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Wed, Apr 21


Online Event

A New Education for A New Community: Preparing the Next Generation

A panel discussion promoting high achievement and cultural awareness for those who are often under-served by traditional approaches and methodologies. Panelists will share alternate practices, programs, tools, and resources that help close existing gaps.

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A New Education for A New Community:  Preparing the Next Generation
A New Education for A New Community:  Preparing the Next Generation

Time & Location

Apr 21, 2021, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

Online Event

About the Event

Join us for a panel discussion promoting high levels of achievement and cultural awareness for those who are often under-served by traditional approaches and methodologies.  Our panelists will share information on alternate practices, programs, tools, and resources that help close existing gaps and help students and families meet their potential and fulfill their purpose. Our special guest speakers are  Arkee Hodges, Founder and President, Education for Life Academy; Nesa Herring, Professional Counselor, Maryland Public School System, LaRita Mitchell, Educator, Tennessee Public School System; Ms. Queenie Johnson,  Educator, Leadership Trainer and, Co-founder, The Black School; and Sis. Chanelle Cooper.

Arkee Hodges is a historian, educator, entrepreneur, and visionary leader. He is the Founder and President of the Black Achievement Fund and also the Founder and President of Education for Life Academy (EFLA). EFLA offers an online African history curriculum that begins with the origins of humanity in Africa 200,000 years ago - not slavery. EFLA also offers onsite classes in Black history for middle and high school students.  Mr. Hodges was a professor at John Jay College for Criminal Justice and New York City College of Technology where he taught the courses: Race and Ethnicity in America, the African American Experience, and the Sociology of Urban Poverty.

In addition, Mr. Hodges served as the inaugural Director of the Children's Aid Society's (CAS) African American Male Initiative (AAMI), a groundbreaking academic and mentoring program for boys in Harlem. He has also worked with several New York City-based nonprofit organizations including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture – the largest repository of Black arts and letters in the world, and Echoing Green – the premier seed funder for social entrepreneurs devoted to social change. Mr. Hodges received a B.A. in African-American Studies from the University of Virginia, and an M.P.S. in Africana Studies from Cornell University. Outside of his professional experience, Mr. Hodges enjoys traveling, real estate investing, and horticulture.

Nesa Herring is a Woman of faith, Mother, Educator,  and Community Builder. Ms. Herring’s holistic approach to education is to develop well-rounded individuals who solve the problems of tomorrow. Her spiritual connection to numerous programs as an educator has provided her opportunities to support, network, and advocate for youth and their families. Her journey to learn and share traditional education, cultural knowledge, awareness of self, and connection to the community with the youth in her life feeds her passion to serve. She is a true example of a woman of faith to those she encounters. What is most important to Ms. Herring is being a mother of two sons and numerous surrogate children.

Ms. Herring has served as a professional counselor in the public school system in both New York and Maryland for 35 years. She has used her extra-curricular time to support programs that develop the analytical and leadership skills of our youth through the NAACP Youth Council, NSBE Jr, and Project Access Merritt Scholars. A graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, Ms. Herring holds a Master of Science Degree and an Advanced Certificate in Guidance and Counseling from Brooklyn College of New York. She is a Certified Maryland State Professorial School Counselor and an active member of the Oakland Mills Local Leadership Team in Columbia, Maryland

LaRita Bailey Mitchell is a 4th Grade Math and Science teacher in Memphis, TN.  Her childhood dream was to be a teacher as they were the people I admired most while growing up. Knowledge is indeed power and to have the opportunity to share that power with others in order to raise them up was and still is my dream. 

More lucrative doors opened, however, and she accepted a position with AT&T in corporate America. Her reasoning (in her 20’s!) was that she would make big money in a corporate setting and could then afford to retire and teach. Well, suffice to say that God does have a sense of humor! She did not make “millions” in her corporate career but that did not deter her desire to pursue teaching. In 2013, Ms. Mitchell earned a Master’s of Urban Education from Union University and has been teaching in various capacities since that time.

A few years into her teaching career she became actively involved with the Teachers Association both locally, state-wide, and nationally. She has served in leadership capacities at the local level and national level as a Local and State Representative. Education is important and teachers are the catalyst that sparks that interest in learning and help to spread the flame.

Ms. Mitchell has been an education advocate all her life and because she knows the value of education. “Knowledge is power”, and it gives those who have it, a voice! A voice to speak out on injustices and a voice to change things. The opportunity to share knowledge lifts us all up and it is her “why” for serving.

Ms. Queenie Johnson, M.A., is an award-winning entrepreneurial visionary, educator, leadership trainer and, founder and brains behind the School for Brilliant Thinkers, LLC. With over 20 years of experience in private, public, home, charter, and corporate education. She develops customized training programs to help you think and perform better as a parent, leader, and student.

She partners with smart, innovative companies committed to developing the "leadership assets" of their team using creative learning strategies in both physical and virtual settings.

She is the Co-Founder of Black School, a pop-up school designed for Black Students to develop their identity, culture, and voice. Her acclaimed program, Black School for White People, has trained nearly 1200 allies from China, U.K, Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands, Australia, and Japan.

Recently, she spent three days on Capitol Hill with UPLAN legislating and speaking with Senators and Congress members to co-sponsor the Child Care for Working Families Act and other proposed bills that adversely affect DACA DREAMers and immigrant families. She also met with the United States Department of Education to suggest a Federal Parent & Family Advisory Council to bring parent voice and engagement to the national level.

Ms. Queenie holds a Master's degree from Pacific Oaks College in Human Development and Social Change and a Bachelor's degree as well as a California Clear Teaching Credential from Occidental College in Eagle Rock, California.

Sister Chanelle Cooper, is a Mother, Grandmother, Wife, Daughter of Faith, and Community Activist. She has over 20 years of experience empowering women and girls. She has facilitated workshops and training across the country and Canada on an array of topics. Sister Chanelle's years of community work led her to start Sistah’s Growing Together, a non-profit focused on the spiritual, emotional, and educational development of women and girls.

Sister Chanelle is a certified life coach. She assists her clients by using a holistic approach that connects them with their divine purpose so that they can live a life of authenticity which can lead to achieving personal and professional success. After aiding countless mothers in the community who lost children to violence, she became a certified bereavement counselor in order to better assist them with the pain of losing a child to violence.

These experiences led to Sister Chanelle previously sitting on the Mayor’s Commission for Women. She also is a previous Board Chair for the Sandtown Winchester empowerment zone and was the resident advisor for the vision for health consortium, a five-member hospital group that sought to improve health outcomes in the black community.

Her love for women and girls led her to develop a curriculum and teach preschool at the School of Original Thought. While doing this, she recognized that many young women were in need of love and guidance. This led to her developing her own curriculum and doing young women and sister’s circles. After taking many young women into her own home and locating safe homes for others, she launched a transitional home for women returning home from prison with the hope that providing a stable living environment, soft skills, family reunification, and counseling, would lead to reduced re-incarceration and greater stability in the Black family.

Sister Chanelle presently serves as the program director and events coordinator for the Maryland Justice Project, an organization aimed at providing services and resources to women and girls who are formerly and currently incarcerated. Her motto is “breaking generational curses, empowers future choices.”

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