Deliberately walking through the intersection of Hip Hop, education, and spirituality, Bavu Blakes is an educator of educators, a servant–leader, and an award-winning musician whose studio collaborators include Grammy winners Adrian Quesada, Symbolyc One, Gary Clark, Jr., and !llmind.
Blakes’ research goals center the various ways that the Hip Hop generation leverages its resources for today’s generation. His participatory action research with Dr. Alina Adonyi Pruitt about anti-racist solidarity, English teacher agency, literacy of racism, and curricular choices within a linguistically and culturally diverse classroom has been presented at AERA (2018, 2017), LRA (2017), and NCTE (2016). Blakes spent a few of his classroom years researching how weekly student-driven school assemblies affected the culture and climate of his middle school learning community before joining Austin ISD in his current role as a Cultural Proficiency & Inclusiveness Specialist.
As a practicioner, Mr. Blakes is a curriculum & instruction specialist whose facilitation of teaching & learning via writing, reading, listening, and speaking extends beyond classrooms to out of school & after school learning programs, school & community assemblies, district professional learning sessions, conventions, national education conferences, and concert venues, as well as workshops & events serving youth, men, teens, families, and faith communities. Accordingly, Austin mayor Steve Adler proclaimed April 23, 2015, as Bavu Blakes Day to a capacity crowd at City Hall.
Mr. Blakes (M.Ed, Educational Administration, UT-Austin) has received several awards for his scholarly work, including the 2017 UT-Austin Martha C. Ovando Outstanding Student Leadership Award, 2017 Decker Middle School Teacher of the Year, 2017 KLRU Graduate Champion, and 2016 E4 Youth Educator of the Year. He serves his wife, Tifani, who holds a PhD in Education from UT-Austin, and their two children.