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TEACH-IN SPEAKERS

listed in alphabetical order (last name)

Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman, EdD

 

Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman, EdD is a homeschooling mother based in Maryland and co-founder of the Black Family Homeschool Educators and Scholars (BFHES). Born in Washington D.C., she is co-editor of the forthcoming book Homeschooling Black Children in the United States: An examination of homeschooling in practice, theory and popular culture. Her research includes study of African American homeschooled students who are dual-enrolled in community college, creative placemaking as a tool for community building and high impact learning practices. She recently earned her doctoral degree this past May in Higher Education/Community College Leadership from  Morgan State University. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Mass Communication from Towson University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (African-American Studies and Mass Media) and minor in Writing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Her expertise as a scholar and homeschool practitioner has been commissioned by the Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center (PGAAMCC), showcased at Impact Hub Baltimore and highlighted in her work with her brands Student Media Online and So Our Youth Aspire. 

Dr. Ali-Coleman has taught community college courses in Communication Studies and Fine and Performance Arts since 2011 at various community colleges throughout Maryland and Virginia and has worked with youth and families in educational-based nonprofit settings since 1996.  She is also a multi-disciplinary artist, community organizer, activist and founder of the arts company Liberated Muse Arts Group which she founded in 2008. Liberated Muse has produced monthly, annual and biennial events, including the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest, and Kwanzaa in August, while producing print and digital anthologies, music, films and theatrical productions.  She has led this work while pursuing a long-time professional career as a creative. A 2015 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist awardee, Dr. Ali-Coleman is currently a 2020 Quadrant Playwright with Theater Alliance in Washington DC and was recently selected as a 2020-2021 Sherman Fairchild Fellow with the Phillips Collection in Washington DC. A playwright and curator, her plays have been featured at the Kennedy Center, United States Peace Corps, Anacostia Smithsonian Museum and other venues. Her first historical exhibit, Flying Towards Freedom: Migration Stories of Maryland Families was commissioned by the PGAAMCC and installed at the Oxon Hill branch of the Prince George's County Public Library in February 2020, closing early due to Covid-19.

In 2018 she debuted her first children's book, Mariah's Maracas, illustrated by her life and creative partner who, for the past 12 years, has helped homeschool their now 16 year-old daughter who is a multi-talented writer, plant whisperer and music and film lover dual-enrolled in community college. An educator at her core, Dr. Ali-Coleman credits her mother, the late Karen Holt-Williams as inspiration when choosing to homeschool her daughter and for instilling in her a strong sense of cultural consciousness that has guided her commitment to community building. Dr. Ali-Coleman credits her grandparents Calvin and Annie Holt and great-grandparents Susie and Ira Andrew Lewis for sparking her family's legacy as educators.

Intent on broadening and developing a self-care practice to sustain her busy lifestyle, she is a Level I, II and III certified Usui Holy Fire Reiki practitioner and enjoys writing songs and poems, tumbling crystals, performing, beading, visiting beaches and spending time with her family as often as possible. Support her work and learn more by visiting KhadijahAli-Coleman.com

 

 

Phyllis Smith Asinyanbi

 

 

 

 

Phyllis Smith Asinyanbi is an independent educator, writer, thinker, lifelong student, and global citizen. Phyllis has a unique perspective on home education as her son is gifted and on the autism spectrum, also known as 2e (twice-exceptional).  She is also the former moderator of African American Single Parent Homeschoolers (AASPH), an excellent Facebook group. A veteran homeschooler who has been homeschooling her son since he was in first grade, she is overjoyed that he is now a senior and will soon be attending college. Phyllis also has a bachelor’s degree in education, with a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She now teaches students English online. If anyone has questions, please contact her via email (plsmitha@gmail.com) or Facebook Messenger (Name: Phyllis Smith Asinyanbi).

Colie Aziza

Colie Aziza is early-childhood and special education educator who has taught in Prince George's County Public Schools in Maryland for almost 30 years. A multi-disciplinary performance artist and a children's book author, she debuted her first children's book, Corey's Dreams in 2016.  Visit her online at ColieAziza.com

 

 

Aaliyah Baker, PhD

Aaliyah Baker, PhD is an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Leadership at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI. She began her career in education as a classroom teacher with the Milwaukee Public School system. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Multicultural Education from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  Dr. Baker is a culturally responsive educator who has connected theory, research, and practice in multiple local, state, national, and international educational settings including South Africa and Morocco.  She teaches courses that facilitate conversations around critical consciousness with regard for issues of social justice.  Her dissertation research was entitled “Black Families’ Pedagogies: Pedagogical Philosophies and Practices Surrounding Black Parents’ Decisions to Homeschool”.  Dr. Baker’s scholarship focuses on critical pedagogy, multicultural education, and critical race theory through an array of independent and collaborative research projects.  In 2018, Dr. Baker was accepted into a Cultural and Professional Exchange in Cuba.  She was selected to travel with an interdisciplinary group of 20 delegates of the National Association for Multicultural Education.  During the spring of 2019, Dr. Baker was selected as a Midwest Engaged Scholar for Campus Compact, a national coalition committed to the advancement of critically and civically engaged institutions of higher education built around a focus on community development.  She was one of only 11 scholars to receive this honor.  She works with schools and organizations to increase meaningful engagement for students of color and to advance constructive dialogue around issues of race.  Dr. Baker promotes critical thinking in a wide array of learning environments and works to build partnerships that leverage community practices that foster a commitment to justice which strengthen the community from within. 

 

Journei Bimwala

Journei Bimwala is a family health and lifestyle development specialist who specializes in guiding, coaching and educating families on ways to build a healthy nutritional foundation and engage in the art of healing. She provides homeschooling families the tools to build wellness through comprehensive wellness services and educational plans that cater to the diverse needs of the community. You can connect with Journei Bimwala on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram

 

Samori Camara, PhD

 
 
Samori Camara, PhD is a 38 year-old baba, Afrikan warrior scholar, educator, historian, and educational consultant who recently spent extensive time in Ghana.  Samori’s experience along with his constant study and reflection makes him a sought after thought-leader in the realm of Afrikan-centered education.  Camara established Kamali Academy in 2009 and it continues to serve the community by providing curriculum, courses, workbooks, and resources that help parents across the global educate their children for liberation. Learn more at https://www.kamaliacademy.com/
 

Tichaona Chinyelu

Tichaona Chinyelu is a writer, mother and author of three books of poetry: In the Whirlwind, Still Living on My Feet and Contraband Marriage. She lives, writes and raises her son in Cambridge, MA. Her writings can be found at SillLivingOnMyFeet.com

 

Kyna Clemons

Kyna Clemons is CEO & Founder of Ujima Children of the Sun Educational Services,  CEO and lead textile quilt artist at Gyname Quilt Studio, an activist, and home-school educator in the Washington DC metropolitan area. She is founder of Ujima Children of the Sun Homeschool Collective.

A graduate of Howard University, Ms. Clemons draws inspiration for her quilts from the work and life of Harriet Powers, an enslaved African-American folk artist and quilt maker. Ms.Clemons and her husband, George Clemons, are proud parents of seven children, whom they have home-educated together for over fifteen years. 

 

Dannielle Joy Davis, PhD

Dannielle Joy Davis, PhD is a homeschooling mother and was homeschooled as a child. She is a tenured Associate Professor of Higher Education at Saint Louis University. She is the first known African American woman (descended from captive Mende, Temne, and Fula people in the U.S.) to earn tenure in the history of the institution’s School of Education. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she has studied and conducted research in Ghana, South Africa, Senegal, Egypt, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Belgium. Her interdisciplinary research examines the experiences of marginalized groups in educational settings, the role of organizational policy and practice in the promotion or inhibition of egalitarian academic and occupational outcomes, and spirituality in the workplace and other learning environments. Dr. Davis is a twice elected Chair of the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA’s) Spirituality and Education Special Interest Group (SIG) and has served within the leadership of AERA’s Qualitative Research SIG. She has published over 65 refereed journal articles, book chapters, volumes, academic commentaries, and reviews. Dr. Davis is Series Editor of the Information Age Publishing book series, Contemporary Perspectives on Spirituality in Education, where she coordinates and leads guest editors and authors from around the globe in the development of scholarly volumes. She is Co-Editor and a contributing author of the books Black Women in Leadership: Their Historical and Contemporary Contributions (Peter Lang Publishing), Social Justice Issues and Race in the College Classroom: Learning from Different Voices (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.), Intersectionality in Education Research (Stylus Publishing), Specialists: Passions and Careers (Universitas Press), and Motherhood in Precarious Times (Demeter Press). Dr. Davis has also served as Associate Editor for The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society and Learning for Democracy: An International Journal of Thought and Practice. She has served as Vice President of Professional Development for the National Girls and Women of Color Council, as a Leadership Team member with Sisters of the Academy Institute, on the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Colorism Studies, and is Founder and Director of the community program, The Circle of Excellence Network. 

Maleka Diggs

Maleka Diggs is an unschooling advocate, community organizer, and trainer that centers equity and inclusion with a focus on BIPOC communities who has been serving families, schools and alternative learning spaces through her organization, Eclectic Learning Network. She is also co-founder of Philly Children’s Movement, a multi-racial and multi-generational collective of families talking, playing, and rising up for racial justice! Her work explores the intersections of race and education, its impact on Black and Brown peoples and those within under-represented communities while exploring ways to disrupt the cycle of institutionalized education through unschooling and self-directed learning approaches. You can learn more about her work at the following links: 

Website: www.eclecticlearningnetwork.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/eclecticlearningnetwork | Instagram: www.instagram.com/eclecticlearningnetwork | Patreon: www.patreon.com/eclecticlearingnetwork (for those who are interested in supporting ELN year-round as a monthly sustainer) | Developing A Disruptors Ear Workbook - $99 per person | Deschooling: Issa Thing Meetup – Free to join (currently waitlist only) | Webinar Series: Supporting Parenting During and Beyond Uncertain Times – Free | I.O.T.A. (It’s Okay To Ask) – Video segment that explores partnership-parenting through conversations between mother and daughter

            The first five episodes are available to all and will transition exclusively to Patreon.

Cheryl Fields-Smith, PhD

Cheryl Fields-Smith, PhD is co-founder of Black Family Homeschool Educators and Scholars (BFHES). She is an Associate Professor, Department of Educational Theory and Practice (Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education) at the University of Georgia. She is the most prolific researcher focused on Black families who homeschool in the United States. She is author of numerous articles on homeschooling and author of Exploring Single Black Mothers' Resistance through Homeschooling. She is a 2018 ASPIRE Fellow, a 2015-2016 Service-Learning Faculty Fellow, a 2014 COE Carl Glickman Faculty Fellow and founding board member of the Internatinal Center for Home Education Research.

Dr. Fields-Smith's research interests include family engagement and homeschooling among Black families. Her dissertation explored family engagement from the perspective of 22 Black middle class families. Later, she received a Spencer Foundation Grant to conduct a two-year study focused on homeschooling among 46 Black families. From this study Dr. Fields-Smith has published several journal articles and chapters, which among them include the first empirically-based publication to focus exclusively on Black homeschool families. Her research on homeschooling among Black families has most recently been featured in a PBS NewsHour report and the Atlantic.  Prior to earning her doctorate from Emory University in 2004, Dr. Fields-Smith served as an elementary school teacher in Bridgeport, Stamford, and Norwalk, Connecticut. During her tenure as a teacher she taught in two magnet schools, both of which employed the Bank Street Model, which emphasizes child-centered, hands-on, experiential learning through thematic, social studies-based integrated instruction.

NaConda N. Frank

NaConda N. Frank is a wife, homeschooling mom of five, budding entrepreneur, and conqueror of mental illness. She is a five-time Amazon best-selling author of the best selling books African American Homeschooling Mompreneurs and Confessions of a Depressed Homeschool Mom, 2nd edition. NaConda is also a motivational speaker and a home education consultant. Newly known as "The Homeschool Whisperer", NaConda offers spiritual inspirational & hope for families on their homeschool journey.  NaConda can be followed on her social media platforms via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, her YouTube channel, and her website www.NaCondaNFrank.com.

 

Tahira L. Goldson

Tahira L. Goldson is a homeschooler of an only child. Goldson has over 15 years experience designing and implementing IT courses, including 10 years serving in leadership roles of increasing scope and responsibility with U.S. Federal Government contracts overseas. She has provided Education Services to 10 countries in person and 173 sites virtually for the US Department of State and the Department of Commerce. She is founder of the homeschool cooperative Mason-Inspired Bowie.

 
Goldson was an honoree for the Prince George's County Forty Under 40 Award for her work with youth poets. She lives in Bowie, Maryland with her spouse, her daughter, 1 fish and 4 pet birds.

Kizzy Gray

 

Kizzy Gray brilliantly affirms any distinction given. A Virginia native, Kizzy is the president and lead graphic/web designer of Kizzoe Designs and mother of five homeschooled children.  In addition, she is a wife of 23 years to a military veteran. Gracious and diplomatic, Kizzy wears many hats as a Certified Life Coach, entrepreneur, author, teacher, public speaker and impassioned workshop facilitator.  Kizzy has devoted over 25 years of service to her community by steadfastly volunteering in church, and holding numerous community outreach roles over the years.  Overall, Kizzy hopes to empower women as a life coach by encouraging them to awaken their inner greatness and radically transform their lives, business and motherhood with purpose.

 

LaNissir James

A homeschooling mom and leader, LaNissir has a passion to serve the home-educating community. She provides social, spiritual, academic, and supervisory support for families in local groups and encourages and equips homeschool graduates to transition into colleges, careers, and vocational schools.

As an HSLDA High School Consultant, LaNissir loves speaking to parents to encourage and support their homeschooling with empathetic, engaging, and practical wisdom. She says, “The joy of helping a family feel confident that they can homeschool is priceless.”

She earned her BS in journalism from the University of Maryland College Park, is Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® certified, and is pursuing a master’s degree in biblical studies.

LaNissir James is wife to Lorenzo, who also serves the homeschooling community through sports programs, photography services, and photography classes. She is the mother of seven beautiful homeschooled children (five girls and two boys) with ages ranging from toddler to young adult. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, photography, and kayaking.

Joyelle Naomi

Joyelle Naomi is the founder of Denver Independent School (DIS) and Black Homeschooling Sustainability Initiative (BHSI). She is a 2020-21 MoonshotEd Ventures Fellow. She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology, is a home-based educator and co-founder of Kulan Village Homeschool Co-op. Passionate about encouraging more families to homeschool, she began to lay the groundwork for DIS, realizing that many underrepresented groups like BIPOC and students with special needs, don’t always have the resources needed to sustainably homeschool. DIS is one solution that enables families with a variety of needs to have more legal freedom to homeschool. BHSI provides the educational, cultural and financial resources to homeschool effectively. A proud Denver native, Joyelle loves the Colorado outdoors, homeschools her two wonderful children, and is a Trekkie for life!

LM Preston

LM Preston is an author of Homeschooling and Working While Shaping Amazing Learners (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RQ3MZKV/) , an engineer, former college professor, and working mother who's been married for over twenty-five years. She has homeschooled 3 of her 4 children from elementary school and beyond while she and her husband worked outside their home. Three of her kids graduated with degrees by the age of 17 years old. In addition, she is a published author and coach in doing 'College The Radical Way'. 

Her blog: http://homeschoolandwork.blogspot.com/ details her homeschooling while working journey. Her coaching services and courses are available on her website http://www.EmpoweredSteps.com. 

 

Queen Taese

Queen Taese is a Black homeschool & education visionary who has been noted for her works of being an award-winning educator and successful homeschool mother for 20+ years. She has taught and learned from thousands of children, as well as designed Afrikan-centered curriculums, critical educational tools, resources, children’s events, and conferences globally. She is founder of the Liberated Minds Black Homeschool & Educational Institute, which is an educational empire forging a new reality for the wholistic cultivation of children throughout the Afrikan diaspora. Its trifold mission consists of the cultural development of Black children as scholars, leaders, passionpreneurs, and innovators that serve the Black community; empowerment of the Black family, and the creation and maintenance of the intergenerational wealth that is needed to shape a future full of prosperity, power, and legacy. Learn more at https://queentaese.com/

 

Zsudayka Nzingha Terrell

Zsudayka Nzingha Terrell is a renowned fine artist and mother of three children who she and her husband unschool in Washington, D.C. Zsudayka is an arts activist born and raised in Aurora, CO. Nzinga began her career as an artist in Denver, CO. She painted abstract and realism portraits and ran an art gallery. She also created art programming for nonprofits and private and charter schools and ran a Black Arts Festival. She made a name for herself as a teenager on the spoken word poetry scene and travelled the country performing her written work with her art on the cover. While traveling, Nzinga felt more and more inspired to create images, particularly the missing story of the black woman. “I felt that when I was telling a story in a poem, people had to have read what I read, seen what I’ve seen to sometimes get the deeper purpose of my work. When I paint my story, a person can look at it and come to their own conclusions in their own time. I can really hit them hard but not have to bear the responsibility of having TOLD them.” After moving to Washington D.C., she started her program From the Corner to the Gallery in 2014, fundraising to take 7 kids under her wing and help them learn to transition their hustle into a legal arts based business. Visit her website at https://www.terrellartsdc.com/

 

Monica Zandra Utsey

 

Monica Zandra Utsey is an educator, writer, blogger, vlogger, homeschool consultant, essential oils advocate, travel consultant, and 20-year homeschool veteran.  Monica has written for a variety of local and national publications and currently chronicles her homeschooling and travel adventures in her blog Chocolate Covered Boy Joy and on her YouTube Channel Chocolate City Homeschool Life.  In 2004, she co-founded the Sankofa Homeschool Community, a  support group for homeschoolers of the African Diaspora; and, in 2011, she led the expansion of Sankofa Homeschool Community’s learning cooperative, the Sankofa Homeschool Collective

In 2012, she became a founding parent of the Mass Emphasis Children’s History and Theatre Company, where children learn history through the magic of theatre.  Passionate about organizing, especially around issues important to women, after the birth of her first son she joined Mocha Moms, a national organization for mothers of color.  She has served as the Founding President of the Southern DC Chapter of Mocha Moms, Inc., since 2002.  She is a passionate advocate for children’s education and worked as literacy teacher for the Boys & Girls Club #14 for 9 years.  After a solo trip to Ghana and visiting every region, she became a travel consultant for HIM Tours Ghana, a full-service travel company based in Accra, Ghana. 

When the Covid-19 pandemic changed the educational landscape for the world, Monica was called upon for her expertise and became the Director of Homeschool Resources for A Black Education Network.  She will also be the Director of ABEN’s International Student Exchange program in Ghana.  Currently, she works as a social studies and language arts tutor for the Maya Angelou Young Adult Learning Center Public Charter School.  A proud graduate of Howard University, her future plans include post-graduate work as well as expanding Sankofa Homeschool Community online and abroad. E-mail: motherjegna@msn.com/Cell: 202-615-6310 | Blog:http://chocolatecoveredboyjoy.blogspot.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3R0yX0trtW11j3Jf-RhKQQ

 
 

Olu Butterfly Woods

Olu Butterfly Woods is an award-winning working performance artist, community organizer, writer and homeschooling mother of four children. Based in Baltimore, MD, her innovative creative work has left an indelible mark on the cultural arts history of the city. For over two decades she has devoted time and energy to working with youth and families in multi-disciplinary ways. She is founder of the Free-Up Baltimore Homeschool Cooperative for Afrikan-Centered Families.

 

 

 

all photos and biographies were submitted by the respective speaker