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OUR LEADERS

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 Apryl 

Dr. Apryl Alexander is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Florida Institute of Technology with concentrations in forensic psychology and child and family therapy. Dr. Alexander’s research and clinical work focus on violence and victimization, human sexuality, and trauma-informed and culturally informed practice. Recently, she received the 2019 American Psychological Association’s Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Benefit Children, Youth, and Families and the 2019 Michele Alexander Early Career Award for Scholarship and Service from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). She is an award-winning researcher and her work has been published in several leading journals. Dr. Alexander has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, USA Today, and NBC Nightly News, about her research and advocacy work. Dr. Alexander also enjoys bringing psychology to the public through popular media. She is a frequent presenter at Denver Pop Culture Con and has previously contributed to Black Panther Psychology: Hidden Kingdoms. Additionally, Dr. Alexander is also a board member for the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center and the Colorado Criminal Defense Institute.

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Branta

Branta Lockett is the program manager for Leader Pipeline Development at Denver Public Schools.  Growing up in Miami, Florida, Branta witnessed disparities in public schooling that sparked her passion for solving issues of inequity in education. She envisions opening a school that utilizes performing arts and culturally sustaining pedagogy to engage BIPoC students. Branta is committed to creating programs that uplift, affirm, and inspire Black students, families, and communities. 

In 2016, Branta received a Master of Arts degree in Urban Education Policy from Brown University. Prior to that, she received a Master of Arts degree in Cross- Disciplinary Studies from Nova Southeastern University in 2015. In 2013, Branta received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University, majoring in both African American and Diaspora Studies and History with a European concentration.

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Marissa

Miss Marz is an elementary teacher, entrepreneur, veteran, and scholar with a passion for social justice, advocacy, and healing. After gaining life experience growing up on the East Coast and then serving as an Arabic linguist in the US Air Force for six years, Miss Marz attended the University of Colorado Denver where she achieved an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. While in college, she found herself drawn to education equity and community activism. She was awarded the UCD School of Education & Human Development Leadership Awards two years in a row in recognition of her visionary spirit in service of the community. Now, she teaches students at an African-centered homeschool academy while finishing her Master’s in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education at UCD.

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Sal

Saladin Thomas is an abolitionist educator, performer, writer, and proud member of the BLM5280 Ed Squad, where he educates and facilitates for the BLM5280 Freedom School. He has a Masters’ Degree in Education and a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing, both from UC Denver. He teaches 5th grade in Aurora Public Schools and has a passion for restructuring public education from the ground up. His effort and energy are primarily focused on educational equity and advocacy for the unhoused population. In his spare time, he plays board games and air guitar.