Dr. Lanise Block
Dr.Lanise Block Is the Founder & Executive Director of the Digital Empowerment Academy and CEO of Sankore Consulting. Dr. Block has varied experience in the education sector. She has worked as a: Social Studies teacher, Program Coordinator, Content Lead K-12: Social Studies, Technology Integration Specialist and Strategic Project Administrator with Minneapolis Public Schools.
In addition, Dr. Block is an adjunct professor in the School of Education for the University of St. Thomas, Hamline University Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching and Metropolitan State University School of Urban Education. Dr. Lanise Block holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Drake University. Additionally, she holds a Master’s degree in Teaching, two graduate certificates one in E-Learning and another in Learning Technologies and a Doctorate degree in Critical Pedagogy from the University of St. Thomas.
Dr. Block has specialized training and certification in the following areas:
Systematic Innovation Training Specialist
Certified Scrum Master
Culture & Inclusion Manager
Project Management Certificate
Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certificate
Qualified Administrator, Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)
IPad® Prepared Certification
Dr. Block has publications of her technology integration research and has presented at conferences nationally. Her research interests include digital divide, advocacy, and inclusion.
Shakira Onwuachi, MSW, LGSW
Shakira Onwuachi, MSW, LGSW is a dynamic speaker, facilitator, and performer. She is praised for her thought-provoking and creative speeches, workshop facilitation, and performances, which reach, capture, and cultivate a diverse group of people.
Ms. Onwuachi is the founder of and Principal Creative Mastermind of Kuumba Collective LLC, a social enterprise founded to ignite creativity and build communities. She also serves as the Minneapolis Beacons Network Director, the Board Chair of the Digital Empowerment Academy, and a volunteer to numerous community organizations. Shakira is a travel enthusiast who uses travel to challenge assumptions and perceptions.
She has over 15 years of experience in youth development, non-profit leadership & management, program design and implementation, and community engagement. She has worked with children & youth; families; and leadership teams with diverse backgrounds in a multitude of settings including schools, social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, group homes, and faith-based communities with a track record of organizational change and ensuring equitable access and engagement for the communities served.
Shakira earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota). She also holds a master's degree in Social Work with a concentration in Children, Program and Community Development and a specialization in Management & Social Entrepreneurship from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis (Missouri).
Dr. Macarre Traynham
Dr. Macarre Traynham is the founding principal of Elizabeth Mackenzie Consulting LLC. This dynamic organization is committed to developing racially equitable systems and organizations, and building the skill and will of individuals to effectively address institutional and structural inequities.
Dr. Traynham has more than 20 years of experience in education, professional development, and organizational leadership. She has served as a high school math teacher in Southern California, worked as an administrator in the roles of both Vice Principal and Principal in the Pacific Northwest, and has served as the Executive Director for Teaching and Learning in a large urban school district in the Midwest.
Dr. Traynham has presented at numerous national and regional conferences about racial equity and education. Dr. Traynham is currently the Educational Equity Specialist for the Minnesota Department of Education. She serves as an advisory board member for the Early Childhood and Montessori programs at St. Catherine University; and still finds time to volunteer as the Director of Education for Children's Programs at St. James AME Church in St. Paul, MN.
Dr. Traynham graduated from Norfolk State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and has a Master’s of Arts in Educational Administration from California State University San Bernardino. She also holds a Doctoral degree from Lewis and Clark College in Educational Leadership with a focus in equity and social justice. Dr. Traynham has an essay published in Glenn Singleton’s book More Courageous Conversations about Race: A Field Guide to Equity in Schools.