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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