Aminata Umoja is the founder of Kilombo Academic and Cultural Institute in Decatur, Georgia. Umoja is also currently an educational consultant with Research for Better Teaching. Umoja works with school districts across the country as well as individual schools.Aminata’s areas of focus include developing data coaches and high-performing data teams, skillful teaching, helping struggling readers achieve success, equity, culturally relevant curriculum and pedagogy,differentiated instruction and transforming schools into professional learning communities. Aminata has been an educator for over 35 years. She has served as both a classroom teacher and professional developer in urban school districts. She has also served as a Model Teacher Leader for Atlanta Public Schools. Umoja is a founding member of the New Afrikan People’s Organization and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.Aminata was also one of the founders of the New Afrikan Scouts in Atlanta, GA. She coordinated the curriculum for Camp Pumziko for several years. Aminata, along with her husband Akinyele and comrade Onaje Salim, founded the Malcolm X Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. For over 15 years she coordinated the festival.
Aminata received her BA and her MA from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles,California in education with a focus in reading instruction.She received her leadership credential, Educational Specialist degree and administrative license from Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee.
Aminata Umoja was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. For the past 30 years, she has lived in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband of 34 years, Akinyele Umoja. Aminata enjoys living near her two adult children, son in law and four grandchildren. Aminata is a member of First African Church in Lithonia, GA and a member of Community Aid and Development in Decatur, GA.
Tashiya Umoja M’kanga is the Director and middle school math instructor for Kilombo, and she was born to teach. She is a 3rd generation teacher and has been teaching for 16 years. She is a wife, mother, singer, actress, and activist. Tashiya’s experiences in the cultural activist community with the New Afrikan Scouts, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and the
African American Studies department at Georgia State University inspired her to work towards closing the achievement gap of children of Afrikan decent in the United States. For her, the disparities in educational achievement among children of Afrikan decent are alarming and urgent. She is clear that all children can learn if given what they need in a holistic way. Tashiya is committed to differentiation, hands on math, inquiry and project based science and social studies, taught through a culturally relevant lens. Tashiya loves children, and believes that with love, patience, research, and rigorous instruction our scholars will thrive. Tashiya has a Bachelors in African American Studies and Master’s in Elementary Education.
Wakirisana Ehehosi, teaches Reading Language Arts and Social Studies for grades 3-7 at Kilombo. I consider myself a facilitator of Education.I am passionate about teaching and helping our youth love their African selves, community and family. I also believe in academic excellence and culturally relevant education that produces students who are equipped to succeed globally and are committed to social justice.
Former teacher and co-director Ayo N’kita-Mayala, holds a dual degree B.A. in Africana Woman Studies and Psychology from Spelman College. She follows in the long tradition of educators in her family line; men and woman committed to the educational pursuits of children of African descent. Mama Ayo, as she is affectionately referred to, has been teaching in the Atlanta community for the past 11 years. She began her career in the Atlanta Public School System, followed by the Douglass County School System and finding a home for the last 7 years with Kilombo Academic and Cultural Institute.
Mama Ayo is Kilombo’s founding teacher. She saw the establishment of this institution as an answer to the overwhelming need for African children to have a safe, liberated space to grow, learn, and sharpen their skills. Mama Ayo is the daughter of activist parents and has grown to womanhood with a keen sense of cultural awareness, and desire for social justice. She practices a healing pedagogy, believing that the education of our children is a wholistic process; spiritual, intellectual, physical, ritual, and dynamically communal. She believes that all children can achieve at the highest level when expectations meet rigor and hard work. When you step into her learning environment, you are greeted with vibrant color, print rich walls, quality student work and a warm sense of home.
Gavin Matthew Campbell Howard was born the youngest of three sons in a single parent household. Having been given a strong foundation that centered around his two brothers and his mother, he was never afraid to be himself.
At an early age Gavin discovered his love for Black History and creative writing, and vowed to find a career doing the things he loved.While holding two bachelor’s degrees (one African-American Studies and the other in Film), he seeks to one day teach Black History and write creatively inspiring movies.
Dr. Nobantu Ankoanda has 35 years of experience as an educator, teacher, former principal and founder of African Centered Community- Based Schools in East Paolo Alto, California. Mrs. Ankoanda holds a doctoral degree in Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, a Master of Arts in Elementary Education from San Francisco State University, and a Bachelors Degree in Social Work Welfare from University of California at Berkeley. Since 2010, she has been involved in the Atlanta and East Paolo Alto communities as the founder and event planner of the Metro Atlanta Collard Greens Cultural Festival and the East Paolo Alto Collard Greens Cultural Festival. Mrs. Ankoanda has received several awards, including the Collard Green Cultural Festival Proclamation from the City of Atlanta in 2011 and from the City of Lithonia in 2013. Dr. Mama Nobantu Ankoanda, mother of 5 grandmother of 9, Co-founded ShuleYa Taifa in 1981.;The Shule Mandela Academy in 1983; founded Shule Nyansa Sua in 1984 in California; Co-founded Sisters of Tomorrow 1984 in California; Elder on SOT ATLANTA Chapter; Sit on Nsorroma Elders Board; Co-chair Metro-Atlanta Afrikan Council of Elders; Co-founded Sustainable African Communities; Child of Obatala; Member of Seasoned Women of First African Church;At-large member of National N’COBRA.
Fanta Hairston is an enthusiastic educator with a passionate commitment to student development and a commitment to wholistic learning experience. Hairston is skilled in the design of culturally relevant, challenging, enriching, and inquiry-based activities that address the diverse interests and needs of students. Fanta possesses outstanding communication skills; delivers instruction in a variety of ways, emphasizing hands-on aspects of science instruction. Se is an active team member who effectively collaborates with all levels of staff members and establishes quality relationships with students. Mama Fanta began teaching in 2008.
EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS:
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Minor: Education – University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA (2001)
Single Subject Credential: Science-Chemistry – Loyola Marymount University