Aysha Upchurch, the Dancing Diplomat, is an artist and educator who creates, facilitates, and designs for radical change. As a dancer/choreographer, she is an embodied storyteller who leans on African diasporic movement to create works of joy, connection, and liberation. She has been a John F. Kennedy Center commissioned artist and Schonberg Dance Fellow at the Yard, as well as led teaching and choreographic residencies at universities across the country. As an educator and consultant, she considers herself a DJ whose mission is to responsively and responsibly design the learning community as a cypher where everyone can build knowledge with each other, while feeling held, heard, and humanized. Aysha has been on faculty at George Mason University, Salem University, and most recently at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she spearheaded courses and initiatives on embodied learning and Hip Hop pedagogy. Named one of the nine women who shaped Hip Hop education by Upscale magazine, Aysha is committed to creating spaces to champion Hip Hop as an essential force in transformative education. To that end, she founded and directs HipHopEX, a lab and research project now housed at Project Zero that creates intergenerational programming to experience Hip Hop pedagogy. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Texas Austin.. Whether on stage or in a classroom, as a US State Department cultural envoy or professor, Aysha is making moves and demonstrating how to be D.O.P.E. - dismantling oppression and pushing education.