alicia nance, PhD (Founder & Chief Equity Officer)

alicia nance, PhD is the descendant of enslaved Africans, a storyteller, critical lover, racial justice educator, cultural strategist, disrupter, food sovereignty and justice organiser, Black herbalist and earth worker, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend. As the wildest dreams of her ancestors, alicia believes, “She who learns, teaches.” Her work in education is rooted in her family’s legacy as educators, organisers, and revolutionaries who leveraged education to uplift and prove the possible in their communities. Antiracist and culturally sustaining and responsive education, student and community voice, and the healthy racial identity development of students have always been at the centre of alicia’s work in education.

alicia specialises in co-creating liberatory spaces in schools and communities by focusing on our relationship to land, space and place through community organising and sustaining, responsive and healing-centred pedagogy and practices, including disruptive and distributive leadership, curricula transformation, professional development, teacher coaching, situational appropriateness, and responsive family and community engagement.   With 20 years of professional experience in a wide range of PS-20 educational settings, alicia has served as a school leader; instructional coach; department and grade level chair; Special Education Coordinator; program manager; and classroom teacher focusing on culturally sustaining and responsive literacy and numeracy, and exceptional and culturally and linguistically diverse learners.

Through her work with schools, alicia provides workshops, training, and in and out-of-school time support to increase the efficacy of teachers, school leaders, youth workers, and parents and families in communities of colour. alicia continues to conduct research, write, lecture, mentor, coach, advocate, and organise to develop more socially just, equitable, and inclusive spaces for our children. She is currently designing a community freedom school in southern Louisiana focused on antiracist practices to achieve Black liberation and self-determination through the validation and affirmation of students and communities of colour, arming them with the tools to critically analyse and dismantle systems of oppression and fully realise their greatness.

alicia holds advanced degrees from Louisiana State University and George Washington University in Curriculum and Instruction, English, Africana Studies, Special Education, Women’s and Gender Studies, Curriculum Theory, and Ethnic and Cultural Studies. She is a Farm School Program for Visiting Schools Fellow, Deeper Learning Equity Fellow, High Tech High Graduate School of Education New Schools Creation Fellow, and 4.0 Schools Wave 4 Tiny Fellow.

When she is not supporting the work of young people and organising in her communities, alicia loves to spend time with her (current and former) students; volunteer; mentor; read voraciously; leverage the healing power of art, food, and music; find ways to raise her vibration and increase #blackgirlmagic and #blackboyjoy; run ultra-marathons and triathlons; travel and connect stories; play retro video games; dance, laugh, cook, spend time with family and friends; root for the underdog; garden and farm; find time to feel sand between her toes and salt on her skin; and love on her two dogs.

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