Free Your Mind: A HIP HOP Education STEMposium brings Hip Hop as critical pedagogy (HHCP) and STEM together in an exploration of innovative educational practices that seek to enhance the engagement and achievement of all students. This dialogue between HHCP and STEM also seeks to critique traditional educational methodologies that fail to connect to students and prepare them to engage with the world around them in critical and meaningful ways.

Follow us on Twitter: @hiphopstem

Organizing Committee

Ramon "Rugged" San Vicente is an educator, emcee, and author who has spent years writing, performing and living Hip Hop as a member of the group UBAD. As an educator he has brought Hip Hop to the classroom through core curriculum, after school programming, and his M.Ed. work. Ramon currently works as an elementary teacher in the Toronto District School Board.  @RhymesEdu

Donielle Norville is a TDSB elementary teacher and recent graduate from UOIT’s B.Ed program where she obtained the Technology Award for the elementary panel. As an educator, she looks for current ways to engage her students and seems to have found it by acknowledging two things the youth are deeply passionate about: Hip Hop and Technology. @ms_norville

Chelsea Takalo has been an advocate for marginalized youth and committed to fighting for social justice and equity for youth. She has worked in a counselling capacity with gang-involved youth for 8 years, and has worked in the TDSB's Equitable and Inclusive Schools Department since 2010.

Brandon Zoras is a science teacher within the TDSB. Having completed his Masters in Urban Education, he has looked at new ways to engage youth in science. Hip hop has been a major part of his life and Brandon feels that critical hip hop pedagogy is a powerful means of learning. Connect with Brandon at @brandonzoras or 

Past Organizers 

Spin El Poeta is a Youth Advocate, Refugee, Arts Educator, Slam Poet and believer in the Cosmovision Maya. He was born in Guatemala in the midst of a brutal 36 year war that politicized and shaped his experiences. He became a refugee the day after his eleventh birthday and has an extensive history employing culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy along with Hip Hop as Critical Pedagogy in classrooms, detention centres and marginalized communities and countries. He is the co-founder of the One Mic Educators and mentor to various incredibly talented emerging spoken word artists. He firmly believes in engaging the disengaged one rhyme at a time.

Karen Johnson is an Instructional Leader in the STEM Department within the Toronto District School Board.

Tina Khan has been a math and science teacher with the TDSB for the past 18 years. She has a Masters Degree in Education from OISE in Theory and Policy Studies. She is also the co-founder of the Each1 Teach1 Partnership, a program that works to empower Black students to engage in high school through hip-hop pedagogy. The program offers a credit course; a social justice themed workshops series that partners with progressive community artists and activists; and a hip-hop arts extracurricular program. Each1 Teach1 twitter handle: @e1t1partnership 

Cristina Guerrero is an Instructional Leader in the Toronto District School Board's Equity and Inclusive Schools department. Her Ph.D. research explored how youth participatory action research can bring about social, personal, and educational change among Latino youth in Toronto. She continues to build upon this research as the instructor of a Grade 12 Equity Studies program for Latino and Black youth that is hosted at OISE/University of Toronto. She is also a Sessional Lecturer for the Master of Teaching program at OISE/University of Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @CrisAlexG

Koryn Marshall works in the Equity Department of the Toronto District School Board as a Student Equity Program Advisor

Matthew R. Morris is an Elementary educator, blogger, speaker, and Anti-Racism activist. He currently teaches fifth grade in the TDSB. He is also completing his M.A at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. His writing and blog, speaks to aspects of race, culture, and education.