THE TEAM

WHO WE ARE

FOUNDER & CHIEF CURRICULUM OFFICER

Erica Buddington is a career educator, based in Brooklyn, New York. Complex Magazine called her the “most fire teacher ever.” She left her post as Director of TRUCE Media and Arts at Harlem Children’s Zone, formerly their Manager of Agency Curriculum, to design equitable and culturally responsive curriculum. She’s been a teacher and grade team lead at Uniondale School District, Uncommon Schools, and Capital Preparatory Schools.

Buddington has an extensive background in youth development, assisting many organizations with content that improved site culture and student academic/creative progression.

In her spare time, Buddington writes fiction and memoir that elaborates the experience of the millennial woman of color. She’s written/published four books. She’s also an HBO Def Poet and poetry slam champion.

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CURRICULUM CONSULTANTS

MUSIC CONSULTANT

Vincent Ferguson is a sixth Grade Social Justice teacher, by day, at a Harlem charter school. By night, you can typically find him hosting lively underground New York City jams as part of his Creative Public Offering collective, performing to packed crowds at hot spots like SOBs, and recording endless amounts of music.

COLLEGE PREP & LEADERSHIP CONSULTANT

Fredrick Salyers is an educator, writer, and photographer, based in Brooklyn, New York. Salyers’ educational experience ranges from K-12 to higher education, specifically working with males of color. Before relocation to New York City, Salyers worked in learning communities, leadership programs, and international programs, for Morehouse College.

Salyers is Dean and Curriculum Specialist at a college prep charter school, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

TECH CONSULTANT 

Courtney Lett is a designer and developer, living in New York City. She’s currently a UX designer at Verizon, working on a team to create new and innovative experiences for Verizon customers. She graduated from Spelman College with a B.S. in Mathematics, where her love of technology was solidified in Spelbots, the Spelman robotics team. She’s also earned a Masters in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University. Her passion lies in making technology accessible to all types of people, particularly women and people of color. She’s created workshops about technology and user experience for kids and adults. Originally from Ohio, Courtney never imagined she’d pursue a career in technology but has since explored and designed experiences with robots, augmented reality, voice user interfaces, websites, apps, and more. She assists Langston League with clients and projects that use coding, robotics, and circuitry in their curricula.

LITERACY CONSULTANT

Timothy Prolific Jones is a writer and poet by design, hip-hop by culture, cultural amplifier by passion, and activist by necessity. His mission is to amplify voices of the hip-hop generation. He is a poet, writer, activist, performer, marketer, publishing consultant, artist manager, and champion of independent artists. Over the past fifteen years, he’s written and performed poetry at a diverse variety of venues, ranging from The Nuyorican Poets Cafe and New York University to Riverside Church and Rikers Island. He’s been published in  African Voices, the graphic novel, Gunplay, and in The New School For Public Engagement’s award-winning literary journal, 12th Street, where he served as the Online Editor and eventually Editor-in-Chief. Timothy is currently an Arts Coordinator at a program for young adults of color, where he publishes a literary magazine, teaches graphic design, and helps to incorporate National Common Core Standards throughout all of the curricula. He regularly consults on curriculum, operations, and more, with Langston League.

POP CULTURE & LGBTQ CONSULTANT 

Isake Smith is a renaissance woman in the truest sense of the word. During the day, she moderates panels, podcasts, and more on pop culture, cosplay, and all things nerd. She’s been featured at NY Comic Con, Dragon Con, Flame Con and numerous other conferences that display the amazingness that is entertainment and fantasy. Smith is also a facilitator that specializes in rowing, organizing around queer and trans people of color (QTPOC) rights, theater, music, dance, mental health/wellness, whilst growing as an educator. A Posse scholar, she graduated from Lawrence University with a BA in Psychology and currently attends The Milano Management Program at The New School. She’s been an educator for Girls Inc., Capital Prep Harlem, and currently facilitates workshops and curriculum for LGBTQ youth on graphic novels, comics, pop culture, and more.

URBAN FARMING CONSULTANT

Hanaa Butcher is an educator and urban farmer residing in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Ms. Butcher, who grew up in Trinidad often accompanied her dad to the countryside, where they farmed tomatoes, hot peppers, yams and other valued crops. She also credits her grandmother’s luscious gardens that consciously fed her imagination and fostered a greater love for the natural world. Hanaa attended Warren Wilson College where she majored in Environmental Education and Sustainable Agriculture. For her college thesis, Ms. Butcher wrote and developed a 6-week, Urban Agricultural intensive summer program for 8-12 yr. olds in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. She has volunteered at numerous community gardens in Crown Heights, Brownsville, East NY and the South Bronx and is committed to ending racism and injustice in our food system. As a farmer, Hanaa’s believes there is power in growing food. Stick your hand in some soil and you’ll feel life!

URBAN PLANNING CONSULTANT

Louis Céspedes Fernández is a native of New York City. He is a graduate of Pratt Institute School of Architecture. Trained as a painter, his knowledge of fine-arts and history form the foundations of his architectural thinking. As a professional architect, he has practiced architecture in New York, Vienna, and most recently in Mexico. While these experiences were very different, the projects on which he collaborated where primarily mid to large-scale public projects. These opportunities allowed him to develop his managing skills on complex buildings while understanding the range of economic and political climates for the creation of public architecture. For the last decade, his activities have increasingly focused toward planning and building initiatives for state and municipal governments, as well as educational institutions. In 2005, he co-founded CITA, (Centre for Infotecture and Applied Technology) a non-profit organization and design think tank whose mission is to engage government on strategic urban solutions, urban policy, and planning. He currently serves as CITA’s Academic and Operations Director. He advises on forums and symposia directed toward the advancement of technology in urban development and architecture. Louis is currently assisting Langston League with developing instructional material that aligns with understanding socioeconomics in conjunction with urban planning.

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL CONSULTANT

Coming soon!

CURRICULUM DESIGNERS

OLUWASEUN ANIMASHAUN

Oluwaseun Animashaun, who traverses the world with the nickname “Olu,” hails from the biggest city in the smallest state – Providence, Rhode Island. Since graduating with her bachelor’s degree from Harvard, she has gone on to teach for several years in middle schools and now pursuing her doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College at Columbia University. She loves bringing contemporary artists of all kind into her ELA classroom and engaging scholars in questioning their identity and place in the world. She does this all while making her classroom a stage for all her students to perform their best and authentic selves. When she is not in the classroom, she is: piling another book on her to-read list; penning poems and stories; and creating the best playlists for her friends in her favorite cozy city spots.

MISHA JEMISON
Hailing from Queens, NY, Misha is a Jamaican with the blended experience of growing up first generation in a single-parent household. She obtained her bachelors in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology with a minor in Early Childhood Education from CUNY Lehman College. She also earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education. This is Misha’s 7th year in education, spending 6 years in the classroom, and 2 years in out-of-classroom student support and school leadership roles. She wants students to believe in the impossible, to have the wherewithal and resolve to make a way out of no way and to love their identities while they develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. What makes me an unconventional educator is that I align my approach to supporting students to the fundamental message of one of Malcolm X’s famous speeches: by any means necessary. The time to act is now in order to help students tap into their strengths and to evolve into the leaders they are meant to be! Misha brags that she’s a meme-collecting Queen! She also actively pursues positive media (quotes, TED Talks, podcasts, inspirational videos), and immerses herself in self-care practices: working out, journaling, applying face-masks, spending time with loved ones, reading. She loves all things, Black.
STEPHANIE GAMBLE
Stephanie Gamble is from Uniondale, NY and has been a resident of Spanish Harlem for the past five years. She graduated from Howard University with her BBA in Actuarial Science and received her MAT in Elementary Education from the Relay Graduate School of Education. Stephanie has served in a variety of roles within the education field; classroom teacher, teacher culture leader, instructional coach and currently works as the assistant director of a preschool. She is a champion of project-based learning, allowing students to learn by exposing them to a variety of diverse experiences within the classroom and by drawing connections from the real world. Stephanie’s unconventional take on parent partnerships allows her to help families actively participate in their child’s education in meaningful ways in a format that is specially crafted for each family’s specific situations and student needs.  Stephanie is currently attending Hunter College to obtain her teaching certificate in special education, which she hopes to use to create higher quality instructional programming to better support special needs students of color in both academic and social settings.

JUSTIN LOKOSSOU

Residing in Harlem, New York by way of Benin, West Africa, Justin Lokossou’s life has revolved around education for years. Justin’s work with students ranging from the kindergarten to collegiate levels, as an academic advisor for Hunter College, Writing Specialist at Harlem Children’s Zone for middle school students and a fencing instructor in elementary public schools. Joining Langston League as a Curriculum Designer, Justin is looking forward to employing his skills as a writer with his knowledge of the various ways students learn to create cohesive and engaging lessons.

 

 

COMMUNITY MANAGER

Bree Woodley is the reason that all things run smoothly at Langston League. She attended Long Island University and studied Broadcast Journalism. She updates our social media, blog, website, and press releases. Want to be featured on our website? Contact her at bree@langstonleague.com