Meet Ryan and Justis


Ryan Parker is an energetic educator, motivational speaker, Hip hop Lyricist and Poet Laureate currently residing in Suffield, CT. As founder of Beat The Odds Squad and Co-founder of The Open Mic Movement in Education, Parker spends most of his time working on empowering diverse youth and changing the current narrative of the U. S. education system as it stands today. In addition to teaching middle-schoolers, Parker works as a pedagogical coach teaching adult educators strategies for developing effective classroom environments and relationships with students with a focus on cultural relevance and restorative justice. On top of his passion for teaching. In addition to creating his own poetry pieces and performing them near and abroad, Parker also coaches the Manchester, CT based youth poetry team know as Paper Voices and served as the coach of the 2015 Connecticut state spoken-word poetry team competing world wide at an international youth poetry competition known as Brave New Voices. Parker’s new interest in authorship is centered in his desire to utilize literature as a form of social justice and to convert hip hop lyricism pieces into children’s books. Justis Lopez is an educator, DJ, poet, activist, and Co-founder of The Open Mic Movement in Education. He was raised in Manchester, CT and currently resides in Washington DC. When Lopez isn’t spending time with family, or engaging in community organizing elevating humanity near and abroad, you can find him on a hiking trail meditating or on a college campus delivering an inspirational keynote speech to the masses. Much like his partner in positivity Parker, Justis Lopez is interested in creating a variety of literary forms that lean into uplifting humanity.