Facilitator Bios

Misha Abarbanel

Misha Abarbanel is a PhD candidate in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development at OISE/UT, a secondary teacher and English/Literacy A/CL in the TDSB, and an education blogger whose work appears regularly in the Huffington Post. His Master of Arts work focused on teacher conceptions of literacy, multiliteracies, and New Literacy Studies, while his doctoral work is in holistic curriculum and contemplative education. mishaabarbanel@gmail.com

Edmund Adjapong

Edmund Adjapong, a native of the Bronx, NY, is a science educator and a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University. Edmund is a middle school science pedagogue at a New York City public school in The Bronx. He is also currently the administrator for the Science Genius Program, a program that engages urban students in the sciences through Hip‐Hop, and the director of The Science Genius Academy, a program that encourages and prepares students to pursue STEM careers while providing mentoring and support. E.adjapong@gmail.com

Rusul Alrubail

Rusul Alrubail is an Educator‐in‐Residence at Design Cofounders, where I help with with development and facilitation of Education pathways in Design & Entrepreneurship communities in Toronto. I also teach composition and literature. I am passionate about teaching & learning, student voice, professional development, writing and literature. Writing gives students a voice. When students are empowered and inspired their voice translates into meaningful words that have the power to change the world. mail@rasoula.com

Mahlkah Awe:ri

Mahlikah Awe:ri , Enml'ga't‐Saqama'sgw, Walking Woman, is a First Nations (Haudenosaunee Kanien’kéha and Mi’kmaw) drumtalk‐poetic‐rapologist; musician; Hip Hop MC; arts educator; radio show host; artivist, and curator, based in Toronto, with Nova Scotia Roots. Her live music and poetry have been performed across Turtle Island and Internationally in places such as Ireland, Trinidad & Tobago and New Mexico. Mahlikah is also a founding member of Red Slam Collective Indigenous Hip Hop Movement, 2013 nominees of the inaugural TD Diversity Arts Award. In 2011, Awe:ri released the spoken word EP Serpent’s Skin; currently published in four literary anthologies, she was nominated for the KM Hunter OAC Literary Arts Award in 2013.


Kayode Brown

Kayode Brown, founder of Just BGRAPHIC ‐ A youth Arts and Education Program. As a former resident of the Jane and Finch Community and Kayode's roots grow deep in its foundation. He has played a vibrant role in the progress of Jane and Finch maintaining a safe and respected community. info@justbgraphic.org

Philip Campbell

Phil Campbell is an Instructor in the Education Specialists Department at Cabrini College. His research interests include using Hip Hop as a vehicle for critical interrogation of social justice issues. pjc55@cabrini.edu

Kevin Cee

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Kevin is the child of Jamaican parents. Always having a passion for music, he ventured into music production. Working with local producers and artists, he noticed that he enjoyed helping others, especially youth from the community with whom he could identify. Some of his musical works have been showcased on various compilations including Hip Hop Canada’s (www.hiphopcanada.com) M.I.C. (Made In Canada) Series Mixtape Volume Six.

He has traveled between Toronto and the United States spreading knowledge of self in various black communities. As co-founder of Read 2 Rap with long-time associate Roger J. Thompson, together they saw a need for young black men to be able to express themselves positively. Noticing that the dropout rates and reading rates were alarming, they decided to take action and start a program that would go into schools to help youth who were not faring good with their marks. As Read 2 Rap blossoms Kevin has become more than a producer or program director he has become a mentor and supporter of the youth in the program as well as the community. kevin@read2rap.com

James Cordiner

James Cordiner teaches Computer Science, Engineering and Tech Design with the TDSB. He is currently exploring the world of sound and electronic music using the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Processing to build MIDI controllers and synths. He also works with Python and Processing in his Comp Sci classes to develop games and other apps. Project resources will be shared at http://mr.cordiner.com

David Delisca

Born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, raised in West Palm Beach, Florida , David Delisca is a spoken word poet, actor and comedian. A versatile artist, he uses stories of the immigrant and diaspora experiences, as well as other various human realities, to bridge realms of communication. He is a four-time member of the Toronto Poetry Slam’s National Team, a finalist at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) Saskatoon, in 2012 and a National Champion at CFSW Montreal, in 2013. He has traveled and performed across Canada, from Victoria, BC to Halifax, NS, to share his words at many literary festivals and venues. His work has been published in various anthologies and magazines, such as “The Great Black North” (Frontenac House), “Basodee” (General Store Publishing House), Scarborough Big Art Book (2013) and Poetry Is Dead Humour Issue (2014). David also published his first collection of poetry, entitled “I Grew Up Right Beside You”, in February 2012.

David has the experience of sharing his craft to enlighten, encourage and inspire his audience through facilitation and programming with organizations such as Young People Theatre, Manifesto Community Projects, Unity Charity, More Than A Haircut, Literature For Life, One Heart Canada and now Spoke N’ Heard.

Classic Roots aka Joshua DePerry

Joshua DePerry; Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario and currently residing in Toronto, Ontario to pursue his career ambitions. Joshua has followed his cultural heritage since he was born and has danced since he was 8 years of age. Joshua has inspired others to take part in an alternative lifestyle that promotes healthy minds and activity. Teaching essential Disc Jockey skills, fitness, dance and promoting sober and clean living is a huge part of what makes Joshua a pioneer in this field. jspdeperry@gmail.com

Cecil Dwyer

Cecil Dwyer, an educator with the TDSB, is a lifelong lover and student of Hip Hop culture. He is an advocate of Hip Hop as a Critical Pedagogy and is excited to see theexpansion of this area in education. cecil.dwyer@tdsb.on.ca

Dr. Christopher Emdin

Christopher Emdin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University; where he also serves as Director of Science Education at the Center for Health Equity and Urban Science Education. He is also the Associate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is an alumni fellow at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. Dr. Emdin has also been recently named Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Energy and the STEM Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State.

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.

Dr. Emdin 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 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.

Dr. Emdin writes the provocative “Emdin 5” series on a number of contemporary social issues for the Huffington Post. He is also author of the award winning book, Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation.info@chrisemdin.com

Elliot Gann

Dr. Elliot Gann is a doctor of clinical psychology and psychotherapist, producer/beat maker, DJ, event promoter, community activist and Founder/Executive Director of Today's Future Sound (TFS), a non-profit organization based in Oakland, California that uses music production and media arts as vehicles through which to empower youth as artists and community members while fostering their well-being as individuals. In addition to running TFS full-time, Dr. Gann teaches beat making with TFS staff as a STEM-focused educational and wellness intervention during and after school at 10 different elementary, middle and high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area five days a week, as well as teaching and consulting across the United States and internationally, including a recent teaching and cultural diplomacy trip with the U.S. State Department and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to Dakar, Senegal. In addition to his work in TDSB at Central Tech (E1T1), Cedarbrae CI and Monarch CI, Dr. Gann has taught with Toronto-based TFS staff and local Canadian teaching artists at Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, Access Alliance, Art Forms (Hamilton), St. Alban’s amongst other community-based organizations in the Toronto area. egann@todaysfuturesound.org

Reza Hassanirad

Reza Hassanirad has taught at the secondary and undergraduate level and has worked as a policy analyst in the Ministry of Education. His ultimate aim as an educator is to help students generate insights and apply them for the betterment of themselves, their families and society. The only thing that separates him from the Wu Tang Clan's Rza is an e. radreza@gmail.com

Joseph J‐Rebel Hersco

A B‐Boy, teacher and mentor, J Rebel is a member of the world‐renowned breakdancing crew, Supernaturalz, J‐Rebel has taught classes and worked in school boards as a community educator and youth worker. His program, called Don’t Believe the Hype, engages youth who are typically labeled “disengaged” or “at risk” in critical thinking by addressing complex social issues through the art and culture of Hip Hop. Jhersco@righttoplay.com

Danielle Koehler

Danielle Koehler is a secondary teacher within TDSB who was a co‐author of Rhymes to Re‐Education. Her Masters of Education thesis focused on youth marginalization and how Hip Hop can be used to engage youth in contemporary Canadian classrooms. Danielle also works as a community worker in St. Jamestown. danielle.koehler@tdsb.on.ca

Tesfai Mengesha

Tesfai Mengesha is a community worker and educator. He currently works as the Academic and Social Co‐ordinator at Success Beyond Limits (SBL). t.mengesha@successbl.com

Northbuck Canada Krump, Simply Swagg Dance Studio

(Amadeus Marquez, Jamari Whittaker, Jordan Mullins, Monica Fernandes, Leanne McGuirk)

MightyUplift is an afterschool/in‐class workshop series that connects educators in the TDSB with members of Northbuck, a professional dance crew based in Toronto specializing in KRUMP. Since its inception, MightyUplift’s focus has been on getting at‐risk youth off of the streets by providing a positive environment in which they can provide mentorship, tutoring, and instruction on the history, foundation and basics of KRUMP to its participants. leannemcguirk@gmail.com

Coming from different backgrounds and having all experienced their own individual hardships, MightyUplift’s instructors turned to KRUMP; it became a creative outlet for them and a positive influence in each of their lives. This collection of dancers and educators continuously work hard to remain at the top of their craft and remain in connection with their roots and communities. Their innovative and distinct style has captured the attention of local and international dance communities, event organizers, industry professionals, musicians, and educators alike.

Michael Partis

Michael Partis (https://medium.com/@chewitblingon) is an applied anthropologist and instructor in the Center for Ethnic Studies at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College. He’s an executive board member of Young Movement Inc., working on community‐based economic development. Michael is the founder of the Hip‐Hop Thought Project (http://smartpawns.tumblr.com/). michaelpartis@gmail.com

The Real Sun ‐ Voice of Purpose

The Real Sun is an artist and educator with a deep dedication to social justice and healing. She has been teaching for 9 years combining arts based education, in particular spoken word poetry, with explorations of identity, social constructs, and critical analysis. The Real Sun is trained in the field of integrated healing practices including psychotherapy, bio‐energetic therapy, and energy healing. As a poet, singer/songwriter, and musician she expresses her creativity through spoken word, rap, and acoustic soul music. The Real Sun is a resident of the Jane‐Finch community in Toronto, and was originally born in Anyang, Korea. voiceofpurpose.education@gmail.com

Roger T

Renowned speaker, facilitator, activist and dedicated father. Roger has assisted in creating a program that delivers a message of hope that taps into the potential of youth. Known for his engagingly personal approach, his messages are both dynamic & inspiring. With a combination of storytelling, humour, spirituality, and knowledge of youth he has developed the ability to connect with thousands of youth. After years of being a director of an agency he felt the need to create his own organization to connect to the direct passions of the youth in the community. He partnered with Kevin Chin, along with the support of Daphnee Charlemagne and Byron Pitterson to create the Read2Rap Literacy Program. roger@read2rap.com

Jordon Veira

Jordon ‘JV’ Veira was born in Toronto Ontario, in April of 1993, to an African Canadian mother and Jamaican immigrant father. He is an entrepreneur, spoken word poet, motivational speaker and the Founder/Director of Spoke N’ Heard. Through the power of storytelling, JV hopes to empower communities and individuals to self‐actualize and follow their intrinsic purposes. JV began writing and performing spoken word in 2007, and has been blessed to grace stages in Toronto, New York and most recently Italy. Spoke N’ Heard is an arts‐based social enterprise that works to support young artists with “ARTrepreneurial” development, equipping them with the tools to create art that de‐stigmatizes mental health and promotes resiliency and resistance against oppression. education@spokenheard.ca

Jim Wells

Jim Wells is the coordinator of Blackboard Labs, a Philadelphia non‐profit organization, that encourages youth to initiate social change through innovative creative arts programming rooted in Hip Hop culture.

Braxton Wignall

Braxton Wignall is a 20 year-old self-proclaimed experiential artist promoting self-care, self-confidence, story telling, and critical analysis of our society’s institutions, social constructs, dominant cultures and everything in between. Braxton has been a Hip Hop Community Based Educator since grade 10 and is advancing his knowledge by cross-examining schools of thought and their relationship to Hip Hop while creatively expressing through a wide variety of art forms such as video/photography, creative writing and visual arts. Granted various opportunities to provide professional development for TDSB teachers, lecture university students, and write and develop curriculum Braxton’s defining moment and motivation for engaging with critical pedagogy and education reform was his experience at SEED Alternative School in Toronto. Braxton believes in allowing students to utilize their agency and drive their learning so that by the end of his time Braxton wants to see the torch he is carrying and passing continue to be passed on to the hearts and souls of the youth.

“We are the next generation of world leaders, innovators, policy makers, and above all dream chasers and world shakers – don’t let them kill your soul, pave your way.” – Braxton Wignall braxtonwignall11@gmail.com