For-profit

EduSigner LLC

Website:

edusigner.com/

Type:

For-profit DEI Consulting

Founded:

2019

Executive Director:

Ashley N. Smith

EduSigner LLC is a small, nationally active for-profit consulting firm that offers “diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused” teacher development programs to schools and other organizations.

Background

EduSigner LLC was founded in 2019 by former educator and administrator Ashley N. Smith, who is occasionally referenced on the firm’s website and its promotional materials as the “The Strugglish Superhero.” [1] [2] [3]

Generally, the firm’s services are tailored and marketed to educational institutions. However, the firm also offers services to corporations and “communities.” According to the firm’s website, its objective is to help clients “Educate, Engage, [and] Empower,” and its published materials stress left-leaning workplace and educational aims. [4] [5]

The firm produced a short workbook republished by the Innovative Schools Summit, a regional conference initiative, entitled “Choosing to be W.O.K.E.” The workbook is divided into four parts, each covering a letter in the “W.O.K.E.” acronym: “What,” “Who,” “Why,” and “When”; “Once I figured out,” concerning organizational information; “Keep growing,” recommending readers ask themselves questions with the goal of engaging in “average activism,” such as, “What is an area of where [sic] groups are being underserved, marginalized, or victimized?”; and “Equity is justice,” recommending readers ask themselves questions such as “What do you think is okay to express and what should remain hidden?” [6] [7]

EduSigner’s services consist of course offerings; coaching, or training in “Awareness,” “Action,” and “Accountability and Assessment”; and collaboration, which entails assistance from the “The Strugglish Superhero Squad” to improve a client’s “skillset.” Members of “The Strugglish Superhero Squad” are unnamed but are described as a “High School Social Worker,” “7th Grade Student,” and “High School Alternative Program Principal.” [8]

Additionally, the EduSigner website offers a variety of free promotional materials to prospective clients, such as an “e-tox self-assessment” titled, “The Life Audit: Because the World Gets Taxing,” and a free “live masterclass,” consisting of a digital presentation by Smith. [9]

Activities

On January 19, 2021, EduSigner’s founder, Ashley Smith, appeared on the Unmastered Leadership Podcast of Leadership and Design, an education-oriented nonprofit collaborative based in Los Gatos, California. [10] During the podcast, Smith discussed hiring practices with regard to race and gender, recommending strategies to increase workplace “diversity” respecting those factors. [11]

On September 16, 2021, the Northwest Journal of Teacher Education published an article in an issue titled, “Call It What It Is: Antiblackness,” coauthored by Smith and three activist academics from the University of Missouri-Kansas City: Loyce E. Caruthers, Jennifer Wadell, and Bradley Poos. The article, “Voices of Teacher Graduates: Preparation for Black Mattering in Schools,” discusses the experience of graduates of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Institute for Urban Education’s four-year program to train teachers to “interrupt school-centered practices of Eurocentric identity and antiblackness.” The article concludes with a call to “eradicate antiblackness.” [12]

Leadership

Ashley N. Smith is the founder of EduSigner. On the firm’s website she is nicknamed “The Strugglish Superhero” and her Twitter handle is “@DrStrugglish.” Formerly, she was a middle school teacher and high school administrator. [13] [14]

References

  1. “Domains Registered By Date (2019-01-14) – Page 6.” CubDomain. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://www.cubdomain.com/domains-registered-by-date/2019-01-04/6 ^
  2. Homepage. EduSigner. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://www.edusigner.com/ ^
  3. Smith, Ashley. “Choosing to Be W.O.K.E.”  Innovative Schools Summit. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://innovativeschoolssummit.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Ashley_Smith_Choosing-to-be-W.O.K.E.pdf ^
  4. Homepage. EduSigner. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://www.edusigner.com/ ^
  5. Smith, Ashley. “Choosing to Be W.O.K.E.”  Innovative Schools Summit. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://innovativeschoolssummit.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Ashley_Smith_Choosing-to-be-W.O.K.E.pdf ^
  6. Smith, Ashley. “Choosing to Be W.O.K.E.”  Innovative Schools Summit. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://innovativeschoolssummit.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Ashley_Smith_Choosing-to-be-W.O.K.E.pdf ^
  7. Homepage. Innovative Schools Summit. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://innovativeschoolssummit.com/ ^
  8. “Healed Individuals = Healed Institutions. A FUSION OF PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.” EduSigner. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://www.edusigner.com/workwithme ^
  9. [1] “Healed Individuals = Healed Institutions. A FUSION OF PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.” EduSigner. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://www.edusigner.com/workwithme ^
  10. “Mission.” Leadership and Design. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://www.leadershipanddesign.org/mission ^
  11. “Hiring: Dr. Ashley Smith.” Unmastered Leadership Podcast. BuzzSprout. January 19, 2021. Accessed November 15, 2021. ^
  12. Caruthers, Loyce E.; Waddell, Jennifer; Poos, Bradley; and Smith, Ashley N. “Voices of Teacher Graduates: Preparation for Black Mattering in Schools.” Northwest Journal of Teacher Education. 2021. Accessed November 15, 2021. ^
  13. Hello, I’m Ashley.” EduSigner. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://www.edusigner.com/meetyourcoach ^
  14. Caruthers, Loyce E.; Waddell, Jennifer; Poos, Bradley; and Smith, Ashley N. “Voices of Teacher Graduates: Preparation for Black Mattering in Schools.” Northwest Journal of Teacher Education. 2021. Accessed November 15, 2021. ^
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