Chike Akua

Award Winning Author Educator

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Chike Akua has been called "an educational revolutionary." The late Dr. Asa Hilliard called him "a master teacher." Ebony magazine selected him as one of its "50 Leaders of Tomorrow," a distinction he is, no doubt, living up to today. He is a leading authority on increasing student achievement, especially among African American students and students of color. Often an invited keynote speaker and trainer at national and regional conferences, and school districts around the country, Mr. Chike Akua is known for his dynamic, insightful, and interactive presentations to teachers, students, and parents.

As a 20-year veteran in the field of education, Mr. Akua is a former Teacher of the Year, with 14 years of experience as a classroom teacher. In addition, he is the author of 8 books, many of which are being used in public, private, and charter schools around the country. His book, A Treasure Within, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. In addition, Mr. Akua has helped lead over 1000 youth and adults on study tours throughout Egypt and Ghana through the African Genesis Institute.

Mr. Akua's long-awaited book "Education for Transformation: The Keys to Releasing the Genius of African American Students" will be released in August, 2012. He resides just outside Atlanta with his wife of 17 years and their two sons.

What he has to say about Dr. Clay!

"Dr. William Clay is an educator who is deeply committed to helping youth achieve and succeed. His determination is demonstrated in his work of increasing character development, cultural awareness, and academic achievement. In addition, his writings and trainings allow him to help other educators replicate his techniques and strategies. Dr. Clay's contributions are tremendous!"

Dr. Sonya L. Ford

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, National Consultant & Motivational Speaker

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Dr. Sonya earned her undergraduate degree from Old Dominion University in 1990, master's degree from The Johns Hopkins University in 1996, and doctorate of education in Counseling Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in 2009. She holds two Certificates of Advanced Graduate Studies from The Johns Hopkins University in Clinical Community Counseling and Teaching in Higher Education. She is also a National Certified Counselor and a National Certified School Counselor. Dr. Sonya began her career in Communications. She worked in radio as a traffic reporter, producer, and on-air personality for more than twenty years in the Washington, D.C. area. During her tenure in radio, Dr. Sonya produced the Tom Joyner Morning Show and hosted DC Sunday, a weekly radio program, on WHUR-FM. In addition, she has done voice-over work and has been an "extra" in both television and film.

Most recently, she has appeared on local talk shows as a guest therapist/expert on such subjects as bullying, grief, and beating the seasonal blues. Having spent the majority of her life in service to others, Dr. Sonya continues to provide motivation through her new book, Love Yourself First Everyday. This first book is motivational; motivational thoughts are also shared daily through her FaceBook page, Twitter, and Linked In. Dr. Sonya's children's book, Sometimes Love, will be released in December 2012 and her autobiography, Black with a Touch of Blue, will be released in 2013 and promises to be a story of triumph over life's most difficult moments.

Hope Springs

Author, Educator, and Poet

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Hope J. Springs is the stage and pen name of Jacinda Smith who was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. While an English major at the University of Memphis, she minored in African-American Studies and received the Elizabeth C. Phillips Scholarship for her achievements as a young, socially conscious writer. Planning to combine freelance writing with a teaching career, she went on to earn a Masters in Teaching from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Her debut novel, Jerks to Gentle Men: A Different Kind of Love Story was penned out of her desire to foster hope and healing in young people.

She is currently working on a book of poetry to do the same. Her poetry has been published in several anthologies, and she performs her poignant verse on spoken word sets in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Ms. Springs lives in Southern Maryland with her family. You can visit her at hopejsprings.com.

Erik Cork

Nationally Recognized Writing Consultant

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Erik Cork is a nationally recognized writing consultant. He is the creator of the lively workshop entitled Rap, Rhythm & Rhyme: Rebuilding the Writing Foundation, as well as the founder of International Write Now, Inc. He is a former writing instructor for the University of Houston's BRIDGE and MESET (Minority Enrichment Summer Engineering Training) programs, as well as a former writer-in-residence for the nationally–acclaimed WITS (Writers-In-The-Schools) organization. Mr. Cork has conducted writing workshops for more than 300,000 students, parents and professional educators, representing over 250 school districts and universities throughout the United States and beyond.

He has presented seminars showcasing a wealth of English/Language Arts essential skills at major educational conferences, including the National Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the National Association for Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the Texas Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TEX-TESOL), the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE), the Association of Compensatory Educators of Texas (ACET), the Virginia Elementary Principal's Association and the Texas Middle School Association (TMSA). Mr. Cork was given the prestigious honor of being a featured speaker for the annual Asa G. Hilliard, III, Ed. D. Seminar held at the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) conference in Washington, D.C.. Mr. Cork was appointed to serve on a national 'Musication' committee, chaired and organized by world-renowned musician extraordinaire and peacemaker, Stevie Wonder.

As a former feature editor for Houston Style magazine, Mr. Cork published interviews he conducted with Susan Taylor, Editor-In-Chief of Essence Magazine, as well as actress/talk show healer & living legend Oprah Winfrey. Constantly an advocate for children, Mr. Cork was named Community Volunteer of the Year by the Fort Bend School District of Texas.

What he has to say about Dr. Clay!

"Dr. Clay is an extraordinary educator. His passion for educating students and teachers is empowering."

Marcus D. Wiley A.K.A. Bishop Secular

Comedian, Radio Host

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Marcus D. Wiley, the On-Air Personality Capturing the hearts of listeners across the country with his charismatic comedy, serves as the latest installment of Christian entertainment that cuts to the funny bone. As co-host, of the Yolanda Morning Show, Mr. Wiley delivers an array of special segments that include: A Minute and a Half with the Bishop, Things that Make You Say Thank' Ya, Guess Who Needs Jesus, That Ain't in the Bible, Sanctified Sermon Topics, Denial...It's Not Just a River (D)on't (E)ven k(N)ow (I) (A)m (L)yin', and Dream Interpreter. With unending antics and Christian camaraderie, each day brings die hard laughter for listeners nationwide.

What he has to say about Dr. Clay!

"Dr. Clay is cutting edge, innovative, and the truth. You will benefit from his dynamic presentations."

Baruti Kafele

Principal Kafele

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Milken National Educator, internationally-renowned speaker and best-selling author, Principal Baruti Kafele is on fire! He’s on a mission to motivate, educate and empower educators, parents and children toward the elimination of the attitude gap, the world over. A highly-regarded urban public school educator in New Jersey for over twenty years, Principal Kafele distinguished himself in the classroom and as a school leader.

As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, NJ, he was selected as the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. He was also selected for Who's Who Among America's Teachers six times. As a middle and high school principal, he led the transformation of four different schools, including "The Mighty" Newark Tech, which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national recognition by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education and U.S. News and World Report Magazine recognizing it three times as one of America's best high schools. Principal Kafele's school leadership has been featured in numerous publications which include the recently published book, Insights Into Action: Successful School Leaders Share What Works by Bill Sterrett.

What he has to say about Dr. Clay!

“Dr. Clay is making it happen not only for boys of color, but for educators of boys of color as well. For the past several years that I have known him, he has done extraordinary in the area of providing professional development for educators of this particular population. I can assert with confidence that the educators who were privileged to have heard him have walked away with a plethora of strategies that they could implement immediately upon their return to the classroom. With Dr. Clay you have a winner.”

Byron Cage

6 Time Stellar Award Winner / Gospel Artist

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With over 20 years of experience as a praise and worship leader, and numerous awards and accolades for his professional recordings, Byron Cage is one of Gospel music’s most dynamic and popular artists. For two consecutive years Minister Cage has won Stellar Awards for “Song of the Year,” a testament to the magnetic appeal of his breakout hits such as “The Presence of the Lord;” “I Will Bless the Lord,” and “Broken but I’m Healed.” Minister Cage’s delivery is punctuated by a deep sincerity that enraptures audiences and has made the Grammy Award nominee and multiple Stellar Award winner, a staple in Gospel’s musical landscape.

What he has to say about Dr. Clay!

"Dr. Clay is extraordinary. His presentations are inspirational and thought provoking."