Akiea Gross is a child development specialist, progressive educator and Founder and Educator-in- Chief of the new, reformative nonprofit organization Equitable Schools, Inc. whose mission is to close the opportunity gap for students of color by improving racial and cultural equity in schools. Akiea was inspired to start Equitable Schools based on her experiences working as an educator in Washington, DC and NYC’s charter school systems. She is a licensed 6 th year teacher, currently teaching Kindergarten at Harlem Village Academies in Harlem, NY.
Akiea is passionate about providing equitable schooling experiences for students of color. She is the visionary behind the initiative “Black Teachers Matter” and the pop-up conversational series #MyBlackTeacher. She believes that equity is at the core of education reform and is currently strategizing to develop programs within Equitable Schools that seek to improve racial and cultural equity through organizational partnerships, community outreach and teacher recruitment initiatives.
Akiea has held supervisory positions developing new and prospective teachers and has written and developed culturally relevant curriculum for TC’s Office of School and Community Partnerships and schools in NC, MD, DC and NYC. She is currently focusing on a building a team within her organization to help develop workshops and projects that focus on improving teacher wellness and amplifying voices of Black and Brown educators and students. Akiea holds an M.A. in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, a B.A. in Child Development and Family Studies and a B.A. in Psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is currently working towards her M.S. in Childhood Education/Special Education 1-6. Akiea is a former Zankel Fellow and TC Spotlight Student and has authored a children’s book and several poems for AppleTree Institute’s Every Child Ready curriculum. She spends any free time writing children’s stories, songwriting and doing photography and creative direction for various artists.