About Kyra

Bio

2009 TED Fellow.
I empower emerging adults to own their own greatness while I master mine. I am an artist-scholar-teacher and a black feminist thought leader in the field of ethnomususicology. Award-winning author of The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop (2007 Alan Merriam Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology). Current project is on the games black girls play online from twerking to vlogging on YouTube. kyraocity.wordpress.com

Check out the Nokia documentary featuring my work while a TED Fellow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p352_cQ-Rgw
I design and faciliate workshops on race and racism (as well as other things that separate us). I also developing an idea to create a digital people's history of black music. I have a hobby: iPhone photography. I call them kyracatures (like my name kyra sounding like miniatures). I take close up shots of things out of doors that most people overlook.

Languages

English

TED Conferences

TED Fellows Retreat 2013, TEDWomen 2010, TED2009

Areas of Expertise

Curation, Communication and Leadership, Digital ethnography, Diversity Consulting, Critical Theory of Culture and Society, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education , YouTube in the Classroom, Twerking, Black Feminist Studies

An idea worth spreading

Racism can actually be a resource for being courageous and compassionate if you agree to be offended and stay connected. Why? Cuz there is only one human race and anything that separates the human race is a form of "racism" -- We are not talking to each other. We are talking to each other's past failures with the human race.

I'm passionate about

Emotional/cognitive justice of girls (13-24) relative to hip-hop in new media. Writing. Studying digital ethnography of YouTube and Twerking. Finding the right new media job!

Talk to me about

Emerging adults (the new late adolescence 18-24) owning their own greatness in higher education; becoming the consumers of their own productivity--http://tiny.cc/5S4IC and http://bit.ly/d1M0

People don't know I'm good at

That I am a kind of modern day urban griot. The sound of my voice, and all the properties of my voice--as speaker, writer, singer, heals. I really love the sound of my voice on a microphone.

My TED story

One of the first TED talks I saw in late 2007 and shared with my students through 2008 was Hans Gosling's TED Talk on poverty. I became obsessed and sponsored a Pangea Film Day Event at Baruch College in May 2008 with 52 people.
In 2008 I wrote of a passionate desire to attend TED. I became one of the first fellows.
That year I showed my students Chris Abani's TED talk on Ubuntu and they were moved to tears. We closed the Fall '08 term with the talk by Majora Carter and the lid came off. We did a creative community service project asking students to donate $ to the OLPC campaign by asking "What can $199US buy in your home country?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSWu6CLVL6Y
Several TEDsters have visited my classroom incl. RuthAnn and Bill Harnisch, Bill Jensen, and Joshua Klein. In the fall of 2009, I performed at TEDxEast in NYC, spoke at TEDx AMS in Amsterdam, and continue to promote talks, tech, and social innovation with my students.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

207925
Kyra Gaunt
Posted 10 days ago
Glenn Greenwald: Why privacy matters
No one pushes us to use Google? Are you kidding? Ever heard of marketing? You have to have a Google account to subscribe to YouTube. Schools need it to share via Google Docs or use Google Chat rather than Skype so they can interlink all their Google resources for teaching. It's fair to say you disagree with Greenwald but it's erroneous to say no one pushes the masses to use Google or FB. That's ignoring the reality and pervasiveness of Google's mass presence in our Internet culture.
207925
Kyra Gaunt
Posted 10 days ago
Glenn Greenwald: Why privacy matters
As a digital ethnographer studying how black girls' images are being "trafficked" more or less to feed their adolescent desires to fit in through social media/online video or to feed the markets of objectifying female body parts, this talk speaks directly to an issue that I find most African American adults--parents, teachers and elders of any age--tend to be indifferent to. Our privacy. We give it away with YouTube in the name of some fake democracy or self-expression that will later be used as data to limit access to education, to jobs and more. Thank you Glenn Greenwald for your passion, commitment and integrity to journalism's core values in any society. Tell reveal what is often hidden from us by others and by our own words that defy our lived realities.
207925
Kyra Gaunt
Posted about 1 year ago
Elizabeth Loftus: The fiction of memory
I don't think Loftus is denying such circumstances. She's talking about suggestive planted memories by authorities and parents are included but in your case this is a common occurrence among perpetrators and criminals I.e., Mafia. There is plenty of evidence of this kind of child abuse. And her research is directed elsewhere. Glad you reckoned yourself to knowing your own truth which I think Loftus urges at a point in her talk. Good or bad your memories as you remember them without suggestion from others matters.
207925
Kyra Gaunt
Posted about 1 year ago
Elizabeth Loftus: The fiction of memory
A great and fascinating talk!! Really moving for someone like me invested in the people of color who've been falsely accused of crimes they didn't commit. Among the 300 hundred mentioned in the talk way too many are people of color and several women. The innocence project comes to mind. For my research it speaks to concerns I have about the false memory that explicit rap videos plant in the minds of female and male youth with the aid of music which plays a big role in memory. My work focuses on gender and music socialization and ice recently been examining this realm within the YouTube community. I want to reach out to Loftus about it.