Ayo Magwood is an educational consultant specializing in anti-racist education. Her areas of expertise include helping individuals and institutions to deepen their understanding of racism and social justice issues through the disciplines of history, economics, political science, sociology, and cognitive psychology. She also equips institutions with the tools and strategies to foster more productive conversations about racism using her “perspectives consciousness” approach. She has over 10 years of classroom experience in both majority low-income Black/Latino charter schools and majority high-income White private schools. Previously she was an economic researcher consulting for several “Beltway bandits” in Washington DC, and before that, a staff member in a Maoist agricultural marketing cooperative in rural Mexico. Ayo has a B.A. in economics and international relations from Brown University and a M.Sc. in applied economics from Cornell University.
Ayo is the author of the book chapter “Why ‘Elite’ Independent Schools Can’t Retain Black and Brown Faculty” in K. Swalwell & D. Spikes (Eds.) Anti-Oppressive Education in “Elite” Schools: Promising Practices and Cautionary Tales, Sep. 2021 (available for pre-order), and co-author of the article “Using Conceptual Tensions and Supreme Court Cases to Increase Critical Thinking in Government and Civics Classrooms”, in Social Education Vol. 77 No. 4, Sep 2013.
Ayo’s passion for anti-racist, civics, and social justice education and her lifelong quest to help people understand the perspectives of others are informed by her personal identity and experiences as a cultural “border crosser.” She identifies as African American and biracial; grew up in East Africa, West Africa and the Middle East; lived and worked in Mexico for 5 years (and returns there every summer); and speaks near-fluent Spanish. Her personal and parenting experiences with mental illness, dyslexia, and ADHD have also influenced her border-crossing perspective on these issues.