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My Story

As an advocate for #equityineducation, I've dedicated my career to amplifying the voices of historically marginalized communities.  Through my speaking engagements and consulting services, I support educators, professionals, and institutions in embracing inclusive practices and in fostering environments where every student has an equitable opportunity to thrive.

My passion led me to found REACT Initiative, Inc., an organization advocating for equity in education and committed to providing resources and support to global majority students.  Additionally, my podcast, The Culture We Speak, serves as a platform for thought-provoking conversations with change-makers in education and communication sciences and disorders, shedding light on innovative approaches to building equitable communities for learning and living. 

I established the Respect the  Dialect Online Community as a safe space for celebrating African American English and promoting linguistic justice in schools and beyond.  Each venture I pursue is rooted in my firm belief that educational equity begins with acknowledging and honoring the diverse experiences of every student.

Whether through speaking engagements, nonprofit initiatives, podcast episodes, or our online community, my mission remains the same: advocating for equity in education.

My Bio

Dionna Latimer-Hearn is originally from Middletown, OH and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in French Studies from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where she also played on the Women's Soccer Team. Following the completion of her degree she worked for the French Embassy as an English Language Instructor in Montargis, France. She completed her Master of Arts Degree in Speech-Language Pathology at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She has served as a multilingual speech-language pathologist and educational consultant since 2002, holding positions in Illinois, Japan, Maryland and Texas.  She currently works as an educational consultant and continuing education provider in support of a number of organizations in the US and abroad.

Dr. Latimer-Hearn received her Doctor of Philosophy Degree with distinction in Instructional Leadership for Changing Populations at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore, MD.  She is the inaugural recipient of the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing (NBASLH) Clinician of the Year Award.  Dr. Latimer-Hearn is also a recipient of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Minority Dissertation Fellowship Award, the World Education Research Association (WERA) Innovative Poster Award and the CREATE Doctoral Scholarship. She has presented her research on African American English at more than a dozen conferences including:  the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, World Education Research Association World Congress, and American Educational Research Association Conference. 


Dr. Latimer-Hearn is the author of the book Unexpected Places, and is the founder and director of the REACT Initiative, a Christian nonprofit organization that promotes equity in education for historically marginalized populations.  She is the founder and administrator of RespectTheDialect a Facebook Group promoting awareness and understanding of the African American English dialect.  She is the founder and host of The Culture We Speak, a podcast examining the intersection of culture, language, and education.  Dr. Latimer-Hearn is also a wife, mother, and an avid traveler who has visited over two dozen countries.

My Story in Numbers


Professionals reached across ventures globally


Years of experience


Professional awards


Countries in which my ventures have served clients

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