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Desmond empowers passionate social justice workers in education, health care, and non-profits to create impactful change.

Those of us that are passionate for social justice want to know how to create environments that lead to impactful equity. True change creates possibility, and possibility creates the unknown.

This kind of change creates discomfort, and yet it is essential to have the capacity to handle this level of discomfort in order to imagine and empower equity in how we do our work in the world.

Desmond combines his experience as an educator, equity advocate, and Hip Hop artist to entertain and engage his audience.

He helps audiences reimagine social justice work through a creative cycle - helping individuals and teams to think differently and design with equity in mind.

About Desmond

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Desmond Spann believes we are in the middle of a great awakening.

An awakening of the human spirit to discover our connection through our differences.

His commitment to building capacity for racial justice and advocating for education equity fuels his desire to make social justice a reality for everyone.

Desmond Spann’s time as an educator and equity advocate guides his perspective and expertise.

In January 2022, he was awarded a fellowship in the Racial Justice Institute of Oregon.

As a Hip Hop artist, he engages audiences with the energy of a rap show and the insights of a TED talk.

A true creative, his work has been featured on Oregon Art Beat, and has also published a book, "Des Writes Bars and Poems Too", which is a collection of verse and spoken word poetry that expands the definition of Hip Hop poetry.

He lives in Portland, Oregon with his partner Kacy, and their two sons Isaiah and Ayoleeto.

Speaking Demo
Talk Topics

Talks Topics

Teaching Under Fire


Social justice teaching is under attack. The laws, book bans, and reversal of affirmative action attempt to barricade us from equitable classrooms. Yet, setbacks become set-ups for success when we persist. For the ‘23-’24 school year, educators must supercharge their purpose. This workshop guides participants in crafting powerful vision statements, reigniting their passion for teaching. Desmond shares how to align vision statements with classroom practices and how to prevent burnout with mindfulness.



  • Understand the political, professional, and personal blocks to motivation

  • Explore 'vision' as a transformative tool for personal and collective growth.

  • Foster a sense of community and connection among participants.

Integrated Equity

Integrated Equity is an approach to equity that combines personal leadership, policy work, and professional practices to create a culture of equity. It can be used in various settings, such as education, business, and government. To practice Integrated Equity, people need to be open to learning, examine their own biases, seek diverse perspectives, challenge the status quo, and take action to create change. This talk can help individuals and organizations work towards a more just and equitable culture for everyone.



  • Learn the 5-loops framework (tm) to sustain equity efforts (initiatives)

  • Understand the different levels of capacity

  • Learn strategies to align personal leadership with policies, and practices for equity

Worth Work


In "Worth Work: A Creative Jolt to Your Equity Practice," Desmond Spann helps participants understand personal barriers to creativity and equity, shift perspectives on equity work from burden to benefit, and feel empowered to apply creative resilience to adaptive challenges. Through this experience, participants will gain a greater personal capacity to handle discomfort, leading to an amplified ability to move toward social justice and racial equity.



  • Learn how to understand personal barriers to creativity and equity

  • Shift perspectives on equity work from burden to benefit

  • Empower to apply creative resilience to adaptive challenges



This workshop was truly fun, inspiring, and incredibly impactful!

Northwest Teaching For Social Justice 2022 Participant

Stellar!  So interactive and so much fun!

Northwest Teaching For Social Justice 2022 Participant

I learned how to bring more creative ways to weave in social justice into my classroom and put yourself out there more.

Northwest Teaching For Social Justice 2022 Participant

Desmond Spann's approach to discussing, presenting, and engaging with critical issues so creatively was inspiring. It also proves to me that someone's artistry needs to be shared with others. So inspiring.

Arts Advocate Participant 2022


Connect with Desmond


971 915 3949

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