Executive Director, Instructor
Nakia Porter is the President and Executive Director of the non-profit Melanin Day School Academy (the Academy). Nakia was born and raised in the inner cities of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Her family, teachers, and advisors presented her with opportunities like the 4H Club, Economics Institute, Orchestra, S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), Cheerleading, travel, and exposure to an international community from a very early age.
Her parents pooled their resources within a diverse network of family, colleagues, and community to lay the foundation for a strong academic focus on excellence in opportunities such as art, physical fitness, culture, theater, technology, and more. Her parents, wanting a well-balanced life for Nakia, created a launching pad that would ultimately lead her to design and develop the programs for the Academy. Nakia is an accomplished software engineer at one of the leading semiconductor companies in the world. She holds a B.C.S. and M.S.C.S. degrees from North Carolina A&T State University. She graduated summa cum laude and was awarded the National Science Foundation Cyber Corps Scholarship for Service.
Nakia volunteered at local schools for underrepresented and underserved communities while working full-time. The great divide between Title I and Title II schools is staggering. The opportunities presented to the children and the given exposure lacks critical essentials. Nakia answered her own question, "What would provide enriching activities and similar programs to these underrepresented and underserved black communities, to be able to represent themselves with the highest quality possible?" Using her research and analytical skills, Nakia became the agent of positive change she wanted to see in individuals, families, communities, and societies. She reached out to the community leaders to connect her skills with the community’s needs. As a homeschool parent, she understood that the lack of resources to bridge the learning divide increased with every school closing. Delayed lesson plans, a shortage of proficient resources for educational growth and development, and mental stability were challenging at all levels. The Academy began on October 3, 2020, 100% supported and funded by the community.
The Academy has an intentional curriculum with music, dance, afrobatics, literacy, agriculture, and S.T.E.A.M. It is the safest space to share, learn, grow, and thrive together for our community of members of the African Diaspora. The Academy ran for fifteen months before becoming a non-profit in December 2021. We are ready to expand in order to support the families and communities we live in, with healing at our core, and to transform the traumas, passions, and purpose into a reality, of Black communities thriving together evermore.
Nakia is an energetic, optimistic, and an overall team player. She uses a combination of technical and interpersonal skills to solve real-world problems. She supports her peers with empathy to uplift and promote a positive environment. Her passions include creating lifetime memories with her family as a loving wife and mother of three. She is a published author of several books available at www.NakiasPeaceofLife.com. She is a member of Toastmasters and volunteers for S.T.E.A.M initiatives. Nakia teaches and coaches people of all ages in being their best selves. For more information, please contact us at https://melanindayschoolacademy.org/contact-us, email@example.com, or 279-206-3033.
Instructor, Travel Co-Chair
Gertrude Azia Corbett-Suleiman has been teaching, performing and choreographing various dances and movement forms in numerous venues in the United States and abroad. She has taught African dance throughout the Caribbean such as Belize, the Bahamas, St. Thomas, Barbados and Cuba. In addition, she has instructed, choreographed and performed African dance in Victoria Falls and Harare of Zimbabwe, Africa as well as in New Zealand.
Presently, she holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Dance bestowed on her from Laney College in Oakland, California. Also, she holds a Bachelor's Degree in Dance Ethnology and Africana Studies through San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California.
Even though Mama Azia has taught a wide range of students from toddler to senior citizens, teaching young children has been her favorite and extremely rewarding for her. Her experiences have allowed her to develop a style of teaching that connects with children through yoga, music and dance. Mama Azia has an amazing gift to assist, train, and support teachers and administrators at all levels, on how to use basic subject development that includes yoga, creative dance and music. The techniques she provides empowers teachers and the children they serve. She has worked in hundreds of schools from pre-K to 12th grade throughout the Bay area and abroad since 1995.
Performing arts has been a significant part of her life, of which she has engaged in since the age of seven years old. For her, dance serves as a holistic art that integrates one’s total self( including the mind, body and spirit). Mama Azia’s ultimate goal is to reach the hearts of all people: young and old, by working together to create and practice love, peace and harmony, through yoga, dance and music.
Secretary and Instructor
Ayana Forbes is an avid plant lover with her degree in plant science; obtaining her degree in Ethnobotany. Ayana is a certified crystal healer, Reiki Master and certified herbalist through the Green Medicine Herb School. Ayana is the owner and founder of I Am The Temple: Sacred Intentional Wellness; a company built on the Sankofa movement of bridging ancient ancestral wisdom and ways into the present through products and education. She lives in beautiful Northern California on the indigineous land of the Nisenan, Maidu and Miwok people with her 2 homeschooled children, her partner, her cat and her beloved garden.
Nia is a fourth generation educator and a forever student. During her teens she interned at a Sac City Unified school, an American River nonprofit foundation, and a composting network organization. Nia learned to love the natural process of giving back to the Earth and Earth giving back to her and so much more. Her specialty in composting/soil restoration, heals and helps the plants we grow and eat, as well as feeds the birds and the bees.
With 5+ years working in the public school system, she saw the importance of culturally relevant lessons, and crafts curricula with pride to meet the children’s needs. During her time serving the Twin Rivers school district she learned about the food insecurity in school neighborhoods and taught classes on harmful additives such as Red #40 found in commonly consumed foods. She connected students to a variety of natural foods while also starting a compost collection system. The compost collection system exposed the children to what happens to the food waste as it transitioned from the school cafeteria, to the community center garden, and decomposed into a rich soil digestible food for growing vegetables and herbs. Many children refer to her as the Compost Queen due to high enthusiasm for collecting food scraps. As a certified Freedom Schools servant leader intern Nia has 150+ hours of training in conflict resolution, culture/climate in the classroom and history on why it’s essential that we educate each other, sisters and brothers, moms and pops, whether young or old. Now, Nia’s passion and motivation is fueled by the obvious need to share knowledge on composting for soil health, growing food for autonomy, eating consciously for clear energy and repeating for quality of life. Her Compost Grow Eat Repeat methodology is based on the order of giving, caring for, and consuming LIFE!
Instructor/ STEM Creative Advisor
Program: STEM Kits
Purpose: To provide children and parents with engaging and fun STEM activities to do at home.
Say something interesting about your business here.