10 Young , Gifted & Black NYC Educators To Look Out For

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1. CHRIS EMDIN 
photo 5Topping the list at #1 is a tenured Associate Professor of Mathematics, Science & Technology education at Teachers College, Columbia University-  Chris Emdin.  At TC, Emdin  also serves as Director of Science Education at the Center for Health Equity and Urban Science Education. He is currently a Caperton Fellow and Hip-Hop Archive Fellow at the WEB DuBois Institute at Harvard University. Dr. Emdin is a social critic, public intellectual and science advocate whose commentary on issues of race, culture, inequality and education have appeared in dozens of influential periodicals including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. He holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education with a concentration in Mathematics, Science, and Technology; Masters degrees in both Natural Sciences and Education Administration, and Bachelors degrees in Physical Anthropology, Biology, and Chemistry. He is the co 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. He is also author of the award winning book, Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation. Emdin has dedicated his entire career to working with urban youth & reinvigorating a love of science. He is the brainchild behind Science Genius, an initiative that has spread cross- country with rapid fire. Students battle each other competition style sharing their best rhymes delivering accurate science content.
Web: http://chrisemdin.com 
Twitter: chrisemdin
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2. JOSE LUIS VILSON
 photo 1-1Jose Vilson a middle school math educator based in the Inwood / Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Syracuse University & 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 co-authored the book Teaching 2030: What We Must Do For Our Students and Public Schools … Now and In The Future with Dr. Barnett Berry and 11 other accomplished teachers. He also recently published his first book This is Not a Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class & Education.  He currently serves as the president emeritus of the Latino Alumni Network of Syracuse University, as a board member on the Board of Directors for the Center for Teaching Quality, and has been a part of the Acentos Foundation, LATinos In Social Media (LATISM), the Capicu Poetry Group, BlogCritics, and the AfroSpear. Vilson writes for Edutopia, GOOD, and TransformED / Future of Teaching, and has written for CNN.com, Education Week, Huffington Post, and El Diario / La Prensa NY. He has also spoken at TEDxNYED and the Save Our Schools March.
Web: http://thejosevilson.com
Twitter: theJLV
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3. JOSEPH NELSON
photo 5-1Dr. Joseph Nelson has tooled himself & become a much sought-after urban educational consultant with his expertise in school culture & diversity; & young Black male identity.  He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Bard College and Associate Research Director at the Center for the Study of Boys’ & Girls’ lives at University of Pennsylvania.He will begin work as a Postdoctoral Fellow for the prestigious Ford Foundation this Fall 2014 and will also be a Visiting Scholar at New York University.  Nelson holds  a Ph.D.  in Urban Education from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He also earned a B.A. in Sociology from Loyola University  in Chicago. His dissertation used ethnographic methods to explore masculinity construction within a single-sex middle school for boys of color in New York City. 
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4. NICOLE GRIMES

photo 4Nicole Grimes is an alumna of The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY) where she received a Ph.D. in Urban Education with a concentration in Mathematics, Science and Technology.  She has been a fervent STEM educator for 12+ years working with public & private school students from grades 2-12.  As a teacher educator, she also retains experience at the graduate level working with NYC Masters students at various NYC institutions including Pace University, NYU and CUNY Lehman. She also earned a Masters of Arts in Secondary science Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. Her current interests center around STEM ed initiatives, creating engineering curricula for middle & high school, using coteaching in mainstreamed science classrooms & improving teacher education.  She is an active member of several professional organizations including ASTE (Association for Science Teacher Education) , ASCD (Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development), NSTA (National Science Teachers Association)and NARST (National Association for Research in Science Teaching). Grimes has earned awards for her education publications including a recent award from CSSE (Cultural Studies of Science Education) – Best Manuscript of the Year for 2013 &  a Best Manuscript Award V from  ASTE  for Implications of Research for Educational Practice in 2010. She also is highly enthusiastic about creating networks for educators to meet and collaborate. Her initiative Teachers Night Out NYC aims to be a platform to provide professional development and forge connections amongst all educators. Grimes is also an avid world traveller and has a strong love for travel photography. Most recently, she has visited over 16 countries in the last three years. Some of these destinations include, Greece, South Korea, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates. She shares her passion for learning and adventure through her travel blog Geektreks.com & also writes for noted travel blog TravelNoire.com

Web: http://drnicolegrimes.com 
Twitter: drnicolekgrimes
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5.  SHANI PEREZ
photo 4-1Shani Perez is an Arts Liaison & Art Educator for the New York City Department of Education. Currently, Shani steers the Visual Arts program at Elias Howe Public School 51 where she has developed the elementary visual arts curriculum for the last 7 years. She holds a degree in Fashion Design acquired from the Fashion Institute of Technology, a Bachelors of Science in Art Education, and a Masters of Science in Special Education acquired from The State University of New York at New Paltz (SUNY). As a proud alumna of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, Shani developed a deep love and passion for sharing visual arts with others at an early age. In addition to her Art Education commitments, Shani is the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) Chapter Leader in her school, serves on several educational and community based arts planning teams developing arts curricula citywide, and is a member of NAEA (National Art Education Association). She currently provides Professional Development workshops to NYC Art Educators and serves as the Vice Chair of the NAACP Brooklyn Branch Education Committee. Aside from the Arts, Shani is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated where she founded “Family Day” a day of education & arts practices. Shani was recently awarded the Inspiration in Education Award by The Center for Arts Education for her efforts to help children empower themselves through education and the arts. She lives to teach art to children of various ages and truly believes in the importance of education in our society. Her other teaching proficiencies include visual arts education, visual literacy, teaching art for the multiple intelligences, arts integration, studio practices, facilitating arts for family workshops, and professional development of teachers.
Web: http://shaniperez.com
Twitter: MissShaniP
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6. SIR CHARLES HILL
photo 2-1Sir Charles Hill recently headlined as NAACP & Restoration Financial Empowerment Center’s featured speaker  during their “Building Wealth Series Seminar”.  Author of the weekly Monday Morning Motivation column, inspirational articles that include tips, strategies and featured individuals that exemplify outstanding work in the community, Charles has become a sought-after motivational and financial education & literacy speaker.  With ten years of financial and investment experience working at BNY Mellon and Northwestern Mutual, Charles believes that managing money is one the most important life skills for people at every age. Hill is the founder of Pivotal Lit, an educational start-up focused on teaching, assessing, and certifying student and adult learners in critical financial skills.  Addressing the lack of financial education in the community, he hosts comprehensive curricula modules that include adaptive simulations, educational games, and interactive workshops.  In addition to his professional work, Charles serves on the board of Youth Achievers USA Institute and Beyond the Boroughs Scholarship Foundation.  He constantly volunteers his time on various host committees for charity functions and mentors youth at Street Squash in Harlem.  Charles received his Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics from Haverford College and a Claritas Investment Certification from the CFA Institute.
Web: http://pivotallit.com
Twitter: pivotallit
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7. NATHANIEL HAYNESWORTH
photoNathaniel Haynesworth is the Founder and Managing Director of Esoteric Academic Solutions (EAS) – a specialized, full-service education enrichment company and is preparing to open, in 2015, the Dr. Percy Julian Science & Mathematics Global Charter School, a Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) middle school that will focus on global competencies. Before founding EAS, Nathaniel taught and tutored in subjects ranging from English (reading, grammar and essay writing) to Math, Chemistry and Earth Science. Haynesworth is a seasoned Mathematics and Test Prep tutor who has helped prepare hundreds of students for middle and high school entrance exams including the SHSAT, ISEE, SAT and ACT. He has coached students in personal essay writing, narrative development, school selection and academic mentorship. He has also educated parents about the enrollment process of the most competitive middle and high schools in New York. His intuitive ability to analyze and assess challenges, research solutions and implement new systems has helped him achieve optimal results. His areas of specialization include operations management, budget analysis, organizational development, SPSS, leadership and interpersonal effectiveness.
Twitter: natehaynesworth
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8. JEFF DESS
photo 3MrJeff Dess continues to make waves from the middle school to university setting. He is a writer, professor, public speaker and emcee of Haitian descent who hails from the Big Apple of New York City. Expression is his main tool towards achieving excellence. Those tools come in a numbers of shapes and forms. He has published 3 books independently: do not hold doors (2006), Haiku from the Home of Reverend Mofo Jones (2008) &  Deconstructing Ratchet (2014). While at St. John’s University MrJeffDess received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English Literature. This passion for the educational experience also led him into the classroom as an English Professor at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. While teaching writing and poetry classes he brought a level of unbridled enthusiasm into the academic world. His critiques and writings have appeared in a number of scholarly journals and he has also presented his work at literary conferences.  As the current Assistant Director of Campus Life at New Jersey State University, Dess has been instrumental in revamping programs available for undergrad students. MrJeffDess is also writing pop culture based lesson plans for grades 6-12 for the organization, NUSKOOL and working on a hip hop & poetry infused project.
Web:  http://mrjeffdess.com 
Twitter: mrjeffdess
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9. EMILEE CHRISTOPHER

photo 1North Carolina A&T State University alum EEmilee Christopher is the Director of a Human Resources at Public Preparatory Network, a network of single-sex public charter schools in New York, NY. In this role, she is overseeing all human resources functions including, but not limited to, employee benefits administration, total rewards strategic planning, payroll/compensation, talent acquisition for Public Prep’s 170+ educators. She worked the past year with Public Prep as the Director of staff recruitment focusing solely on talent acquisition. Upon graduation, the Chrristopher moved to Cambridge, Mass. where she earned a Master’s degree in Education Policy and Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. It is her drive for continuous learning that propels Christopher to higher heights and enables her to make tough decisions. Christopher also embodies that statement in her prior role as the Director of Program development (2011-2013) for her non-profit organization Catalyst Network Foundation. She is responsible for developing its curriculum and has created a summer program for high school students in Brooklyn, N.Y. The “strengths-based” program will teach students about the importance of following their passions and creating a plan among other skills they need for success. In general, her passions include organizational development, leadership, public speaking and training, youth empowerment, adult learning, and non-profit management. Emilee holds a Professional Certificate in Leadership and Organizational Development from New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. She is currently preparing to teach human resources, organizational development, and leadership courses through Baruch College’s Continuing and Professional Studies program to continue her work in the leadership and organizational development space.

Twitter: _emilee09

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10. R. L’HEUREUX LEWIS-MCCOY
photo 2R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Black Studies program in the Colin Powell School at the City College of New York – CUNY. As a scholar, his research concentrates on educational inequality in American schools. His book Inequality in the Promised Land: Race, Resources and Suburban Schooling looks at the experiences of low income and racial minorities’ attempts at accessing school-related resources.His wider research agenda addresses the areas of race, youth culture, and gender equity. In race, his work explores the meaning and negotiation of race in the post-Civil-Rights era. His work on youth culture concentrates on the expansion of Hip-Hop culture and its relation to the lives of African-Americans. His research and activism in the area of gender equity concentrates on gender in communities of color. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Sociology from the University of Michigan.
Web:  http://professorlewismccoy.com 
Twitter: dumilewis 
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Tremendous kudos to the above educators for their stellar work in urban education. NYC is incredibly lucky to have them. Know other outstanding Black educators in NYC? Send us a bio for future postings.

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