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Joseph Edwards    

International Teaching Artist, Award Winning Actor and Playwright, Reparations Truth and Reconciliation Advocate, Growth Mindset Coach

Joseph L. Edwards is an international teaching artist who has demonstrated to thousands of educators, artists and students, the power of the arts in service of education. He is an award-winning actor and playwright whose work has been showcased on the Broadway stage, film, and television. He is a three-time winner of the AUDELCO Award for artistic excellence in Black Theater for his critically acclaimed Off-Broadway production of Fly, which he wrote and starred in. The tour of his one-man show, Manchild In The Promised Land, was performed for over 15,000 students, including internationally in Accra, Ghana. He has performed with Academy Award Winner Viola Davis, the late Chadwick Boseman, and Chris Rock.

He has been an educational leader for more than three decades working in New York City, Washington, D.C., Argentina, Russia, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, and Africa. Nationally he works as a Growth Mindset Coach, a Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Leader, and as a social activist for reparations for the descendants of enslaved Africans. Edwards designed and implemented the Summer Bridge Initiative for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) which helped incoming at-risk ninth graders successfully transition to high school and improve their overall odds of on-time graduation. In 2015 he was an early advocate for a males of color initiative in DCPS, which has since established an all-male education academy.

From 2015 to 2019 Edwards worked as a Growth Mindset Coach and supported a $3.5 million federally funded efficacy study on the Brainology Growth Mindset program which trained hundreds of educators and thousands of students across the country on neuroplasticity and the strategies of growing intelligence. Since then, Edwards has worked at the University of Arizona as Senior Project Lead in the Division of Equity, Inclusion & Title IX to help advance the university’s goal of becoming a leader in “inclusive excellence” practices.

Edwards is a passionate activist for reparations for the descendants of enslaved Africans; his extensive research in this field will be displayed in his 2021 Truth and Reconciliation Project and his most recent play Reparations. In 2021, he founded The African Diaspora Arts and Sciences Institute whose mission is to illuminate the beauty, brilliance, and humanity of African people through the performing arts.

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