Alison Gaymes San Vicente

Alison works to disrupt educational practices that continue to disadvantage historically marginalized students. Her passion for equity and justice has led to a secondment at York University, the completion of her M.Ed., author in Restacking the Deck: Streaming by class, race and gender in Ontario schools, and her current position as an administrator with the Toronto District School Board. Alison’s passion has also been the impetus for her leadership with girls’ mentorship.


Amanda Parris

Amanda is an educator, student and artist. Co-founder of the alternative education organization, Lost Lyrics, and founder of the multi-arts collective, T-Dot Renaissance, she is interested in spaces that challenge, question and create ways of knowing. Recipient of the prestigious William Waters Scholarship, Amanda is currently pursuing her M.A. Degree in the Sociology of Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).


Brandon Zoras

Brandon is a science teacher with the Toronto District School Board. He has recently completed his Masters degree in Education (M.Ed.) at OISE in the urban education cohort with a focus on urban boys and science education.

Braxton “HiPPYxHop” Wignall

Braxton is an emcee, student, and mentor. As a student in Lost Lyrics, Braxton found his love for Hip Hop and writing, and now facilitates workshops for youth throughout the city of Toronto.

Chelsea Takalo

Chelsea is 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.

Dalton Higgins

A National Magazine Award-winning journalist, educator and former long-time contributor to the Source and Vibe Magazine, Dalton was a 2010 Hip Hop Scholar of the Year Award nominee courtesy of Washington DC’s WBLINC. He has authored five books including Far From Over, the first biography of platinum-selling Hip Hop artist Drake, which is carried in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame & Museum collection in Cleveland.

Danielle “Yelly” Koehler

An educator and youth worker who is currently completing her Master’s thesis on using Hip Hop to engage youth in Canadian classrooms, Danielle incorporates Hip Hop pedagogy throughout her teaching philosophy as an educator and is passionate about providing equitable opportunities for young people to succeed in oppressive education systems.

Duane “D.O.” Gibson

A Guinness World Record setting rapper, published writer and author, and motivational speaker who has inspired hundreds of thousands of youth since 2001, D.O. has spoken at hundreds of schools addressing anti-bullying, racism and literacy.

Jelani “J Wyze” Niasis

A writer, poet, emcee and radio host, J Wyze has distinguished himself as the dynamic force behind Flow 93.5 FM’s Trauma Unit, a key member of the Soul Controllers crew, and a host of one of Canada’s first Hip Hop radio shows (The Masterplan 89.5 FM). You can check him out now as a solo artist and a part of the groundbreaking Hip Hop collective, Crown A’ Tornz.

Joseph “Joe G” Galiwango

Joe is a high school teacher in the Toronto District School Board. Outside of his work in education Joseph continues to contribute to Hip Hop culture as a DJ, music producer and writer. He documents Toronto graffiti culture through his website

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.

Ramon “Rugged” San Vicente

Ramon is an emcee, author and educator 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 Instructional Leader in the Toronto District School Board’s Equitable and Inclusive Schools department.

Roderick “RAHD” Brereton

Roderick has written, produced, performed and distributed Hip Hop since 1986. Recognizing the power of Hip Hop and his responsibility to community, RAHD founded the culturally specific consultancy Urban Rez Solutionsin 2008 to equip people with conflict management skills.

Tesfai Mengesha

Tesfai is a community worker, educator and student. As a graduate student, his research examines the effectiveness of a culturally relevant pedagogical framework – mainly through a Hip Hop based curriculum. Tesfai’s graduate work is influenced by his experiences working with Success Beyond Limits (SBL).

Wendy Motion Brathwaite

Motion is an emcee, spoken word poet and playwright whose work spans the elements of word, sound and drama. As an artist/educator she is engaged in innovative collaborations with media, arts & cultural institutions, youth organizations, schools and communities, developing programming in diverse spaces.