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Performance, Poetry, & Professional Development
Professor Lyrical & Bernard Hankins


Professor Lyrical (Dr. Peter Michael Plourde) is an artist and educator known for using the positive aspects of Hip Hop culture to empower citizens to self-advocate for socioeconomic change. Equally compelling is his "side-hustle" as an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of the District of Columbia, a public land grant (HBCU) in Washington DC, where he also directs faculty development for its associate programs within its embedded community college. Formerly from Lowell, Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts, Pro is now a resident of Northern Virginia living minutes from the nation’s capital. Before moving to the DMV, he was an assistant teaching professor of mathematics at Northeastern University (where he earned his doctorate and taught graduate math methods) and an adjunct professor at ten different colleges.

Prior to his work in higher education, Pro served as a math instructor in his native Lowell, Massachusetts and opened its Lowell Alternative High School Program after having co-written its business plan to establish it is a free-standing satellite. He has spoken and performed for over 100 institutions and has delivered multiple Tedx Talks and performances and is well-regarded among large circles within the hip-hop community as a master-craftsmen lyricist, upper-echelon freestyle battle rap champion, and world-class spoken word artist.

Bernard Hankins is inspiration trapped inside of a human body. A musician, filmmaker, spoken word poet, creative catalyst, educator, and entrepreneur, Bernard was voted audience winner of the 2015 Charlottesville Tedx Open Mic competition, earning him a speaking spot at the 2015 Charlottesville Tedx conference. Mr Hankins was then given the honor of being asked to be the closing speaker of the day-long conference.

Bernard grew up in Chesapeake, VA and graduated from The School of Architecture at The University of Virginia where he used his Hip Hop skills to inform his design projects. He was elected by his graduating class to deliver a commencement rap, “The Pursuit of Passion,” where he ignited listeners to wholeheartedly do what they love. Throughout the years, Bernard has taught numerous all-ages workshops ranging from Hip Hop, poetry, creativity, identity and more. He has performed at countless open mics and organized many creative events within the city of Charlottesville. Bernard is not only a creator but also a catalyst who inspires others to create. Currently Mr. Hankins is a co-founder of Cypher, an idea generation and branding consulting venture that uses the power of Hip Hop and word play to help companies generate brand names. He sees his purpose on the planet as threefold: creativity, beauty, and inspiration.

Bernard and Pro can deliver compelling professional development laced with freestyle performances and workshops which illustrate the power of freestyle and improvisation as a useful tool for public speaking, teaching, and leadership. Bernard and Pro develop podcast and livestream workshops helping professionals use these tools in their classrooms and the workplace, as well as for their own entrepreneurial endeavors. One of their most recent—and already—favorite sessions is their “IntroVerse” workshop. It is custom designed for introverts or those who seek to engage them (see embedded graphic below).

The amazing depth of poetry that they demonstrate (live) covers a myriad of topics that lend themselves to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), self-esteem building, and more. These sessions also demonstrate the therapeutic power of poetry to help educators and professionals guide others through trauma and to create active lessons that help center the student. Professor Lyrical is distributed by Sony Orchard and has over 100 published songs to his credit. Together, Bernard and Pro can perform for as short as a few minutes or as long as a full concert (several hours) and can field questions from educators, staff and students. Their material is 100% clean, conscious, and motivational and is appropriate for all audiences.



For more information contact email:

Other professional development topics include:


Aligning Activities, Assignments & Outcomes

Bringing Your Syllabus To Life—Visually & Practically

Building Cultural Capital

Captivating Underprepared Learners

Career Tech & Entrepreneurialism For Students & Faculty

Checking The Technique While Checking For Understanding

Crafting Creative Classes That Captivate

Creating Compelling Learning Outcomes

Creating Culturally Relevant & Responsive Learning Environments

Delivering On-Point Lectures

Developing Equitable Grading Schemes

Discussing Race With Grace At An Appropriate Pace

Embracing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion In Your Classroom Spaces

Embracing The Faculty/Staff Side-Hustle

Exposing Hidden & Null Curricula

Facilitating Your Dope Class Discussion

Giving Clearer Directions & Explanations

Helping Learners Persist (Building Grit)

Increasing STEM Degree Attainment For Underrepresented Populations

Integrating Social Justice Into Your Course

IntroVerse (see graphic)

Leading On Day 1

Make Your Courses More Rigorous & More Fun At The Same Time

Making Math Make $ense

Making STEM STEAM Without Sacrificing “Rigor”

Motivating Learners

Multimodal Learning In The Metaverse

Planning Dope Discussions

Providing Relevant Feedback

Self-Directing Learners

Taking Dope Notes

Using Active Learning in Groups

Using Citations And Teaching About Plagiarism VIA, Lyricism, Poetry & Rap

Using Livestreams, Podcasts, Apps & Social Media Effectively

Using Rap & Spoken Word As Therapy And A Metacognitive Device

Using Rap Battles & The Cipher As A Teaching Tool

Using The Four Pillars Of Hip Hop Culture In Any Class

Using The Math of the Music Industry

Visualizing Your Course Through Mapping & Similar Devices

Write & Freestyle Rap -Workshop On Rapping, Improv & Creating Powerful Spoken Word Poetry

For more information contact email:










For more information contact email:

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