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272: Learning through connection and community with Decoteau Irby

Decoteau creates teaching and learning experiences, music and stories, and opportunities for people to be in community. Be it through music, encouraging the use of urban green spaces, or creating opportunities for Black people to generate wealth and wellness, his priorities are grounded in “going at it” together and creating space for people to shine.

Throughout his life, he has created all sorts of things, spaces, and experiences. These include businesses, such Derute Consulting Cooperative, a firm he co-founded in 2013; Visioning Black Spaces LLC, a collective of families that pool and invest our resources to improve Chicago’s Black neighborhoods; and Deaky Bug Creative Works LLC, a firm he uses to curate and finance his personal creative endeavors and collaborations.

Decoteau is a professor at University of Illinois at Chicago and author or co-editor of several books, including Stuck Improving: Racial Equity and School Leadership (Harvard Education Press) and a children’s book Magical Black Tears: A Protest Story (Derute Consulting Cooperative).

Through all of his work, he is committed to creating spaces that bring people together in community. He is active in his neighborhood community garden and serves as treasurer for his local park advisory council. Finally, a self-taught guitarist, songwriter, performer, and recording artist; with two albums released and available on his website.


Social Media Information

Twitter: @decoteauirby

IG: decoteaublack


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