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Presenters of Color for Your Next Teacher Event!

Are you putting together a conference, teacher training, or public speaking engagement and looking to include Black and Brown educators that have first-hand experiences from childhood, completed and implemented research that highlights injustices, and/or deserve to have their voices and testimonies heard...?


Per the request of Britt Hawthorne @listeningandlearning1, I've compiled a living (growing) list of educators that I have come to know in person or online. Some of these are educators that I have worked with and others are educators that I aspire to work with. If you know or are someone that would like to be added to this list, please be sure to send me an email to with your name, website, photo, and a short bio. We would love for this list to encompass as many educators of color as possible and be used as a resource for event organizers.

Please Note: This list is specifically meant to highlight educators that are Black and Brown, as many conferences lack our authentic voice and therefore attract few of us in attendance.

Erica Downs - Teacher Magic

1. Erica Downs (me) - @TeacherMagic

Erica is the owner of Teacher Magic and organizer of the online Productivity Workshop: Week of Magic. The mission of Teacher Magic is to share relevant information, inspire great minds, and build a strong network of educators. Erica is available for online and in-person events that seek to provide educators with personal and professional support. She specializes in helping educators learn to collaborate effectively. In addition, she loves working directly with students of all ages, and welcomes the opportunity to create and model engaging and meaningful hands-on lessons. Click here to request a copy of our most recent media kit and visit us at for more info.

Britt Hawthorne Public Speaker

2. Britt Hawthorne - @ListeningandLearning1

Britt is the creator of Listening & Learning, directress of Learner's Schoolhouse, and a former Montessori public school teacher. Her passion is guiding educators to lead an equitable classroom through empowering classroom culture and dismantling white supremacy in the classroom. To learn more about Britt and connect with her, be sure to visit her website at:

Chris Emdin Public Speaker

3. Dr. Chris Emdin - @ChrisEmdin

Dr. Christopher Emdin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University; where he also serves as Director of Science Education at the Center for Health Equity and Urban Science Education. He is also the Associate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is an alumni fellow at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University, and currently serves as Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Energy and the STEAM Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State. He is the creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement, and a much sought-after public speaker on a number of topics that include hip-hop education, STEM education, politics, race, class, diversity, and youth empowerment. He is also an advisor to numerous international organizations, school districts, and schools where he delivers speeches, and holds workshops/professional development sessions for students, teachers, policy makers, and other education stakeholders within the public and private sector. Dr. Emdin provides regular commentary on Al Jazeera and the Huffington Post; where he writes the Emdin 5 series. He is the author of the award winning book, Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation and For White Folks Who Teach In the Hood and the Rest of Ya’ll too, which is currently on the New York Times best sellers list. For more information about booking Dr. Emdin, visit

Valencia Clay Public Speaker

4. Valencia D. Clay - @Valencia_Valencia

Valencia is currently completing her 10th year as an 8th grade English teacher and Critical Theory professor in Baltimore, Maryland. She just created a new reading series, Kids Who Know Everything, which allows her students to share the knowledge they learn in class with the rest of the world. With literature as the foundation, she continues to prompt her students to analyze culturally relevant matters from a critical stance. Her work in the classroom has led her students to be the published authors of "Broken Keys Don't Unlock Doors," an anthology of essays and reflections about their perspective on urban education. Their book and her first book, Soundless Cries Don’t Lead to Healing: A Critical Thinking Guide to Cultural Consciousness are both true forms of activism. View her musings on her blog,, and on Instagram, where she promotes literacy and self-education as a form of freedom from oppression. Valencia currently offers various forms of consultations from classroom management to whole staff professional development. For more information about booking Valencia, visit her website at

Ryan Parker Public Speaker

5. Ryan Parker - @PeaceLoveParker

Ryan T. Parker is a Manchester based poet and 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. 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. 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. He devotes time towards traveling to various school communities performing poems, giving motivational talks and training staff and students in igniting open mic movements. In addition to teaching middle school students, 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. For more information about booking Ryan, visit his website at

Justis Lopez Public Speaker

6. Justis Lopez - @Social_Justis

Justis Lopez is the founder of Just Experience, LLC which is a multi-platform company that entertains, educates, and empowers communities through events designed to add positive experiences to enhance the world. Justis has created curriculum for classes, facilitated workshops, hosted hundreds of events and has DJ’d clients most significant events in their lives. He brings the energy and enthusiasm to every event and is regarded as the team cheerleader. Just Experience is dedicated to uplifting the communities they serve by utilizing local and national resources that enhance our ability to better shape this world. The Just Experience team consists of 7 professionals that are ready to take your next event to the next level! To learn more about the team behind Just Experience and what they have to offer, visit their website at

Stephanie Boyce Public Speaker

7. Stephanie Boyce - @FreshClassroom

Stephanie R. Boyce, M.Ed. is an educator, author, public speaker, and CEO of Stephanie Boyce & Associates, LLC., parent company of The FRESH Classroom. A servant leader, she is driven by her passion to reshape the educational landscape. For over a decade, Boyce has focused her studies on how race relations impact education in America, educational leadership, and culturally responsive instruction. Uniquely, this academic alchemy has sparked a unique approach to education and fueled her research and educational leadership. Her proverbial “typical” journey along the path of academia was anything but typical, having taken her from being an at-risk student to serving at-risk students. By the time her journey is half complete, she will be added to a list of phenomenal innovators who advocate tirelessly for students who may otherwise be left voiceless in society. Boyce looks forward to partnering with academic institutions for the professional empowerment of their teachers and students alike. The Fresh Classroom is a platform dedicated to equipping teachers to create classrooms that are fun, relevant, engaging, standards-based, and high-order for all students! Instead of dismissing and devaluing the interest of their students, teachers explore ways to connect to the interest of all students, while ensuring that their lessons get to the depth the academic standards demand. For more information about booking Stephanie, visit her website at

Nancy Hanks Public Speaker

8. Nancy Hanks - @MsHanks2u

Nancy Hanks is the current Chief of Schools for Elementary in the Madison Metropolitan School District. From a life poverty on the west side of Chicago to becoming a Harvard graduate, she knows firsthand that students' futures are not predetermined by their personal circumstance. As a principal in Chicago, she led her school through the successful transition of adding 90 minutes to their school day - a complex move that led to improved literacy and math outcomes as well as a more well-rounded school day for her students and staff. Her leadership as Chief of Schools for Elementary in the Madison Metropolitan School District has led to a 10% gain in literacy and mathematics proficiency in just two years. She also led the development of the district's school support system, a more targeted way of connecting principals and their school teams with the support they need to execute on their individual school plans. Through her belief in hard work and resiliency, balanced with humor and humility, she is continually out to prove that all students can cultivate their unique gift and talents and achieve at high levels. Nancy has been featured in various publications, such as The Washington Post, and is available for public speaking events. For information about booking Nancy, connect with her via twitter @mshanks2u

Vera Ahiyya Public Speaker

9. Vera Corbett Ahiyya - @TheTutuTeacher

Vera is a Kindergarten teacher that has been teaching for 10 years. Through tutus, songs, and dance, she ensures each child loves their time in her classroom. Fun, creativity, and positivity are very important to her and she incorporates those elements into everything she does, including the resources she creates for TpT. Vera has presented at Teach Your Heart Out Con and the 2016 TPT Conference. For more information on booking Vera, visit her website at

Michael Bonner Public Speaker

10. Michael Bonner - @MichaelBonner_

Michael Bonner is an inspiring second grade teacher at North Carolina's South Greenville Elementary, where the majority of students have strenuous familial dynamics and many are homeless. The school is 100% FRL (free and reduced lunch), and is located in an impoverished neighborhood in Eastern North Carolina. In early 2017, Bonner was honored by Ellen DeGeneres in recognition of his positive and innovative educational approaches for children coping with the challenges of poverty. Ellen presented Bonner and his school with technical equipment to assist in the creation of music videos serving as aids to education. Additionally, Wal-Mart presented the school with $25,000, and the Ellen Show created a Go Fund Me site for South Greenville, which has raised over $88,000 for the Title I school. His efforts to change the proficiency learning culture have also captured attention from other national news outlets. NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Flocabulary, the Ashton Kutcher Foundation, and Remind all released stories on how Mr. Bonner is utilizing music as a tool to help counter the negative statistical data concerning children living in poverty. He's had the privilege of speaking at NC State University, the American Association for Blacks in Higher Education, and various other institutions, delivering powerful messages on improving student performance and resilience. With only four years in K-12 education, Mr. Bonner is consistently seen as a visionary leader who strives to create a positive mindset among all of his students. He understands that his students come to class each day with diverse backgrounds, strengths, needs, and challenges, and seeks to identify strategies to ensure the growth of their social, emotional, academic, and psychological needs. Because of his approach to education, students leave feeling a little more hopeful, challenged, inspired, and forever a part of Bonnerville!

ET the Hip Hop Preacher Public Speaker

11. Eric Thomas - @ETTheHipHopPreacher

Eric Thomas, Ph.D. is a critically acclaimed author, World-renowned speaker, educator, pastor and Audie Awards Finalist. ET, as he is better known, has taken the world by storm, with his creative style and high-energy messages. His words continue to impact tens of millions of people in several hundred countries across the planet! Eric’s commitment to community activism has been long standing. It began with his award-nominated GED Program that lead to his non-profit, Break The Cycle, I Dare you, and a plethora of ministerial and educational endeavors. The culmination of those efforts resulted in the development of the Advantage program at Michigan State University. This program targets high-risk college students by improving their study habits and increasing their retention rates. Michigan Sate University is where he continued to pursue his passion to remedy the effects of adverse societal influences plaguing both the young and old. It is from this platform that he created International Urban Education Consultants; a non-profit organization committed to finding solutions to close the achievement gap in urban schools through goal framing and helping students to reform their perception of learning. For more information about booking Dr. Thomas, visit his website at

Brandy Wells Public Speaker

12. Brandy Wells - @MyMotherhoodMagic

Brandy Wells is a licensed independent social worker specializing in childhood mental health. She is currently the sole social worker for her entire district in Ohio, however, her true magic comes from being a mommy of 2 little ladies, Kennedy and Karter. She displays practical parenting skills using conscious parenting, sensory integration, and play. For more information on booking Brandy, visit her website at

LaNesha Tabb Public Speaker

13. LaNesha Tabb - @Apron_Education

LaNesha is a primary educator with a love for creating resources and professional development. She is has presented for various school districts among the Indianapolis area and is available for staff professional development in many areas! For more information on booking LaNesha, visit her website at

JR Rivera Public Speaker

14. JR Rivera - @_JRRivera

JR "Mr. Mile" Rivera is passionate about helping people and organizations seize their full potential. Consistently motivating and inspiring people on social media, Mr. Mile was nominated as BET's 2015 "InstaStar" for most inspiring instagram in the United States due to his influence and how he delivers his message. This is nothing new for Mr. Mile, he is a teacher at Recording Artist Pitbull "Mr. World Wide" Charter School SLAM located in Miami, Florida. He brings the perfect balance of an energizing teaching blended with real-world experience and credibility that motivates you to become a peak performer in your profession. He not only inspires, but moves audiences to action by offering practical and effective approaches to drive your motivation to the next level to go the extra #MILE. For more information on booking JR, visit his website at

Jessica Gibbs Public Speaker

15. Jessica Gibbs - @ImJess_Sayin5

Jessica Gibbs is a 7 year veteran educator, continuing in her family's tradition of inner-city teachers and administrators. She is currently a interventionist/EIP teacher, owner of the profitable LLC "Takes a Village Tutoring", and pursuing her Masters of Early Childhood Education at the University of Georgia. Her passion for urban education is fueled by a spirit of service and a strong desire to return to inner cities, such as the one she grew up in. For more information on booking Jessica, email her at

Akiea Gross Public Speaker

16. Akiea Gross - @EquitableSchools

Akiea is a 2014 graduate of Columbia University's Teachers College and a 2010 graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She holds two Masters degrees, one in Developmental Psychology and another in Childhood Education/Special Education 1-6, a Bachelors degree in Child Development and Family Studies, and a Bachelors degree in Psychology. She is an educator, writer and social entrepreneur who believes that every child is entitled to a racially and culturally equitable education. Akiea is the founder and editor-in-chief of Equitable Schools, Inc., which was started based on her experiences teaching in charter schools. For more information on booking Akiea, visit

Razan Abdin-Adnani Public Speaker

17. Razan Abdin-Adnani - @OustadaRazan

Razan is an early childhood and equity & diversity consultant. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, a Master of Education with an emphasis in Montessori Studies, as well as an internationally-recognized AMI Montessori Teaching Certification. Her areas of interest and expertise include: Educational Equity, Early Childhood Education, Constructivist Methods of Education (especially Montessori + Reggio), Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, International and Comparative Education, Classroom Design for Optimal Learning, and Curriculum Development. Razan offers workshops, webinars, consulting, coaching, and curriculum development services. She is currently based out of Charlotte, NC, but her services are available worldwide via video chat or travel. For more information about booking Razan and discussing the needs of your community, you can contact her at

Jose Vilson Public Speaker

18. Jose Vilson - @TheJoseVilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator for a middle school in the Inwood / Washington Heights neighborhood of New York, NY. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Syracuse University and a master’s degree in mathematics education from the City College of New York. He’s also a committed writer, activist, web designer, and father. He is the founder of EduColor, an coalition of teachers, parents, and other concerned citizens dedicated to the uplift of people of color in education. He has served as a board member on the Board of Directors for the Center for Teaching Quality and the president emeritus of the Latino Alumni Network of Syracuse University. He writes regularly for Edutopia and Progressive Magazine, and has contributed to The New York Times,, Education Week, Huffington Post, and El Diario / La Prensa NY. He has also been featured at PBS, Mashable, Idealist, Chalkbeat NY, TakePart, Mother Jones, Manhattan Times, and the Fusion. He was named one of GOOD Inc.’s GOOD100 in 2013 of leaders changing their worlds and an Aspen Ideas Scholar in 2013. He has also spoken at TEDxNYED, Education Writers Association Annual Conference, Netroots Nation, The US Department of Education, and the Save Our Schools March. His blog,, was named one of the top 25 Education Blogs by Scholastic, Education World, and University of Southern California Rossier School of Education’s Teach 100. He was also recently inducted into the Math for America Master Fellowship, cohort 2014. For more information about booking Jose, send him a message through the contact form on his website

Brandi Chantalle Public Speaker

19. Brandi Chantalle - @BrandiChantalle

Brandi is a Baltimore City educator and author. She transferred her passion for poetry into teaching secondary English within an urban/inner city environment. In being driven by interpersonal connections and the desire for our youth to understand the importance of self-advocacy, working as a full time teacher to help students understand the value of their education and honing their voices is a self-fulfilling prophecy for her. She also is a teaching artist to a handful of youth within the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) region. Shaped under the eye of artists invested in Philadelphia's Youth Poetry Movement, a non-profit that provides a safe space for teens to find their voice, she has since coached multiple youth poetry slam teams (namely Contraverse: 2014 LTAB Champions). In addition to facilitating weekly after school poetry clubs, Brandi has led numerous adult workshops on various topics relative to writing and self discovery. For more information about booking Brandi, visit her website at

Erica Buddington Public Speaker

20. Erica Buddington - @EricaBuddington

Erica Buddington is a career educator, based in Brooklyn, New York. She left her post as Director of TRUCE Media and Arts at Harlem Children’s Zone, formerly their Manager of Agency Curriculum, to design equitable and culturally relevant curriculum. She’s been a teacher and grade team lead at Uniondale School District, Uncommon Schools, and Capital Preparatory Schools. Buddington has an extensive background in youth development, assisting many organizations with content that improved site culture and student academic/creative progression. She is continuing this work as the Founder and Chief Curriculum Officer of Langston League. Langston League seeks to address educational and opportunistic inequalities in at-promise neighborhoods, through culturally relevant and equitable curriculum. The primary focus of Langston League is literacy, infused with S.T.E.A.M.d. elements–science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics, and design, scholar learning styles, social-emotional skills, and student identity. Their curriculum encourages interactivity, incorporating game sites, educational apps, interactive journals, manipulatives, and more. Lesson plans are designed, with all learning styles in mind. The long-term vision of Langston League is to align with organizations seeking to level the academic playing field in underserved communities.

In her spare time, Buddington writes fiction and memoir that elaborates the experience of the millennial woman of color. She’s written/published four books. She’s also an HBO Def Poet and poetry slam champion. For more information about booking Erica, visit her website at

Tanya Barrett Public Speaker

21. Tanya Barrett - @TanyaDianna381

Tanya is a former classroom teacher and current STEM Coordinator and educational consultant. She has close to 20 years of experience working with school administrators, teachers and other education leaders dealing with multiple challenges facing schools such as instructional best practices, data analysis, underserved and underrepresented African-American children in gifted education programs, and effective teaching strategies. For more information about booking Tanya, email her at

Brittany Packnett Public Speaker

22. Brittany Packnett - @MsPackYetti

A former teacher, policy expert, and non-profit executive director, Brittany has committed her life and career to justice. She currently plays many roles, all focused on freedom.

Brittany serves as Teach For America’s Vice President of National Community Alliances, where she leads partnerships and civil rights work with communities of color. Beyond Teach For America, Brittany was a Ferguson protestor and continues in activism as, among other things, co-founder of Campaign Zero, a policy platform to end police violence. She is a featured mainstay on Pod Save The People, offering accessible analysis of news and culture, and recently penned the personal series 'Falling In Love' for Amy Poehler's Smart Girls. Recently, Brittany launched Love + Power, a hub created to inspire, empower, and outfit everyday people to seismically shift society. Brittany was an appointed member of the Ferguson Commission and President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Today, she continues to advocate for urgent systemic change at critical decision making tables and through national and international media. From New Zealand to London, across the United States, and at the White House, Brittany has traveled extensively to impart lessons of movement building, effective social impact, liberatory leadership, and empowerment for women and girls-especially those of color. Her popular TEDx talk, “It’s about time to value Women of Color in Leadership” exemplifies the passionate calls to action and personal storytelling she shares with audiences. For more information about booking Brittany, visit her website at

Czarina Francisco Jimenez Public Speaker

23. Czarina Francisco Jimenez - @CharlieKilo

Czarina is an elementary music teacher and a grad student studying Neuroscience and Education. She loves the power of music education for its ability to empower students, build social/emotional skills, and create lasting relationships and memories. In 2014, she presented a TEDx talk on student motivation. For more information on booking Czarina, visit her website at

Marcus Strother Public Speaker

24. Marcus L. Strother - @Marcus.Strother

Marcus L. Strother is a father, husband, educator and a youth and community advocate. Marcus is a 20- year veteran in the education field spending 17 years in Illinois and has since relocated to California. Marcus spent 8 years as a classroom teacher. During that time of teaching young people, he taught Language Arts, Life, Social Skills and Advocacy. Marcus also spent 9 years as a high school administrator with a focus on teacher evaluation, PBIS, school culture, and discipline. Marcus is currently the Coordinator of Youth Development at Sacramento City Unified School District. In this role, Marcus oversees Expanded Learning (Before and After School Programming), Summer

Programming and Boys and Girls of Color work. Additionally, Marcus is affiliated with the Freedom Writer's Foundation, Student African-American Brotherhood, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Cool Speak, Inc., My Brother's Keeper-Success Mentor's Initiative, 916 Ink (Youth Publishing), and is a trainer for Flourish Agenda: Radical Healing in Urban Education. He has delivered speeches and lead workshops about the freedom writer methodology, self-care, mentorship, school culture, healing through writing, and forgiveness. For more information about booking Marcus, contact him via email at


I'm so glad that Britt asked for me to begin putting this list together. I'm sure there are probably a few "popular" names in education that were left out, and that isn't intentional. However, regardless of your "celebrity," I do want to hear from you all, which is why the above list is expected to grow with individual submissions and recommendations. I look forward to being exposed to more talent and seeing these presenters booked for your next engagement.

Being a part of the online educator community has opened so many doors for me and via Teacher Magic, I hope to continue opening doors for others. I truly believe in collaboration over competition, and I know that my light will never dull from sharing the spotlight with others.

As always, don't forget to scroll to the bottom to like, comment, and (most importantly) share this post with your friends in education.

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