Dr. Tonya Leslie believes that education must engage cultural consciousness not solely content if the future of our society is to reflect the best of who we are.
Over the course of her 20-year career in education and publishing, Dr. Leslie has worked with pioneering institutions such as PBS, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Sesame Workshop and Girl Scouts of the USA that integrate this belief into their educational curricula. She has also worked with school districts nationally providing workshops and seminars to help educators integrate this belief into their practice.
Dr. Leslie’s career began at Scholastic where she learned all aspects of educational publishing from editorial to production to marketing. Her work there would plant the seed for her doctoral research on academic resilience and literacy at New York University. There she worked with Dr. Pedro Noguera at the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools developing strategic solutions for school districts across the country. Her doctoral research focuses on how literacy facilitates academic resilience for vulnerable student groups.
Dr. Leslie has worked with school districts nationally to present around literacy, academic resilience and culturally responsive pedagogy. When Dr. Leslie is not teaching or deepening her craft, she writes children’s books. She believes that a book in a child’s hands holds the wonder of the soul.