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Karanja Crews

A passionate and award-winning educator, Karanja Crews is a veteran former public-school teacher, an adjunct professor of education, and a teacherpreneur.

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His Story

Receiving his Master’s Degree in Education from Portland State University, Mr. Crews began his career as an educator in the Beaverton Public Schools where he taught fifth grade from 2003-2007 before moving to the Portland Public School District. 


During his teaching career, Mr. Crews has been recognized with numerous teaching and community service accolades, including: The Martin Luther King Lifetime Achievement Award, The OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education, The Portland Observer Community Service Award, and The Skanner Drum Major for Justice Award.


  • 2001: Mr. Crews organized the first Teaching With Purpose Conference.

  • 2005: He founded The Conscious Rap Program, a program that promotes the use of Hip-Hop music as a tool to empower students.

  • 2007: He founded The Journey to Freedom Project, a non-profit dedicated to increasing the literacy and reading proficiency of African American Students.

  • 2009: He produced The Journey to Freedom Project Board Game, an innovative board game that teaches the importance of literacy by placing students in the role of an enslaved African attempting to be free by learning how to read.

  • Check out "The Journey to Freedom" board game here.​

  • 2014: Mr. Crews developed Teaching With Purpose, LLC, expanding the organization from one annual conference to four annual events and a monthly lecture series.


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