Thumbnail of speaker Decoteau Irby.


Decoteau Irby

Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago

Decoteau J. Irby, Ph.D., is a creator, activist, musician, education leadership professor and author. His activism, art, and scholarship explore the importance of struggle, progress, and equity in education.

Whether through music, encouraging the use of urban green spaces, or creating opportunities for Black people to generate wealth and wellness, his priorities are grounded in “going at it” together and creating space for people to shine. He co-founded Derute Consulting Cooperative in 2013 and created Visioning Black Spaces, a collective of families that pool and invest our resources to improve Chicago’s Black neighborhoods.

Dr. Irby is a professor at University of Illinois at Chicago and author or co-editor of several books, including “Stuck Improving: Racial Equity and School Leadership” and a children’s book, “Magical Black Tears: A Protest Story.” In all his work he is committed to creating spaces that bring people together in community.

Speaking in

Art + Academe

Day 2: November 15, 2022 | 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m., Special Feature

Art + Academe is a conversation in two acts. Act I is a panel discussion among three leading scholars of Black education about the ways that art both facilitates their well-being and influences the justice orientation of their scholarly work. Act II is a live music performance featuring two of the panelists, Augustus and Decoteau.