Shani Byard, Ed.D.
Adwoa Sabola Ma'at (Prophetess guided by Justice)
Dr. Shani Byard is a Consultant who specializes in Educational Leadership for Racial Justice, Founder of Afro-Media Literacy Education, and Founder of Message Media Ed - School of Black Leadership in the Digital Age. A proud native of Leimert Park Los Angeles, Shani spent the early part of her career in TV and music video production with hip hop icons Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, etc. She left the media production industry understanding the damaging impact media influence has on young people, and redirected her career towards media and arts education. Since the year 2000, Shani has ultized the tools of arts & media education, leadership development and career awareness to empower youth in Los Angeles and Long Beach Unified School Districts, continuation schools and probation camps.
In 2008, Dr. Shani founded Message Media Ed, a unique education and professional development learning center designed to close the digital divide and increase cultural, technical and social capital throughout the Black community of South Los Angeles. Services provided include trainings, classes and events that emphasize cultural affirmation, media literacy, technological proficiency and leadership for youth, adults and seniors (ages 13 & up). Offered at Message Media Ed, Dr. Shani and her team empower the community through her professional development retreats: The Digital Elder Project, Rise Above the Noise, Diversity Leaders Bootcamp, a book writing and publishing program, Digital Scholars, and more recently, the Urban Rising Biz Incubator Program. She offers a monthly lecture series and family film nights featuring rotating guest speakers, and an African/African American multi-media library, to re-educate and remind the Black community of their cultural brilliance and legacy. Computer, online social media marketing and etiquette, critical media literacy, and diversity awareness classes are offered at the center, as well as private trainings for organizations and schools in need of these professional development services for faculty, staff and youth.
Dr. Shani also offers her professional development retreat, Rise Above the Noise, for youth and adults of European, Latin and Asian descent, as an opportunity to learn about race relations in our media saturated society (from the Black perspective) in order to change the global perception of Black people throughout the African Diaspora. Dr. Shani earned both a Bachelor of Arts in Television Production and Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University. She earned a Master of Science in Organizational Management & Leadership from Springfield College - Los Angeles.
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