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.

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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.

Jamile Garraway is an elementary teacher within the TDSB who can attest to the power culturally relevant and responsive programming has to engage and motivate students. Hip Hop has played an integral role in shaping both his personal philosophy and his pedagogy. @_MisterGee

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 

TDSB Staff and Learning Coaches thank you to all the amazing TDSB staff if it is your first year or third year helping with the event. The countless community volunteers, teachers, coaches, central staff and administrators who support the event are essential to the success of the event each year.