We are a growing network of educators, poets, scholars, researchers, organizers, and activists. Here are a few of our collaborators.
Destiny Adams Cooper is a classroom teacher, mentor teacher, and coordinator for the Humanities Amped program at McKinley Senior High School. Dedicated to pursuing social justice through critical pedagogy, Destiny has been an educator in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System since 2002 and a facilitator for Dialogue on Race since 2006. Additionally, she achieved National Board certification in 2012, and earned her M.Ed. from LSU in 2014.
Elizabeth Durkee is a certified teacher of English Language Arts. She is currently in her 3rd year of teaching public school, after having spent 5 years working in criminal justice/corrections. This year she is team teaching a hybrid course with Malcolm Reed, combining the content areas of Civics with Language Arts into one cohesive class. She has a BA in English and Secondary Education from the University of Wyoming.
Alejandra Torres is a PhD candidate in English, a Women’s and Gender Studies graduate minor, and the recipient of the Economic Development Assistantship at Louisiana State University. Her dissertation seeks to address the educational needs of undocumented adolescent English Language Learners. She coordinates professional learning communities and assists with program development for Humanities Amped.
Sue Weinstein is an associate professor of English Education and New Literacy Studies in the English Department at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Her research focuses on the writing practices of socio-culturally marginalized youth. Her book, The Room Is on Fire: The History, Practice, and Pedagogy of Youth Spoken Word Poetry, will be published in June 2018 by State University of New York Press, which published her first book, Feel These Words: Writing in the Lives of Urban Youth, in 2009. In a previous life, Weinstein taught high school English in Chicago, IL and Cochabamba, Bolivia. She also cut tape for the NPR interview show, Fresh Air.
Anna West is a teacher of socially-engaged writing and research in the Humanities Amped program at McKinley High School. Anna founded WordPlay in Baton Rouge (now Forward Arts); she co-founded Louder than a Bomb, the country’s largest youth poetry slam festival, as well as Mass LEAP, a Boston-based literary education and performance collective. She holds a B.A. in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago, a M.Ed. from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a PhD in English Education from Louisiana State University.
Sam Biddick and Malcolm Reed are Humanities Amped teachers at McKinley Senior High School.