Black History 365: Akiea “Ki” Gross

We are highlighting examples of Black excellence throughout the year! Feel free to send us suggestions!

Akiea “Ki” Gross (they/them) is an abolitionist early educator, consultant, cultural organizer and creative entrepreneur currently innovating ways to resist, heal, liberate and create with their pedagogy, Woke Kindergarten. Woke Kindergarten is a global, abolitionist early learning community, creative expanse and consultancy supporting children, families, educators and organizations in their commitment to abolitionist early education and pro-Black and LGBTQIA+ liberation.

A former instructional coach and infant/toddler, preschool and Kindergarten teacher, Ki was recently selected as the Early Childhood Education Assembly’s 2020 Social Justice Award Recipient and has received grants from Abolitionist Teaching Network and VELA fund to create an early childhood curricular zine to support young children and their families as they learn from home.

It was their experiences with the carceral state of schooling and the trauma enacted upon Black children in these systems, that galvanized them to create #BlackTeachersMatter, Black Teachers Mentor and Equitable Schools years ago. As their ideologies and experiences with abolition evolved, they dissolved Equitable Schools and created @WhyAbolition.

Their commitment to creating safe, inclusive and liberatory spaces for BIPOC queer & trans artists also led them to create Sisters Unsigned, an intimate concert series that amplifies the voices of independent queer, trans, gender and genre expansive BIPOC artists and creators.