For-profit

LiberatED LLC

Website:

https://www.denasimmons.com/

Formation:

2019

Location:

Waterbury, Connecticut

Type:

For-profit racial justice consulting firm

Founder:

Dena N. Simmons

LiberatED LLC is a left-of-center educational consulting company founded by Dena Simmons, a speaker and writer on education policy and social justice. Through this company, Simmons markets her speaking and workshop services focused on social-emotional intelligence and critical race theory-aligned “anti-racism” and “racial oppression” in education. [1] [2]

Founding and History

LiberatED was registered in Connecticut in 2019 to serve as the vehicle for left-of-center racial-policy activist Dena N. Simmons’s speaking and consulting work. [3] It is not clear if the organization has any employees other than Simmons, or how many clients she has; however, her LinkedIn profile indicates that LiberatED has been the source of her full-time employment since January of 2021. [4]

Critical Race Theory and Left-of-Center Ideology

Simmons has written a great deal about “antiracism” and “social justice.” In October of 2020 Simmons stated that then-President Donald Trump upheld white supremacy and that black lives do not matter to American society. [5] The day after the 2020 election she characterized the United States as being historically white supremacist and that the country worships “whiteness”. She also described feeling on the “verge of despair” and “tired from carrying the brunt of anti-Black racism on my back” and feeling that her “frustration, sadness, and anger” is going to “suffocate her.” [6]

Simmons has written that it is imperative for students to “confront inequity” or they would be unable to identify “their complicity in oppressive structures.” [7]

Simmons has published a guide to “anti-racist education.” This guide is focused on helping educators to become antiracist and in turn to instill “antiracism” in children as well. The guide states that “constant self-reflection” on race and privilege is necessary and encourages teachers to assign students the task of examining the world through a “racial-justice lens”. Teachers are also called to “acknowledge racism and the ideology of white supremacy.” The guide also cites the work of Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi, both controversial authors associated with the “antiracism” ideology. [8]

Funding

As a private company, LiberatED does not file public financial disclosures with the IRS, and it is not clear how many clients the firm has, or what its rates for varying services are. However, public records indicate that in February of 2021 the firm charged Naperville School District 203 $10,500 for a 60-minute keynote speech delivered by the Zoom teleconferencing platform. [9]

Services

LiberatED provides workshops, speeches, and consultations related to education practice, social and emotional learning, and antiracist education. [10]

Leadership and Staff

Dena Simmons is the founder and principal at LiberatED. She has worked in the education field for over 15 years as a teacher, as a consultant, and in other capacities such as curriculum writing. She worked for over six years at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, first as an associate director of school initiatives, director of education, and then assistant director before pursing her career at LiberatED full time. She has participated in a number of fellowships and spoken at the Obama administration White House, the Obama Foundation, and the United Nations about “social justice pedagogy” and diversity. She is the author of a forthcoming book, White Rules for Black People. [11] [12]

References

  1. “About,” DenaSimmons.com, accessed November 23, 2021, https://www.denasimmons.com/about. ^
  2. Dena Simmons, “How to Be an Antiracist Educator,” ASCD, accessed November 23, 2021, https://www.ascd.org/el/articles/how-to-be-an-antiracist-educator. ^
  3. “LiberatED LLC,” Parents Defending Education, accessed November 23, 2021, https://defendinged.org/report/liberated-llc/. ^
  4. “Dena Simmons | LinkedIn,” Linkedin.com, accessed November 23, 2021, https://www.linkedin.com/in/dena-simmons-9263a918/. ^
  5. Dena Simmons, “For Black Educators When School Systems Aren’t Doing Enuf,” ASCD, October 12, 2020. Accessed November 23, 2021. https://www.ascd.org/blogs/for-black-educators-when-school-systems-arent-doing-enuf. ^
  6. Simmons Dena, “We Have to Save Ourselves,” ASCD, December 10, 2020. Accessed November 23, 2021.  https://www.ascd.org/el/articles/we-have-to-save-ourselves. ^
  7.  [1] Dena Simmons, “Confronting Inequity / Who Has the Privilege to Be Empowered?,” ASCD, March 1, 2020. Accessed November 23, 2021. https://www.ascd.org/el/articles/who-has-the-privilege-to-be-empowered. ^
  8. Dena Simmons, “How to Be an Antiracist Educator,” ASCD, accessed November 23, 2021, https://www.ascd.org/el/articles/how-to-be-an-antiracist-educator. ^
  9.  “LiberatED LLC,” Parents Defending Education, accessed November 23, 2021, https://defendinged.org/report/liberated-llc/. ^
  10. “Contact,” DenaSimmons.com, accessed November 23, 2021, https://www.denasimmons.com/contact. ^
  11. “Dena Simmons | LinkedIn,” Linkedin.com, accessed November 23, 2021, https://www.linkedin.com/in/dena-simmons-9263a918/. ^
  12. “About,” DenaSimmons.com, accessed November 23, 2021, https://www.denasimmons.com/about. ^
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