Dena Simmons


TEDx speaker

Lifelong activist

Curriculum developer



Dr. Dena Simmons is a lifelong learner, truth-teller, and abolitionist from the Bronx, New York. She is the founder of LiberatED, an organization that centers radical love, healing, and justice in education so that all children could live, learn, and thrive in the comfort of their own skin. She is also a visiting professor at the Institute for Racial Justice at Loyola University of Chicago and a Spring Point Partner Learner-in-Residence. She is the former Assistant Director of Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, where she supported schools to use the power of emotions to create a more compassionate and just society. She has been a leading voice on teacher education and has written and spoken across the country about social and racial justice pedagogy, diversity, emotional intelligence, and bullying in K-12 school settings, including the White House, the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit, the United Nations, two TEDx talks, and a TED talk on Broadway. Dr. Simmons has been profiled in Education Week, the Huffington Post, NPR, the AOL/PBS project, MAKERS: Women Who Make America, and a Beacon Press Book, Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists.

Every child deserves an education that guarantees the safety to learn in the comfort of one’s own skin.

  • Collective Care, Healing, and Equity Responsive Practices when the World Feels Heavy.
  • From Surviving to Thriving: Creating Equitable Environments Through Emotional Intelligence and Culturally Relevant Practices.
  • Engaging in LiberatED Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) for Racial Justice and Healing.

How to be an anti-racist Educator

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