SPEAKERS BIOS

Kimberly A. Morrow -Moderator, earned a B.A. in History from Morris Brown College and  well a M. Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Throughout her career as an educator, Kimberly has advocated for student equity inside and beyond the classroom.  Her 11 years teaching experience span over three states and four school districts. In addition to classroom teaching she has also worked as a school administrator where she was responsible for creating a Parent Empowerment Center and improving upon the students online learning capabilities.  She is also the author of 8 Pearls of Wisdom A Parenting Guide.  Currently she is a Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction as wells as an Education Consultant. 

Lynette N. Tannis -Keynote Speaker, began her education career more than two decades ago and has served in myriad educational roles.  She is the author of Educating Incarcerated Youth: Exploring the Impact of Relationships, Expectations, Resources and Accountability (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) Tannis teaches a course she designed, titled, Educating Incarcerated Youth: Practice, Research, Policy, and Advocacy.  Her work as an adjunct lecturer, researcher, and independent education consultant focuses on ensuring all children — free or incarcerated — receive the free high-quality public education they deserve. Tannis holds both an Ed.D. in Urban Superintendency (2013) and an Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management (2010) from Harvard University, a M.A. in Educational Administration (2003) from Kean University, and a B.A. in Elementary Education (1995) from Greensboro College.

Vivien De Peralta -Panel Member Ms. De Peralta's instructional expertise is drawn from over 15 years of successfully teaching historically marginalized student populations. In those 15 years, she has taught students with disabilities in elementary, middle, and high schools, served as an inclusion and instructional specialist, created and facilitated adult professional learning for national, regional, and statewide audiences, and written curriculum. As a proud graduate of a Virginia public school system and first generation student, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology at the College of William and Mary before earning a Master’s degree in School Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Certified in all grade levels, Ms. De Peralta is licensed as a school principal/administrator for PreK-12 in Virginia and Massachusetts. She currently serves students, colleagues, and families as an instructional designer with a non-profit organization currently tasked with creating an innovative and culturally-responsive literacy curriculum for a large urban school district. She also volunteers some of her time as an advocate for parents of children with disabilities.

Dr. Stacie Morris-Panel Member, holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Morris Brown College, M.A. degree in Christian Education from Interdenominational Theological Center and a Ed.D. in Urban Education from Morgan State University.  She currently teaches English Language Arts and Social Studies to high performing 8th grade college preparatory students in Lithonia, GA.   Dr. Morris has led her grade level team in developing a highly effective virtual learning academic curriculum that was implemented immediately following the school closures. She also created a grade level culture that prepares students for high school by fostering academic growth and strong character building. 

Jamico Elder-Panel Member,  M.Ed., as Executive Director of Avalon Carver Community Center since 2016, has forged a partnership with LAUSD, and Mobile STEM Labs to prepare the next generation to become innovators and change agents.  Jamico is native of the Watts section of South Los Angeles. The crack epidemic that plagued South Los Angeles in the 1980s and early 1990s .  He began his formal teaching career at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall and continued to focus on youth in need. Jamico then served at three of the lowest performing schools in the nation causing him to relocate to Bedford Stuyvesant, Roxbury, and Watts. In Watts, he taught at Markham Middle School, which served children from four housing projects, which gave birth to the “Crips” and “Bloods” and was the epicenter of the crack epidemic in Los Angeles. He focused on teaching Mathematics and developed successful after school programs. A The bulk of the families were impoverished immigrants fleeing Central America and Mexico as a result of the drug trade. He continued to help young people in the gang world escape the clutches of drugs and violence.

Dr. Tunette Powell-Panel Member, is an author, educator and the mother of three sons who all attend schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Known as an activist scholar, Powell has been on the frontlines, locally and nationally, fighting with her village to address a host of different issues, including the school-to-prison pipeline, implicit bias, parent and village engagement in schools, equity, and school-induced collective trauma. 

Powell’s work in education spans more than a decade where she first started as a substitute teacher. Additionally, Powell has taught reading literacy, hip hop writing, life skills and teen parenting classes at alternative high schools and through nonprofit organizations. She has worked with school districts to provide teacher professional development throughout the country, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, Redondo Beach Unified School District, Dallas Independent School District and Omaha Public Schools.

Powell, who resides in South Central Los Angeles, is currently a doctoral candidate in the department of Education & Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her dissertation, The Scars of School Suspension: Narratives as Testimonies of Collective Trauma, examines the wound dealt to Black parents of children who have been suspended in early childhood education. She is the program director of the UCLA Parent Project – a project focused on developing, nurturing and sustaining parent engagement and parent leadership in schools, especially at schools serving Black and Brown families.

Christopher Erwin-Panel Member, is the Avalon-Carver Community Center Program Director and the Director of Mary B. Henry YouthBuild Academy. He is responsible for providing programmatic oversight of all Avalon Carver programs while simultaneously ensuring the implementation of impactful initiatives designed to improve services for the community.  Additionally, Mr. Erwin is responsible for managing multiple agency projects.  He is known for consistently demonstrating the flexibility, compassion, and empathy required to inspire and motivate an increasingly diverse population of transitional age youth. Mr. Erwin has over 20 years of experience teaching and mentoring at risk youth in some of the most difficult schools in South Central.  In addition, Mr. Erwin has both Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and History from Prairie View A&M in Texas and a Master's of Art in Education from Pepperdine University.  He also earned his Administration Credential from California State University, Dominguez Hills. In the twenty years that he worked for Los Angeles Unified School District.  Mr. Erwin served as both a classroom teacher and an administrator.

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