Valerie has spent the past 20 years in the educational field as a music teacher, coach, clinician, and curriculum specialist. She exudes a passion for exploring the origins of the banjo, and uses this body of work to frame her message to educators on how to weave significant elements of history and culture into their teaching. Valerie concentrates her professional efforts on uniting people through social justice work. Based outside Nashville, TN, Valerie assists multiple organizations in applying an equity lens to their work. Her strong belief is that equity and diversity are foundational elements of environments that value successful team building and that foster success among all members of a community.