Uchechi has a commanding presence in the classroom. She is an experienced educator who powerfully communicates her love for literature. She inspires her students to work hard and take risks. Trained as a teacher-activist on June Jordan’s model, Uchechi embodies the mind of a serious writer with the spirit of a cultural worker.
former Program Manager
San Francisco Writers Corps
For more than 20 years, Uchechi Kalu has worked with youth at high schools, community centers, juvenile halls and colleges. Her experience includes public speaking, teaching and running workshops. She has also trained young people in the art of public speaking, presenting and performing. As a tech CEO (www.linkingarts.com) and former startup founder, she has a unique blend of experience that she brings to each event. In 2016, she served as a mentor and judge for Startup Week New Orleans. She most recently spoke at Harlem Village Academy High School in Harlem, NY and at The Ignite Retreat, which focuses on preparing college age young people for careers in entrepreneurship.
Here are a list of topics Uchechi Kalu speaks about when engaging with high school and college age young people:
1. How To Create A Change Making Career: Focusing on Impact You Want To Make Instead of The Job You Want To Do
Uchechi’s lecture focuses on this question: How do you create a change making career that is emotionally and financially sustainable? She will share her story and her journey from professional poet and educator to tech entrepreneur and how trusting her journey and focusing on the impact she wanted to make allowed her to build the life she really wanted. Addressing the current state of the world, she will also discuss the connection between our differences and our talents. In trusting our differences, we are able to harness our talents. Participants will walk away with a more clear idea of how to move forward in their career paths.
2. Uchechi Kalu speaks to high school age young people.
DESCRIPTION: Uchechi had the opportunity to speak to a diverse group of 10th and 11th graders at Harlem Village Academy High School. Many of the students were first generation immigrants from Africa and Latin America. As a bilingual African-born entrepreneur, she was able to connect with the students from a cultural and professional perspective. She also shared poems from Flowers Blooming Against A Bruised Grey Sky, which was nominated for a Northern California Book Award in 2007.
3. Uchechi Kalu speaks to young women and girls
DESCRIPTION: Letter To Young Girls Living In The Colombian Amazon
In late 2018, Uchechi was asked to record a message to young Colombian girls. The message included her own journey from girlhood to adulthood and advice for how to find your gifts and understand what’s possible for your life as a young women. The video was shared to young women in the cities, but also to Afro-Colombian girls from Choco, Colombia.