Kali Ferguson is an inspiration. She spent a year as a Spanish teacher at Garinger High School before realizing her true path was opening the eyes of kids by building a bridge to the world abroad.
Ferguson's mother founded the Afro-American Children's Theatre where she got her start doing choreo-poems combining music, dance and poetry.
When ACT dissolved, African Diaspora Arts Project & Theatre took its place. She serves as a consultant for their new project in conjunction with The Charlotte Museum of History and UNC-Charlotte -- a choreo-poem on CMH's "From Brooklyn to Biddleville" exhibit.
Studying at UNC-Greensboro, she decided she wanted a steadier job. "My major was between theater ed and Spanish ed, and I went Spanish ed because I'd always loved Spanish." Loved it enough, in fact, to spend six months in Costa Rica.
As a cultural educator, she uses storytelling as a teaching tool. A popular story is one about a guy named Abunawas. He's a trickster who finds ways to outsmart the Emperor of Ethiopia. Like the time he was banished from showing his face in Ethiopia again. The emperor came upon a crowd and everyone bowed, except one person who stood with his back turned. Guess who?
"I hope to bring some fun and education into public schools for the kids that a lot of teachers are sometimes too tired to do [because] I understand what it's like to be a teacher [and] to make people more aware that we are citizens of a larger world. This is for everybody, but especially African-Americans. If we are to have the power we deserve, we have to know that it's not just us in North Carolina."