My name is Monique Constance and I am an educator, writer, and creative. I am from Smyrna, Georgia and the daughter of a Ghanaian father and Liberian mother. I obtained my Bachelors of Arts in International Affairs and a minor in Spanish from the University of Georgia. Currently, I am a Masters of Education candidate at Texas A&M University, studying Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Urban Education. I have worked as a high school English teacher in New Orleans for three years and currently work as a teaching artist and educational consultant. My curriculum Love in the Time of Conflict is designed for secondary English classes and uses content from across the literary and artistic sectors of the African Diaspora to positively impact literacy, critical and creative thinking, and writing skills of high school aged students. I am the creator of the campaigns Black Women Are Teachers and A Black Woman Taught Me, celebrations of female educators within Black communities – funds from my merchandise goes to the Williams and Amuzu Foundation which funds the artistic, entrepreneurial, and scholastic dreams of students of the African Diaspora.
In 2013, I founded Black Love Project as a way to understand my own heartbreak. Eventually, BLP became an online archive of definitions of love as told by Black people. I’ve interviewed artists like 9th Wonder (my very first interview – I was so nervous!), Big Sant, and Earthgang. The mission of Black Love Project changed in 2015 when I moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and immersed myself in the spoken word community. I was a member of the 2016 Eclectic Truth National Slam Poetry Team and competed in national competitions. My time in the poetry community led me to the world of teaching artistry, and I worked as a teaching artist in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana and served as the poetry coach for the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition. In 2016, I moved to New Orleans and served as the poetry coach for Tulane University’s Slam Poetry Team – who ranked 16th nationally that year. I also guest lectured in Tulane’s Creative Writing program at the invitation of then state Poet Laureate, Peter Cooley. I also facilitated a creative writing workshop at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
As an educator, I am dedicated to changing the manner teachers and students approach literature and Black studies. I believe it is important to normalize the culture + thought of the African Diaspora and have seen great success in the classroom using my curriculum.
As a creative, ethnographer, and writer, I am dedicated to documenting Black stories and the myriad of appearances. I also serve as the Director of Communications and a producer for House of the Young Ent., a New Orleans based production company whose mission is to create content that uplifts the voice of the unheard. Alongside CEO and director Ed Buckles (Katrina Babies) and Vice President and producer Ejaaz Mason, we have produced Pass the Peas, a dialogue series that moves Black Love Project’s mission to document and preserve Black traditions.