign with "Relentless" Principal Hamish Brewer. Jonathan Alsheimer didn't stop there and established a formed a relationship with Chris "Drama" Pfaff, MTV reality star and CEO of Young and Reckless to bring clothing to his "students in need" and worked to build student leaders in his school.  As Jonathan always says, "Game-changing is not a cliche motto; it is a way of life... some talk about it while others live by it!
November 11, 2020
"Cultivating Genius" (Dr. Gholdy Muhammad)
In this episode, we're excited to have Dr. Gholdy Muhammad come on the show to share about her personal journey in education, her new book "Cultivating Genius", the importance of teaching and assessing literacy through a historically responsive lens, and much more!  To learn more about Dr. Muhammad's work, you can visit her website at or connect with her on Twitter (@GholdyM) and Instagram (@gholdy.m).   BIO: Dr. Gholnecsar “Gholdy” Muhammad is the associate professor at Georgia State University teaching literacy and language in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education.  She also serves as the director of the GSU Urban Literacy Collaborative & Clinic and is the author of “Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy”.    She began her career as a reading, language arts and social studies middle school teacher in Cahokia, Illinois.  After teaching in the classroom, she served as a school district assistant curriculum director and was responsible for kindergarten through 12th-grade literacy instruction, grant writing, assessments and professional development.  Muhammad received her Ph.D. in literacy, language and culture at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Her research interests are situated in social and historical foundations of literacy development within Black communities and the writing practices among Black women and girls. She explores 19th-century Black literary societies to understand literacy development and how the roles of literacy can be reconceptualized in classrooms today.  She became interested in this line of research when she led a summer writing institute with Black girls called, Black Girls WRITE!. She continues to hold summer literacy programs with Black and Brown youth as well as Muslim girls. She explores how historical practices among communities of color can be used with adolescent learners today.  Some of the journals she has published articles in include, Research in the Teaching of English, English Education, Urban Education, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy and Written Communication.   Additionally, she serves as the director of the Georgia State Urban Literacy Collaborative and Clinic. She strives to shape the national conversation for educating youth who have been underserved. She also strives to support the next generation of educators who are seeking pathways to meet some of the most pressing challenges encountered in urban schools.  She works with teachers and youth across the United States and South Africa in best practices in literacy instruction. She is a former school board president and continues to work collaboratively with local schools across communities in the Atlanta metropolitan area.  Muhammad is the 2014 recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English, Promising New Researcher Award, the 2015 NCTE Alan C. Purves Award, the 2016 NCTE Janet Emig awardee, the 2017 Georgia State University Urban Education Research Awardee and the 2018 UIC College of Education Researcher of the Year.
November 10, 2020
"The RenewED Teacher" (Krystal L. Smith)
In this week's episode of #IDTALK4EDLIVE, we welcome our good friend Krystal L. Smith to the show to learn about personal journey as an educator, the importance of teacher self-care, how she evolved into "The RenewED Teacher" and so much more! To learn more about Krystal's work, you can visit her website at or connected with her on Instagram & Twitter!   BIO: Krystal L. Smith is a proud native of Pittsburgh, PA and certified elementary teacher, currently teaching 4th grade Math and Social Studies at the Pittsburgh Public Schools. She also started the RenewED Teacher blog to help teachers keep and renew their passion for teaching by remembering their why and practicing healthy self-care habits to prevent burnout. Here's what Krystal states when asked why teaching is her biggest passion:  "Being a Black Educator Matters. This is one part that motivates me to do this work that I do. For black students, I am a positive role model that looks like them who is living her childhood dreams which goes against much of what mainstream media portrays a Black Woman to be. My presence, my intentional practice of teaching, displaying Black Excellence and Black Joy help fight racism. Teaching allows me to work with children and make a difference in the world. Children fill me up with joy and I believe I bring my scholars joy too. Teaching is my way of leaving a legacy."
November 06, 2020
"Teacher to Teacher Magazine" (Debrice Hill)
In this episode, we are excited to have Debrice Hill come on the show to talk about her personal journey in education, the inspiration behind the founding of "Teacher to Teacher Magazine", and how the targeted media marketing of Black and Brown educators can attract more young Black and Brown people to join the teacher pipeline.  To learn more about Debrice's work, you can visit her website at or you can follow her on Instagram with the handles @sparklesandsprinklesinfirst and @teacher_to_teacher_magazine.   BIO: Debrice Hill is a first grade teacher and instructional coach based in Deltona, FL.  She is also the founder and CEO of Teacher to Teacher Magazine, an online monthly publication that highlights the great works of educators all over the world!  Additionally, Debrice is an avid crafter, enjoys creating teacher resources, and is passionate about sharing her knowledge in the classroom as a speaker and presenter.  Outside of teaching, Debrice enjoys spending quality time with her husband and two children.
October 30, 2020
"The Revolutionary Principal" (Amen Rahh)
In this episode, we're honored to have the "Revolutionary Principal", Amen Rahh come on the podcast to share about his journey as an educator, his upcoming book, and the revolutionary work he's doing as the Founding Principal of University Pathways Public Service Academy.  You can check out Principal Rahh's "Revolutionary Educator" Apparel website or follow @principalrahh on all social media platforms.   BIO: Amen Mandela Rahh is known as the Revolutionary Principal for how he has built and founded University Pathways Public Service Academy “The U”, an urban public school in South Central Los Angeles. Principal Rahh distinguished himself in the classroom and as a school leader. As an middle school teacher in Watts, CA, he was selected as the turnaround teacher which ultimately helped him obtain his position as dean of students.   As a principal, he founded one of the most highly-regarded schools in the area by students and parents. Currently, Principal Rahh is one of the most engaging speakers for transforming the way schools serve their at-promise student populations in America. He is a published author of a chapter he wrote in the book titled Restorative Practices Meets Social Justice.  He is also the recipient of many educational, professional and community awards. He was born and raised from Compton, California in which he takes pride in saying. Amen received Associates Degree from Compton Community College, his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Black Studies, from Cal State University, Dominguez Hills. He holds two Master degrees in Education and in Special Education from Cal State University, Dominguez Hills.   Amen is a certified trainer of trainers in Restorative Justice by the Institute of Restorative Practices (IIRP).  Amen began his Professional career as a Special Education Assistant. Principal Amen Rahh was selected by to be the Founding Principal of University Pathways Public Service Academy “The U”. The U is currently in its second year and the school is already a model school for building a Restorative Community as well as establishing school-wide system to improve student achievement.
October 23, 2020
"Langston League" (Erica Buddington)
In this episode, we have the honor of speaking with award-winning educator, speaker, and author, Erica Buddington. In our conversation, Erica shares her inspiration behind the founding of Langston League, her company's new partnership with Flipgrid, her current journey of starting her own school, and much more! To learn more about Erica's work, you can visit the Langston League website at or her personal website at You can also connect with Erica and Langston League on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. BIO: Erica Buddington is an accomplished edupreneur, speaker and author, on a mission to curate culturally relevant curricula that defies and decolonizes the status quo. With a background in education and curriculum design spanning over 10 years, she launched the Langston League to address educational and opportunistic inequalities across the globe. Langston League specializes in teaching educators how to design and implement culturally sustaining instructional material through professional development, curriculum design, facilitation and coaching. Since inception, she has served clients across multiple states and two countries, with clientele including Google Code Next, Achievement First Schools, Medgar Evers College R.O.L.L. Program, Up Academy and Because of Them We Can. In 2021, she will be launching a middle school academy. Throughout her career, she has developed mastery in educational consulting, EdTech, instruction, restorative justice, social-emotional learning, and creative writing. Erica has authored two fiction books and through her trailblazing work in education, sparked international media attention, with features on The Steve Harvey Show, MTV's TRL, Forbes Magazine, Buzzfeed, and Black Enterprise. She was the recipient of the 2015 Harlem Children's Zone Innovation Award, 2017 WeWork Creator Award, 2018 Hampton University Most Notable Hamptonian in Hip-Hop, and 2019 Nike X WeAreCultivator Sneaker Designer. Erica attended Hampton University to pursue English/Performing Arts and received recognition during that time for spoken word performances, earning her performances with the likes of HBO's Def Poetry, Arrested Development, Mos Def, Dead Prez, and Lupe Fiasco. As a natural storyteller and performer, Erica uses responsive strategies, and vast knowledge of pop culture, to create engaging and transformational human learning experiences, like no other.
July 29, 2020
"The Positive Influences of Black School Leadership" (Dr. Tia Lites)
In this episode , we're honored to have Dr. Tia Lites come on the show to share her personal journey as an educator and the importance of Black school leadership in urban schools! To learn more about Tia, you can connect with her on LinkedIN and Instagram (@flashinglites). BIO: Dr. Tia Lites is currently the Vice Principal and Director of Teaching & Learning at the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy in Boston, MA. Her devotion is advancing successful, evidence-based practices in teaching and learning, fostering the academic advancement of the students, and creating a professional development program designed to promote pedagogical experimentation, creative delivery methods, and quality instruction. She also prioritizes building the school's cultural climate and expanding the pipelines between middle school students to historically Black colleges & universities. Tia is also responsible for the implementation of her school's restorative justice action plans, teacher evaluation modules, cultural development & advocacy workshops and social-emotional student seminars. She sat on the 2018-2019 team that created the revised Action Plan for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for her charter. Holding her Doctorate in Education, Tia's primary practice is utilizing the "culturally responsive school leadership framework," which she uses to support the growth of Black administration in schools that serve a majority population of students of color. Her dissertation and first book is entitled, “The Influences of Black School Leadership on Supporting Positive Outcomes for Black Students in Urban Schools.” She continues to research the pathways for Black students based on Black representation in schools and plans on creating a series of educational materials in regards to proactive measures to support Black learners (Kindergarten through grade 12).
July 28, 2020
"New Teacher Bestie" (Yolanda Plear)
In this episode, we had the honor of interviewing Yolanda Plear, founder of New Teacher Bestie!! In our conversation, Yolanda shared her personal journey from disgruntled classroom to her new mission as an advocate for new teachers! To learn more about Yolanda, you can visit her website at or connect with her on the following platforms:   FACEBOOK & LINKEDIN - Yolanda Plear                 INSTAGRAM - @newteacherbestie                          TWITTER - @TeachYoYo   BIO: Yolanda Plear, M.Ed, also known as the "New Teacher Bestie", is a full time New Teacher Coach and entrepreneur. Yolanda has 9 years of classroom experience, including 1st grade and Kindergarten, in the Traditional Bilingual and Dual Language 50/50 settings. She has presenter experience as a speaker at the Georgia Association of Multilingual Educators Conference. Yolanda served as Campus Induction Coordinator for her campus for three years and successfully on boarded over 30 new teachers during that time.  Yolanda is fluent in Spanish, with a Bachelors Degree in Bilingual Education from Sam Houston State University and a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Houston Baptist University. In 2020, Yolanda was awarded Teacher of the Year for her campus and was honored by the Houston Area Association of Black School Educators (HAABSE). Throughout her time as Campus Induction Coordinator, Yolanda’s passion for helping new teachers grew tremendously. She saw not only a need, but a want for closing the achievement gap of effective new teachers, and began to devote her time to being a coach and mentor. She facilitates a new teacher Cohort of Collaboration on her website which is open for enrollment at this time.
July 20, 2020
"Fathers' Uplift, Inc." (Charles Clayton Daniels Jr.)
In next week's episode of #IDTALK4EDLIVE, we have the honor of speaking with Charles Clayton Daniels Jr., co-founder and CEO of Fathers' Uplift, Inc. In our conversation, he shares about the importance of black fatherhood, the founding of Fathers' Uplift, his experience as an Obama Foundation Follow, and much more! To learn more about Fathers' Uplift, you can visit the website at or connect with them on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. BIO: Charles C. Daniels, Jr., co-founder/Chief Executive Officer of Fathers’ Uplift, Inc., grew up without a father in his life. Despite his mother’s love, Charles felt the impact of abandonment--guilt, shame, and embarrassment. He felt different than other kids. He had problems in school, turned to alcohol and drugs to hide those feelings, and came close to actualizing thoughts of suicide. Ultimately, he realized that his fractured relationship with his father was at the root of his despair. After finding his Dad, Charles recognized that his father had his own challenges and that he was not responsible for those or his father’s absence. That journey led him to his life’s work. Charles holds a Bachelor’s degree from Bethune-Cookman University, a Masters of Social Work (Simmons University), a Master of Divinity (Boston University), and is a Ph.D. candidate in Social Work at Simmons University. While on the journey of founding and operating Fathers’ Uplift, Charles has taught at the college level (e.g. Harvard University and Simmons University), has been a national speaker and writer, and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, including CNN, ABC, Good Morning America, and WBUR. In 2019, Charles was chosen by the Obama Foundation as one of 20 Fellows selected worldwide as a civic innovator creating transformational change and addressing some of the world’s most pressing problems. He is also a Gerson Lehrman Group Fellow and a past Fellow of the Albert Sweitzer Fellowship. Charles is married to Samantha Fils-Daniels, who co-founded Fathers’ Uplift with him. Samantha is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the person Charles calls his Rock. Together, they have one son, Clayton Charles Daniels.
July 07, 2020
"Making Us Matter" (Eghosa Obaizamomwan Hamilton & T. Gertrude Jenkins)
In this episode, we're excited to have Eghosa Obaizamomwan Hamilton and T. Gertrude Jenkins, co-founders of Making Us Matter, on the show! In our conversation, the two educators will share about their doctoral work at the University of San Francisco, the creation of Making Us Matter, how anti-Blackness manifest itself in school systems across the United States, and much more! To learn more about Making Us Matter, you can visit the school's website at or you can connect with the school on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. BIO: T. Gertrude Jenkins is a 13-year educator, specializing in grades 9-12 Language Arts. Over the course of her career, she’s taught in Orlando, FL; Atlanta, GA; and Redwood City, CA. Jenkins is currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of San Francisco as part of the International & Multicultural Education program in the School of Education. Her research focuses on anti-Blackness in K-12 school systems both in the U.S and abroad. As an educator activist, Jenkins has grown tired of having to constantly fight against covert and overt acts of racism in schools. Her motivation for creating Making Us Matter is steeped in her desire to provide an option and a safe space for families and Black educators alike, who’d prefer an educational institution that de-centers whiteness and places Black gaze at the forefront. Eghosa Obaizamomwan Hamilton is a first generation Nigerian. She is originally from Sacramento but currently resides in Oakland, CA. She has a Master’s Degree in Education and is currently a Doctoral student in the International and Multicultural Education program at the University of San Francisco. She is moving towards her 13th year of teaching with a focus on social justice and anti-bias curriculum. Her research is centered on the experiences of Black girl learners and the cultural and ideological disconnects of educators in predominantly white secondary institutions. As a social justice educator, she seeks to give voice and visibility to those who have been left in the margins. Creating Making Us Matter was a necessary step in taking action towards combating anti-Blackness in schools and decolonizing curriculum through counter narratives.
June 26, 2020
"On Track With Mizz P." (Amber Peters)
In this episode, we welcome college & career planning consultant Amber Peters to the show.  In our conversation, Amber will discuss the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the college admissions process for high school seniors and ways that students can prepare for careers in the aftermath of the pandemic.  To learn more about Amber's work, you can visit her website at or you can connect with her on the following social media platforms:   FACEBOOK - Mizz P.                                           INSTAGRAM - @ontrackwithmizzp                                TWITTER - @mizzpnyc   BIO: Amber Peters, popularly known as "Mizz P", is a certified Jill of All Trades. She is an Educator, App Developer, Author, and education consultant straight out of the Boogie Down Bronx. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from CUNY-Lehman College and her Master's degree in Urban Education from Mercy College. The main goal of her work is to motivate and inspire young people to achieve beyond their wildest dreams, while giving them the tools they need to advocate for themselves and their future. Her brand promises to create a new wave in education and hopes to bring widespread change to the area of college and career planning.
June 23, 2020
"McGriff Films" (Tim Young)
In this episode, we're honored to have Tim Young, the founder of the independent film company McGriff Films.  In our conversation, Tim shares about his early life in Brockton, how he developed his love for filmmaking, the creation of his hit show, "Rockin' Wit McGriff", and much more!  To learn more about Tim's work, you can connect with him on the following social media platforms:   FACEBOOK & YOUTUBE - McGriff Films                               INSTAGRAM - @mcgriff_films   BIO: A proud native of Brockton, MA, Tim graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Newbury College, where he finished his basketball career as the 2nd all-time leading scorer with a total of 1,506 points.  He also earned "Rookie of the Year" honors as a freshman.  While at Newbury, he started to fall in love with filmmaking, producing his first film "Nitra" as a class project.  Since that moment, he founded his film company "McGriff Films", which produces, films, and television shows such as his hit show, "Rockin' Wit McGriff".  Tim also serves a great mentor for the youth.  When he's not filming, he works as a middle school teacher in Boston Public Schools and serves as a youth basketball coach.
June 19, 2020
"Cultivating Young Kings" (Brian Keith Harris II)
In this episode, we have the honor of inviting award-winning educator Brian Keith Harris to the show.  In our conversation, Brian will share about the importance of mentoring boys of color, how teachers can use movement and mindfulness to address trauma in their students, the five ways to help boys of color be successful in the classroom, and much more!  To learn more about Brian's work, you can visit his website or connect with him on the following social media platforms:   INSTAGRAM - @brian_keith_harris, @sonsoffreedomdance, @cultivatingyoungkings                                 TWITTER - @iambriankeithh1   BIO:  Brian Keith Harris II is the Director of Outplacement and Graduate Support at the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys in Washington, DC. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Sons  of Freedom Dance Institute, an organization that nurtures character, increases social awareness and builds a spiritual foundation for boys of color through classical and contemporary styles of dance. He is also the Director of Cultivating Young Kings, an organization that provides educational training for teachers, school districts and community leaders who work directly with boys of color.  He was named one of Black Enterprise Magazine’s 2019 BeModern Men Distinction and has received numerous awards for his work in changing the educational landscape for boys of color.  He is a licensed minister, lecturer and workshop facilitator and currently working on a Doctorate in Public Engagement from Wesley Theological Seminary. His doctoral work explores the intersection of spirituality and educational equity in urban communities.  He also earned a masters degree in divinity (M.Div) with an emphasis in Christian Education from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology and has an undergraduate degree in Print Journalism from Hampton University.
June 16, 2020
"Building Champions In Our Young People" (Dr. Elondra Napper)
In this episode, we welcome award-winning author and educational consultant Dr. Elondra Napper to the show. In our conversation, Dr. Napper will talk in depth about her personal journey as an educator, the release of her two new books ("My Name is Rona!" and "The Quarantine Chronicles), and the launch of the Champions STREAM Academy. To learn more about Dr. Napper's work, you can visit her website at or connect with her on the following social media platforms: FACEBOOK - Encouraging Champions, LLC. INSTAGRAM - @championeducator TWITTER - @ElondraD BIO: Dr. Elondra D. Napper is an award-winning best-selling author, STREAMA (Science Technology Reading Engineering Arts, Music, Math and Agriculture) Educator and consultant for Encouraging Champions Consulting Firm. Dr. Napper has served in schools across the country for the last for 23 years as a teacher assistant, teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, principal, teaching assistant professor, researcher, and consultant. Dr.Napper is a children’s book author who uses science standards and inquiry to teach scholars about science concepts while building their self esteem while reading a book about science! Her most recent books include My Name is Rona! The Quarantine Chronicles, Every Child Needs a Champion and Chloe the Confident Caterpillar. Dr. Napper supports educators and educational leaders by teaching them how to incorporate science in guided reading instruction in elementary schools and in middle school classrooms using her curriculum and pedagogical model for teaching and learning called Science is LiT: Science Looks Like Me. Using evidence-based strategies and elements of instructional design, she supports educator’s development by using vocabulary, guided reading components and science inquiry into a lab environment to close the knowledge and culturally responsive gap while incorporating social and emotional strategies. She has recently launched Champions STREAMA Academy, an online school for students to learn STREAMA (Science Technology Reading Engineering Arts, Music, Math and Agriculture). She is in the process of creating an online space to support teachers and administrators to receive professional development to support Professional Learning Communities specifically focused on instructional leadership, culturally responsive pedagogy and social- emotional learning. Dr. Napper believes that Every Child Needs a Champion and it is her mission to encouraging educators to exercise the champion in them so they can build the champion scholars in their classrooms and schools.
June 12, 2020
"The Black-Matician" (Shariya' Gray)
In this episode, we welcome high school math teacher Shariya' Gray to the show! In our episode, Shariya' shares how she transformed into the "Black-Matician", the lack of Black women representation in the mathematics field, the importance of HBCUs in the Black community, and much more! To follow Shariya's work, you can visit her website or connect with her on the following social media platforms: FACEBOOK - Shariya' Gray INSTAGRAM - @theblackmatician TWITTER - @blackmatician YOUTUBE - The Black-Matician BIO: Shariya' Gray, popularly known as "The Black-Matician" is a high school math teacher at Edison High-school in Fresno, California. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Applied Mathematics from The Norfolk State University. As Shariya states "I teach a subject that everyone loves to have sprinkled with a little bit of melanin. I bring math literacy from someone who looks like you , talks like you and may be you in the future. My lessons are for students, parents, teachers and you!"
June 09, 2020
"Official I AM Apparel" (Jada Huffman)
In this episode, we are excited to welcome 13-year old entrepreneur Jada Huffman, founder and CEO of "Official I Am Apparel". On this episode, she will share her personal journey as a young entrepreneur, the importance of students of color being able to learn about their history in public schools, and the role her family has played in her entrepreneurial journey.  To learn more about Jada's work, you can visit the "I Am Apparel" website at or you can connect with her on the following platforms:   INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK - @official_iam_apparel                                                          TWITTER - @iam_apparel   BIO: Jada Huffman is the founder & CEO of Official I Am Apparel. She is a Long Island, NY native and will be entering her freshman year of high school.  As a student, Jada did not see herself in the history that was being taught. Her brother would always tell her about the great influential people of color that impacted history. She began to understand how big of an impact learning your history makes. Unfortunately, Jada could not find these amazing people in school or her history books. She wanted to find a way to share these influential stories in a way that would appeal to people just like her and shed light on the huge role people of color have made in history. At that moment “Official I Am Apparel”, History You Wear was born. The brand sells T-shirts that interact with an app to teach people about specific heroes and revolutionaries.
May 28, 2020
"POWAARful Teaching Strategies" (Dr. Marquita Blades)
In this episode, we welcome our good friend Dr. Marquita Blades to the show. In our conversation, she shares about her personal journey as an educator, the evolution of the Gyrlfriend Collective, and her current work as a Teacher EmPOWAARment specialist. To learn more about Dr. Blades' work, you can visit the website at or you can connect with her on the following social media platforms: FACEBOOK - Dr. Marquita Blades or POWAARful Teaching INSTAGRAM - @powaarfulteaching TWITTER - @DrMBlades BIO: Dr. Marquita S. Blades is an award-winning STEM Educator and Teacher EmPOWARRment Specialist with 16 years of experience as a high school science teacher and manager of national STEM programs. Dr. Blades saves schools and school districts time and money by teaching them to increase student engagement & collaboration through rigorous and meaningful learning experiences, using the resources they currently have on-hand. Her specialty workshops include: Practical Implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards and the POWARRful Teaching Strategies™ for Increasing Student Engagement series. Dr. Blades is also the founder of The Mediocre Teacher Project© which helps teachers avoid and battle through burnout by incorporating their unique gifts and talents into their daily practice. In 2017, Dr. Blades launched The Dr. Marquita Blades Show-Candid Conversations that Create Change, an internet-based broadcast dedicated to discussing current trends and issues in education. Dr. Blades is a contributing author for The Whole Truth & Lessons From My Grandmother’s Lap – both anthologies, the lead author for The Mediocre Teacher Project and Chronicles of the Chronically Ill –also anthologies, and the author POWARRful Teaching Strategies™ for Increasing Engagement & Collaboration While Maintaining Rigor in Science Courses – a collective of highly-effective instructional strategies for middle and high school science teachers. Dr. Blades is a co-founder of The Gyrlfriend Collective, along with Maureen Carnakie-Baker. The Gyrlfriend Collective is an independent publishing house that connects, supports, and uplifts women by giving them a platform to share their voices through written publications. The Gyrlfriend Collective's signature work, The Gyrlfriend Code® Anthology Series includes four Amazon best-selling volumes & editions. Dr. Blades is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa. She has received numerous awards including the Elizabeth Allen Alford Overcomer’s Award (2017), Teachers of Atlanta Honoree (2017), Eta Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Rising Star in Education (2017), National Celebrity Educators™-Georgia Celebrity Educator of the Year (2018), and Women of Strength Honoree (2018). Most recently, she was nominated for the 2019 Community Engagement R.I.C.E. Award and was selected to be included in the 2019 Edition of Who’s Who in Black Atlanta. Dr. Blades holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Broad Field Science from Georgia State University, a Master of Science in Technical and Professional Communication from Southern Polytechnic State University, and a Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. When she is not working, Dr. Blades enjoys reading, cooking, and traveling with her husband, International Realtor, Virgil Blades.
May 26, 2020
"Future Educators Talk" (Damien Anderson & Daren Frett)
In this episode, we welcome aspiring educators Damian Anderson & Daren Frett, hosts of the Future Educators Talk podcast. In our conversation, the gentlemen will share about their aspirations to become teachers and the many projects they are working on to shift the educational paradigm. To learn more about their work, you can follow them on the following social media platforms: FACEBOOK - Future Educators Talk INSTAGRAM - @futureeducatorstalk TWITTER - @FutureEduTalk BIO: Damian Anderson is a co-host of the "Future Educators Talk" Podcast and the "Across the State" Podcast, and is the host of his own YouTube show, "Anderson's Education Thoughts." He is attending Dyersburg State Community College to get his Associate's degree in education and then will transfer to finish his education at The University of Memphis Lambuth to obtain his bachelor's degree in education. His ultimate career vision is to one day be able to change the world of helping young minds to grow and to offer a better and safe environment for our children to live in. Andrew Frett is a co-host of the "Future Educators Talk" Podcast and the "Across The State Podcast", and is the host of the Future Educators Talk Podcast mini-series, "Frett's Education Thoughts." He is planning to attend Vance-Granville Community College in the fall of 2020 to get his Associate's degree and then transfer to a four-year college to get his bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. Teaching and helping people are his biggest passions and once he retires from the education field, he plans on being an anchor or reporter at a local news station.
May 22, 2020
"FUNdamentals of Learning" (Isis Spann)
In this episode, we're honored to have Isis Spann on the show. She is the founder of Mrs. Spann's FUNdamentals of Learning and she'll be sharing with us the importance of implementing a growth mindset so that students are more engaged in the classroom virtually and physically. To learn more Isis' work, you can visit her website at or connect with her on the following social media platforms: FACEBOOK: Isis Amelia Spann or Mrs. Spann's FUNDamentals of Learning INSTAGRAM & TWITTER: fun_oflearning BIO: Isis Spann is the founder of FUNdamentals of Learning, LLC. and the Program Director of Beyond Our Walls, Inc. She has taught in the classroom for over 8 years and now she builds programs and aims to train educators across the country on how to engage with students and families so that true learning can take place. With an unstoppable mindset, she obtained her bachelor’s in Elementary Education and currently holds her Master’s in Educational Administration and Supervision. She believes that learning should be fun and exciting for everyone involved in the educational experience. She is a true champion for underserved and marginalized students and she believes that engagement is key for student success!
May 19, 2020
"Hands-On Entrepreneurship for Kids" (Patricia Clahar)
In this episode, entrepreneur educator Patricia Clahar will join us to discuss the benefits of entrepreneurship for young kids & teens and the need for more entrepreneurship programs in schools.  If you're a parent or a young person who's thinking about starting your own business, you don't want to miss this discussion!  To learn more about Patricia's work, you can visit her business website at or connect with her on the following social media platforms:   FACEBOOK - Patricia Clahar or Hands-On Entrepreneurship for Kids                              INSTAGRAM - @handsonentrepreneurship4kids    BIO: Patricia Clahar is an education enrichment specialist who focuses on providing entrepreneurship education for kids and teens. She is the founder of Hands-On Entrepreneurship for Kids, which provides in-person and online solutions to families, schools and youth organizations that want to support young entrepreneurs. Patricia graduated from Harvard University (BA) and Columbia University (MBA) and has been an educator for over 12 years.
May 15, 2020
"UpLIFTing Black Male Educators" (Jonathan C.W. Jones)
In this episode, we're happy to invite Jonathan C. W. Jones, founder of Ideation4, to the show to share about his philanthropic work in the Greater Minnesota area and announce his new publication, UpLIFT, which will feature the brilliance of black male educators across the nation!  To learn more about Jonathan's work, you can visit the Ideation4 website at or connect with him on the following social media platforms:   FACEBOOK - Ideation4              INSTAGRAM - @ideation_4             TWITTER - @ideation4_sjc   BIO:  Jonathan C. W. Jones is a seasoned award winning educator, founder and CEO of Ideation4 who works with educators, schools, districts, nonprofit professionals and under resourced communities through proposal workshops, coaching, consulting and innovation. His passion lies across the intersections of education, business and philanthropy. Jonathan believes in the power of ideas and helping others realize they have the power to make their ideas into reality. Jonathan has landed several local and national grants & awards from Bush Foundation to NASA, and has collaborated with several organizations to impact students, educators and community builders in the Twin Cities area.  Jonathan recently participated in Headwaters Foundation for Justice (HFJ) The giving Project Cohort 5 raising over $250,000 for 12 organizations for and by people of color. Currently, works as an instructional coach for Saint Paul Public School working out of the Office of Specialized Services. He hold a BA and Masters Degree in Special Education and a K-12 Administrator License. His company Ideation4 is creating publications 4Educators (coming fall 2020), UpLIFT and Connect. Proceeds from both publications will be used to establish,  Fund4Good our new philanthropic initiative. These innovations will allow our company to live out our core values of learning, collaboration, equity & empowerment by providing micro grants to Black, Indigenous People of Color who are builders in their community.  Jonathan is looking to deepen his understanding of how fundraising and grantmaking can address inequities in the Twin Cities.
May 13, 2020
"School Dismissed" (Stacie McClam)
In this episode, we welcome Stacie McClam, founder of School Dismissed, LLC. In our conversation, Stacie will share about her personal journey as an educator, the impact of secondary traumatic stress on teachers, and strategies that teachers can use to reduce anxiety during the pandemic.  To learn more about Stacie's work, you can visit her website at or follow her handle @staciemcclam on all social media platforms.   BIO: Stacie McClam is an educator, author, and radio show host of “Teacher Talks” on Tribe Family Channel. Stacie has 10 years of teaching experience in different states and countries. In July 2018, she published a book entitled, “School Dismissed: Walking Away from Teaching” where she describes why she left the teaching profession. The book raises awareness about the trauma that students and teachers experience at school. Stacie earned her Master's of Education degree from Howard University and her law degree from the University of Denver. She hopes to use her law degree to advocate for teachers and students through film. She is currently in production for her first feature documentary.
May 08, 2020
"Unofficial E." (Guivens Andre)
In this episode, we welcome Guivens Andre, who is currently an ELA teacher in Boston Public Schools and the founder of Unofficial E. In our conversation, Guivens will share about his early life in Haiti, his experiences as a young black male educator, and how he's used the COVID-19 pandemic to prioritize his personal & professional growth.  To learn more about Guiven's work, you can follow him on the following platforms:   FACEBOOK - Guivens Andre or Unofficial E.                    TWITTER - @GuivensAndre                            INSTAGRAM - @aka_givs    BIO: Guivens Andre was born in Haiti and came to the states with his family at the age of 5. He is an English Language Arts Educator & ESL tutor in Boston Public Schools and the founder of Unofficial E., an organization that helps immigrants enhance your English speaking skills with culturally relevant content. He received his Bachelor's Degree in English from UMass Boston and will graduate with a Master's Degree in Education this May.
May 04, 2020
"The State of Black Learning" (K. Chase Patterson)
In this new episode, we welcome Pittsburgh native K. Chase Patterson, who is the CEO of the Urban Academy, the oldest charter school in the Greater Pittsburgh area. During our conversation, Chase shares about his upbringing in Pittsburgh, his thoughts on the state of black learning nationwide, and details about the upcoming State of Black Learning conference happening in August 2020.  To learn more about Chase's work, you can visit the State of Black Learning website ( or follow him on the following platforms:   FACEBOOK - K. Chase Patterson           INSTAGRAM - kang_chase           TWITTER - @KChasePatterson   BIO:  As a native of Pittsburgh, K. Chase Patterson began to appreciate the power of knowledge from his earliest days. Patterson began his professional career at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh where he established that Black Male Youth Summit, now known as the Black Male Leadership Development Institute (BMLDI) and taught post-secondary prep classes at Wilkinsburg High School. Before working as the Chief Diversity Advisor to the largest Panera Bread Franchisee, Covelli Enterprises, Chase served as the federal liaison to the Departments of Homeland Security, Immigration, State and Education on behalf of 13-term Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Doyle. He has served the Urban Academy in a number of capacities and was instrumental in rebranding and relocating the school. Now as CEO of Pittsburgh’s oldest Charter School, the Urban Academy, Chase has the privilege of working in his purpose each and every day, to demonstrate that ALL children can learn when immersed in a rigorous, respectful and relational learning environment. Chase is the owner of Society Mens Grooming Lounge, an award winning Barbershop & Salon. He is General Chairman of the Pittsburgh NAACP Human Rights Dinner and his local and national leadership has been recognized in Pittsburgh Magazine, Whirl Magazine, the New Pittsburgh Courier, Ebony Magazine and Black Enterprise.
April 21, 2020