Shani Byard, Ed.D.
Adwoa Sabola Ma'at (Prophetess guided by Justice)
Dr. Shani Byard is an educator and consultant who specializes in educational leadership for social and racial justice. She is the owner of Message Media Education, a professional development training company designed to counter media’s influence on the negative perceptions of Black youth in our media saturated society. Training participants are youth, seniors, educators and professionals, from all ethnic/racial backgrounds, who learn to become Afro-Media Literate, gaining the necessary tools to dismantle unconscious racism, challenge media stereotypes and cultivate interracial understanding.
A proud native of Leimert Park Los Angeles, Dr. Byard spent the early part of her career in TV and music video production, working with hip hop icons including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, etc. She left the media production industry understanding the damaging impact media influence has on the minds of young people, and redirected her career towards media and arts education. Since the year 2000, Dr. Byard has utilized the tools of arts & media education, leadership development and career awareness to empower youth, families and educators throughout Los Angeles and Long Beach Unified School Districts, continuation schools and probation camps.
Noticing a severe lack of media literacy and cultural education in our school systems and curricular framework, Dr. Byard set out to fill the void. In 2008, she founded Message Media Education (MME) – the only Afro-Media Literacy, professional development training company in the nation. All trainings emphasize cultural awareness, critical media literacy, technological proficiency and visionary leadership. Dr. Byard and her team have traveled throughout California and to other states to facilitate MME’s popular professional development retreats: The Digital Elder Project, Rise Above the Noise and Diversity Leaders Boot Camp. Dr. Byard also offers Digital Scholars, a 10-week, private, book writing and publishing program for aspiring authors. Trainings in online advocacy, digital citizenship, and social media marketing & etiquette are also offered.
In addition to her work via Message Media Education, Dr. Byard is the Co-Chair of LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas' Empowerment Congress - Education Committee. As an Adjunct Professor she teaches: critical media literacy for the Master’s in Education program at UCLA, research in urban education for the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University and the impact of social justice issues on human development for the Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy program at Pacific Oaks College. Dr. Byard earned both a Bachelor of Arts in Television Production and Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University. She earned a Master’s of Science in Human Services - Organizational Management & Leadership from Springfield College - Los Angeles. More information can be found at http://www.MessageMediaEd.org
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