Dr. Crystal A. Kuykendall is considered one of the most dynamic individuals of our time. A critical thinker, analyst, motivator and mentor, Dr. Kuykendall has astounded audiences and individuals through the power of her observations and the warmth of her words. A highly sought after and savvy speaking sensation, she is an engaging educator, human relations expert, legal analyst/litigator, endearing author and loving mother.
Born in Chicago, Illinois with very humble beginnings, Dr. Kuykendall graduated from Hyde Park High School with 4 scholarships at the age of 16. She received her B.A. from Southern Illinois University (Carbondale Campus) as a Government Major. Through an Assistantship, she graduated from Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ) with a Master's Degree in Sociology. Through a Ford Fellowship, she received her Doctorate in Educational Administration from Atlanta University. Always seeking additional avenues for advocacy and service, Dr. Kuykendall received her Juris Doctorate (law degree) from Georgetown University Law Center in 1981. She was admitted to the Bar Association of the District of Columbia in 1988 after passing the Bar Exam on her first attempt.
On June 2, 2002, the President of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon conferred upon Dr. Kuykendall the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa (the Honorary Doctorate), after she delivered the Commencement speech to the Master Degree candidates from the School of Education. The Honorary Doctorate was presented to recognize Dr. Kuykendall for "her leadership and public service and her unflagging belief in children and the parents and teachers who train them."
A former elementary and secondary school teacher, Dr. Kuykendall has also taught at Seton Hall University and Montclair State University. She is the former Executive Director of the National Alliance of Black School Educators . She has also served as the Director of Urban & Minority Relations for the National School Boards Association and the Director of the Citizens Training Institute of the National Committee for Citizens in Education . Appointed by U.S. President, Jimmy Carter to the National Advisory Council on Continuing Education , she served as Council Chairperson from 1979-1981. She was also chosen by the educators of Ebony Magazine as one of the "50 Leaders of the future" in 1979.
Dr. Kuykendall is truly a gifted and gracious public speaker. She has spoken on 4 continents (North America, Europe, Africa and Australia) and is considered by many to be one of the most powerful, dynamic and inspiring speakers in the world, giving over 100 speeches annually. Her audiences laugh, cry and experience an incredible array of emotions as she weaves her magic behind a microphone. Audiences connect instantly with her high energy, charm, charismatic delivery and moving messages. She not only develops effective leaders but she facilitates self-analysis and inspires personal and organizational change, growth and powerful results. It doesn't matter who she addresses -- cafeteria workers or CEOs, educators or entrepreneurs, private or public employees, youth or senior citizens -- the results are the same and she receives thundering standing ovations wherever she goes. Her speeches reflect her own unique background replete with personal victories and many professional responsibilities.
Dr. Kuykendall has been exemplary in leadership, public service and corporate success. She has served on the Board of Directors of Health Power, Inc. She also served on the Advisory Board of the Congressional National Youth Leadership Conference , the Education Task Force of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Social Change, the National Youth Leadership Conference and the National Education Task Force. Most recently she served on the Board of Directors of the Maryland Mentoring Partnerships and the Board of Directors of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Chesapeake Maryland . Currently, she serves as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Henry C. Gregory III Family Life Center Foundation of Washington, DC.
In over 25 years of experience and service delivery, she has received over 300 plaques, awards, citations, certificates and "Keys to the City". She has also received numerous tributes and commendations for her efficacy in facilitating personal and professional empowerment, problem resolution and organizational growth.
Author of Developing Leadership for Parent/Citizen Groups in 1976, Dr. Kuykendall also authored Improving Black Student Achievement through Improving Self Image in 1987 and a motivational calendar for parents, You and Yours: Making the Most of this School Year (1987 and 1989). Her well lauded book, From Rage to Hope: Strategies for Reclaiming Black and Hispanic Students was first published in 1992. In May 2004, the second edition of this "timeless treasure" and national bestseller was published. Her unique character development guide and planner , Dreaming of a P.H.A.T. Century, continues to be extolled by winners of all ages.
In 1989, Dr. Kuykendall incorporated her company, Kreative and Innovative Resources for Kids (K.I.R.K.). Through the company she has provided long term technical assistance and consulting services to numerous national and international clients. She is also Adjunct Faculty at Strayer University in Washington, DC Campus.
Mother of 3 daughters and a son, Dr. Kuykendall has also been a H.O.S.T.S. Mentor (Help One Student to Succeed) since 1996 and continues to be a school and church volunteer. One of her daughters, Rasheki M. Kuykendall Walker, received the 2005-2006 Milken Family Foundation National Educator of the year Award.
Bringing Out the Best in Everybody
Certainly, in today's competitive society, individuals are encouraged to do all they can to improve and empower themselves ----- and this is great! However, Crystal believes that while there is much joy in personal accomplishment, there is commensurate joy in being of benefit, even service to others who really need the goodwill we have to offer. If you are in a position to impact another life, directly or indirectly through professional endeavors, Crystal is able to provide you with the inspiration, insight and ability to fulfill your own life through endeavors to enrich other lives. If you have never thought of outreach, Crystal will inspire you to do so.
Principles of Effective Leadership
Hopelessness is one of the most pervasive illnesses in society. Crystal helps those "Merchants of Hope" who receive this message to move past obstacles, differences, diversity, and other restraints. Through this message individuals will learn to impact positively the lives of others, restore hope and renew lives. Those who work with youth will be moved by her countless professional tests and triumphs. Crystal defines what leadership really is. Her incredible acumen and understanding of others has allowed her to live the principles she espouses and has shared successfully with numerous audiences.
Author of the book, Developing Leadership for Parent Citizen Groups in 1976, Crystal has provided insight on how to transform oneself from mediocrity in management to laudable results as a leader for over 2 decades. Selected by the editors of Ebony Magazine as one of the "50 Leaders of the Future" in 1979, and the youngest person to serve as Chairperson of a US President's National Advisory Council on Continuing Education (1979-81), Crystal shares her insight on using leadership to resolve problems and to facilitate organizational development. In addition, she provides insight on issues of diversity, time management, stress management, and the dynamics of change.
Winning Women at Work
A working woman since her teen years, Crystal has gleaned a depth of understanding and appreciation for the challenges facing women of all races and backgrounds in the workplace. She has helped thousands of women transform, empower and enrich their lives as working women, loving Moms and unforgettable wives and family members. President and General Counsel of her own firm since 1989, she is also a practicing attorney (Juvenile Justice) who has continued to exemplify the winning attitude she helps others develop. Importantly, Crystal facilitates in others the desire and ability to network, mentor and maximize the resources available to them, making most encounters with others "win-win" in every way -- especially for women who want the most and men who marvel at their wonders.
From Rage to Hope
A firm believer that "educating everyone takes everyone", Crystal has a message for all who are concerned about the proliferation of violence in today's society, drug abuse, drop out rates, teen pregnancy, suicide and youth alienation. In addressing so very effectively the causes of youth rage, Crystal provides insight on dispute resolution, conflict management and mediation. Importantly, she is able to inspire all to be more proactive in abating some of the challenges facing today's youth.
"Getting Peace, Happiness Affection: Triumphs with Daily 'CPR'.
"Who doesn't want a fulfilling, productive life? We are in constant pursuit of ways to make things better, unless we have been bitten by the "rut" bug. Crystal has learned through some seriously debilitating setbacks and personal tragedies how to overcome and achieve against all odds. She evokes humor and tears in facilitating the fortitude necessary to make life truly worth living. Her insight on human bonding, relations, obstacle abatement and 'CPR' are inspired.
Professor of Psychology and Senior Scientist of the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being
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