Meet Our Students

Our standout students are taking on leadership roles at their schools, businesses, and orgainizations to create a more equitable world. Hear their stories in their own words.

Darnell Edwards is an urban education doctoral student in the Cato College of Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is also the CEO of Joshua Education Services (JES), a non-profit based in Charlotte, North Carolina that provides before and after school programming coupled with a remote & day program for scholars k-12 grade. Currently, he’s the head educator with JES. He provides culturally responsive practices daily with his scholars. He also provides a coaching parenting class to assist the families of JES with various needs. He received his bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies from Belmont Abbey College. He also has his M.Ed. in Urban Education and a graduate certificate in Anti-Racism in Urban Education. The arc Certificate has fortified him to advance antiracist efforts in the third spaces. His experiences during the ARC Certificate Program was powerfully prophetic and inspirational. From a professional perspective, this program has afforded him the opportunity to speak from a credible stance on issues of equity in Education and anti-racism. He will utilize this information to speak to diverse houses of worship, various nonprofit and for-profit entities, and institutions of higher education. This program has provided a credible voice to the voiceless in the local and national community and it also has provided a place of advocacy for various social issues, which affect our most vulnerable. He believes that anyone with an open mind and spirit can become a catalyst for change. He has a wealth of experience in nonprofit consulting, curriculum development, and general/Christian education programming. His research interests focus on the intersection of education, spirituality, and social change.

Toye Watson, M.ED Urban Education

I am an educator and international consultant who works with educators, school districts, and non-profits, finding innovative and sustainable ways to transform teaching and learning for historically underserved communities. I served as a middle school educator in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools for nearly a decade, I am an award recipient of MeckEd Teacher of Excellence, and my work has been highlighted in publications, including University City Partners.

However, it was not until I graduated with a Master’s degree in Urban Education with a graduate certificate in Anti-Racism that I indeed became equipped with the knowledge and fortitude to continue the work of transforming our institutions. My graduate certificate in Anti Racism gave me the competencies needed to build culture, conditions, and competencies for excellence and equity in districts, organizations, foundations, and communities. Shortly after earning my graduate certificate, I was hired as the Education and Outreach Coordinator at PBS Charlotte and became a Charlotte Equity Fellow with Facilitate Movement, where I created several successful early childhood development initiatives aimed at bridging various gaps in education. If anyone is eager to eliminate inequitable practices and cultivate the unique gifts, talents, and interests of every child and adult so that success and failure are no longer predictable by student identity- racial, cultural, economic or any other social factor, this graduate certificate is definitely the key to begin your journey.

My name is Dr. Pablo Chialvo, and I am a lecturer in the biology department at Appalachian State University. During my time in the ARCert program, I had the opportunity to not only learn about antiracism from historical, cultural, and educational perspectives, but was also able to apply this knowledge to my teaching. Every aspect of my courses, from the syllabi to the exams, have in some way been influenced by what I learned in this program. Moreover, it has provided me with the appropriate background to tackle issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) outside of the class, both at the departmental and university level. I would highly recommend the ARCert program to any teaching professional who wants to become more familiar with antiracist pedagogy and who wants to make a real difference in their school or community.

Hi! I am Charlitta Hatch and I am Technology Consulting executive and the founder of the Me3 Project. An organization I started in 2017 aimed at changing the narrative of Black boys in America. It should come as no surprise that in 2020 I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I know that the summer of 2020 was rough for all of us as the pandemic forced us to sit in the realities of “This is America” after the murder of George Floyd. As a leader in predominantly white spaces and of my own organization, I was challenged with how to lead authentically in a period where I was grieving so much myself. I quickly turned to the Anti-Racism certificate program at UNCC where I was equipped with how to confidently have difficult conversations rooted in theory and facts sprinkled with my lived experiences. I will forever be grateful to the professors who helped me hone my voice and transitioned me from passionate leader to a thought leader. I was hesitant about entering the program since I am not an educator, but a corporate executive who is a working mom of 2 children. I believe that all leaders regardless of industry can benefit from the Anti-Racism program. This program is key to helping all of us understand who we are, what we need to learn and unlearn, and how to apply those learnings to being a confident, culturally responsive leader.