Tierra Parsons is a second-year doctoral student in Curriculum and Instruction for Urban Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She attended Winston-Salem State University where she received her B.A. in Psychology. She then earned her Master of Social Work degree at The University of Maryland Baltimore, School of Social Work. She has served in various human service and leadership positions for 15 years. Her experiences include foster care social work, clinical social work services, and higher education counseling. Tierra has had experience teaching at the university level in both undergraduate and graduate-level programs, influencing her efforts to pursue a degree in urban education. She has served on youth empowerment advisory boards and values community service. Her research interests include teacher mental health and retention among black female educators.
Torie Wheatley is a second-year doctoral student in the curriculum and instruction program with a concentration in Urban Education. Torie relocated to Charlotte from the D.C and Maryland area in 2009 where she attended Johnson C. Smith University and later transferred to UNCC. Torie later received her B.A in English and Africana Studies and M.A.T in English Secondary education. Torie is a passionate ninth-grade English teacher for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. She also dedicates her time volunteering in the community. Torie’s research includes Hip Hop Pedagogy and mindfulness-based programs to provide LGBTQIA+ and imprisoned youth the tools to defeat all forms of oppression and advocate for social justice.