We had the good fortune of connecting with MIA STREET and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi MIA, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
As a former teacher and district administrator, my dedication to education as a tool for liberation has been the driving force behind everything I do. Growing up, I was inspired by the stories of my grandfather, Moses Lee Osborne, who risked his life to teach Black folks in Jackson Parish how to read so they could register to vote. I have always understood the power of an education that affirms students’ lived experiences, is rooted in truth telling and the love of humanity.

Kidada Education Design (KED) is my brainchild built from my research and experiences as a special education teacher and eventually working in k-12 district leadership. Seeing how this work has already been such a huge success by transforming what school looks like when it is approached with a village mindset makes me proud. KED consulting has helped to create programs like Hey Chica High School, Mija, El Padrino, A Different World, Empowering You and other events that brought the community into the classrooms and schools to drive the success of underserved students. For example, this year KED curated the perfect partnership between McCarthy Construction, Faith In Texas and Desoto ISD to host MLK events. This partnership allowed for schools, non-profit and business to collaborate to provide an educational experience rooted in social justice to marginalized students. I am most proud of the work we have done with Raise Your Voice Academy and its Living Art Camp. Living Art Camp is an art and social justice camp. Each day scholars are led by near peer instructors, SEL counselors, community volunteers and industry professionals to engage in hands-on, multimedia activities that will help them develop observation and technical skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, and various other art mediums. Now in its 3rd year, Living Art Camp has grown and KED has been the reason for the growth and success.

I have seen some amazing moments of learning and as an educational leader, I have been on some campuses that demonstrate how successful students can be when their schools create a community of support. However, I have noticed that some schools struggle to involve the community in supporting students’ academic journeys. One of the saddest moments I experienced in education was when I saw a sweet, beautiful 8-year-old Black girl with autism put into a time out room that looked like a prison cell. As a district administrator, I was hurt and disappointed that this happened under my watch and I felt helpless in ensuring that the most vulnerable students had safe and equitable educational experiences. However, I realized that I could make a difference by involving students, families and communities in the education process. That is when I decided to leave my job in k-12 public education and focus on Kidada Education Design full time. Kidada Education Design is a consultancy that specializes in providing innovative programming and initiatives. Our clients are from diverse worlds including non-profits, businesses, schools and their district leaders. I want to help build the capacity to advocate for students and create stronger community connections.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Please tell us more about your work. How did you overcome the challenges? What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?

I really see Kidada Education Consulting growing in its ability to provide strategic guidance and unique educational programming and initiatives for non-profits, businesses, schools and their district leaders. Creating collaborations with organizations, community leaders, students and families to create transformative educational experiences has been such rewarding work. I know Kidada Education Consulting could become that go to consultancy firm that moves the needle forward in education.

When I was a teacher, I started a non-profit, Bridging The Gap Mentoring Program (BTGMP.org) which is a peer mentoring program that helped get kiddos to college. I found myself working nonstop going to networking and industry events connecting with successful business professionals that could connect to my students and show them what they could be. Doing that for the first 5 years of the program allowed me to connect to some amazing people. Now, I have a dope village that I can always seek expert business advice and mentorship. I can also still reach out to my former principals, colleagues, industry experts and experienced entrepreneurs who provide valuable insights and guidance. I think having that type of support is incredibly invaluable when starting your own business.

Handling small business challenges requires a combination of strategic thinking, adaptability, and perseverance. I am a former teacher, I can write a lesson plan in my sleep but a business plan – not so much. For every challenge ahead, I try to remember my family history is steeped in educational activism. I owe it to my ancestors to continue this legacy and make a positive impact in education. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first Prime Minister and President adopted this motto “forward ever, backward never” that is how I try to move forward with challenges. I have a deep belief in Christ and what God has for me is for me. I have been through so much in life from abuse in my early childhood, racialized trauma and more, yet I am still here trying to use what gifts God has given me to change the education system for the least of these.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I LOVE THIS QUESTION! I love going to cool restaurants, getting fancy drinks, good music and comedy. Dallas is full of some of the best restaurants in the country, I have about 5 go to bars and I know some of the best DJ’s in Dallas. So, boom! Here is my itinerary.

During the week, I have to go to Whiskeys whiskeysdallas.com. My friend Sean Smith is a co-owner of it and there is no place in Dallas like it. Whiskeys is an upscale dive bar with mixologists who know how to make some very fresh spirit forward drinks and, in the background, a well curated soundtrack of RnB and Hip Hop classics play all night. I love speakeasy’s so grabbing dinner at Musume www.musumedallas.com then walk through their kitchen, off to Akai the speakeasy behind the restaurant would be a perfect Thursday night.

To begin the weekend, rooftop me please. Any Friday night beginning with dinner and a comedy show, then going to grab cocktails at The Statler, Catbird or Canvas Hotel rooftop is a perfect way to start the weekend. Dallas is a huge brunching city and I am lucky I live in walking distance of Vitruvian Park Tavern vitruvianparktavern.com who serves the best Brunch Burger on Earth… Earth. The drinks are good and the owner, Craig Vaught and his team make you feel at home. On any hot summer Saturday, I am definitely getting in a pool and either the Omni’s or The W’s infinity pools are great to cool off, but a fun pool day party is at The Lorenzo Hotel. Atlas in Bishop Arts and its speakeasy The Branca Room are great nightcaps for any Saturday night. The only way to end the weekend is at Peoples Last Stand with DJ Freeze and MKnight spinning some amazing mixes that keep you on your feet. Peoples Last Stand also has some amazing mixologists who are absolutely great at turning making drinks into a refreshing experience.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to those in our villages that cheer us on especially when we are in a dark space and just need someone to say “you got this”. Growing up, my Aunt Sofronia was a huge cheerleader and champion for myself and almost any child she came across. She is still that way today. I have a group of childhood and college friends that fortunately have been around for decades supporting my personal and professional growth along the way. Then, I consider those angels in your life that come out of no where like Jazmyn Ferguson, Director of Organizing Strategy for Dallas CORE, who is such a light in this world, change agent and who nominated me for this interview. Aleah Rashaan and Dr. Michelle Neely are my sister friends in education. Brilliant women who I asked to co-author a book with me entitled, Sister Syllabus, which examines the experiences of women of color in education across the education continuum. This work brings to light our stories and women like us, as it reveals critical consciousness of women educators of color, across all domains of our lives. Our intent is to amplify our voices and help educators navigate the intersectionality of culture, profession and identity. For more information about our upcoming book please go to SisterSyllabus.com.

Website: KIDADAED.COM

Linkedin: LINKEDIN.COM/IN/MIASTREET6 https://www.linkedin.com/in/miastreet6?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_profile_view_base_contact_details%3Bear2bK9gSjecMBIpQ%2B%2FBsA%3D%3D

Image Credits
Mischaela Mathews @hushpuppymedia Jonathan Cooper @iamcoopernicus Styled by Eboni J @styledbyebonij and House of Haute @houseofhaute Hair by Magic Fingers @macsbraiding PLEASE ADD EACH OF THEM 🙂

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