New York State Professional Certification, English Language Arts
New York State Professional Certification, Literacy Specialist, Birth – 12th
New York State, Initial Certification TESOL (pending), Birth-12th
PSAL First Aid / CPR / AED /Concussion Management Certification
Certificate of Advanced Study, TESOL
Master of Arts in the Teaching of Writing / Literacy Specialist
Long Island University / C.W. Post Campus
Bachelor of Science in English / Secondary Education
*Minor in Interdisciplinary/American Studies
Vivett Dukes (nèe Hemans), a New Yorker through and through, was born in Queens, NY and raised in Elmont, Long Island. She began her teaching career in 2002 as a K-12 substitute teacher in the very districts where she was taught and from which she ultimately matriculated. She earned her B.S. in English and Secondary Education from Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus and her Master of Arts in the Teaching of Writing/Literacy from Hofstra University. She is the proud wife of Mr. John Dukes and mom to Alexis, 26, Christian, 23, and Cereta, 21 — and a proud doggy mom to an Italian Greyhound named Diggi! She currently resides in Suffolk County, Long Island.
Vivett is a classroom teacher, writer, humanitarian and social activist who cares deeply about those who are systematically disenfranchised. She is particularly dedicated to eradicating mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline that disproportionately plagues the Black community, as she is directly impacted by the devastation and decimation that incarceration inflicts on familial and community bonds. She petitions lawmakers to introduce and pass bills that respect and protect the human needs of those incarcerated and their loved ones as a member of the Osborne Association’s National Speaker’s Bureau.
In January of 2020, Vivett joined forces with the National Parents Union at their founding meeting in New Orleans and became a delegate and council member representing the Northeast region of the Country. This work speaks directly to the intersection of Vivett’s life, both personally and professionally. Of particular importance is the National Parents Union’s commitment to bringing to the forefront the voices of marginalized parents -- especially formerly incarcerated parents - in national educational spaces. This resonates deeply with not only who but why Vivett is who she is.
To Vivett, education is and will always be the key to improvement in all areas of life for members of the African diaspora and that equity in education coupled with mass incarceration are two of the biggest civil rights assaults facing our society currently. Parents must be in the lead to decide what schools and educational spaces best serve their child’s needs. She has been an English Language Arts teacher, literacy specialist, and teacher of English to speakers of other languages in her own classroom for twelve years and currently teaches in a middle and high school in Manhattan, New York where she teaches ninth-grade English. She also serves as an adjunct instructor in the Education and Literacy Acquisition Department at the City University of New York - LaGuardia Community College (CUNY).
As a writer and advocate, Vivett is an advisor for the New York Times’ Upfront and Scholastic Action and Scope magazines., blogger for New York School Talk, Co-CEO/Co-Founder of SpeakYaTruth.org and One Voice Blog Magazine, and host of the bi-weekly #SafeSpaceConvos Twitter chat in partnership with the non-profit educational organization, Sevenzo.
As a teacher leader, she has served as a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Teacher Advisory Council, a classroom lab facilitator with former NYC Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s Learning Partners Program, and a Bethune Teaching Fellow for the New York Urban League, among other roles. Mrs. Dukes is on the board of her county’s New York Civil Liberties Union chapter as well as a member of the board of the New York State English Council (NYSEC), and is a proud member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and is a Delegate for the Northeast Region on the Council of the National Parents Union, among being a member of several other professional organizations.
In November of 2019, she and her husband, John Dukes, received acknowledgements of appreciation from New York Senator Brian A. Benjamin for their dedicated service through their grassroots organization Speak Ya Truth to the Harlem community where mass incarceration and the school-to-prison-pipeline are concerned.
In addition, Vivett was awarded the Community Service Award of the Year from Black Educators Rock - New York. She has been the keynote speaker at national and local venues, including professional conferences hosted by the National Civil Liberties Union - Suffolk County Chapter (NYCLU), New York State English Council (NYSEC), NAACP’s Annual Gala at St. John’s University, Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching (ECET2), South by Southwest Education (SXSWEDU), and the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), She and her husband John were honored for their commitment to love in the face of incarceration in 2018 by the Long Island-based non-profit organization Excellence in Success. Vivett and John were also heralded by Silent Cry, Inc in 2018 and 2019 for their astute advocacy for families enduring the incarceration of a loved one.
Vivett knows that representation matters. At her core, she is a passionate woman of God, wife, mom, teacher-leader, and social activist who is dedicated to taking her voice outside of the classroom and into the public arena in an effort to elevate authentic conversations and grassroots changes in educational equity and human rights.