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Meet Dr. Kem

My purpose is to demonstrate how education and validation can heal and transform.


I am the al-Kem-ist. By definition, an alchemist is someone who transforms things for the better.


I've learned about alchemy as a first-generation college student, a first-generation educator, a first-generation author and advice columnist, and a first-generation doctorate. I’ve mastered the process of taking a humble beginning and reaching goals. 


Black women in America have a difficult plight, and many have succumbed to the pressures of the myth of meritocracy. My purpose is to demonstrate how education and validation can heal and transform. I have learned that when we are willing to embrace learning new things, we can find what we need to honor our ancestors while building a legacy for the next generation.


Every book I write, talk that I give, and event that I facilitate is focused on helping my sisters connect powerfully with their authentic selves.


Right now, I am standing on the shoulders of women unable to walk in their power. I coach, teach, and educate because I want to impact women who need to find their joy powerfully. I want to help people transform their lives for the better. In the words of Beyonce, “We have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.” 


Speaker. Author. Transformational Life Coach. Artist.

Dr. Kem Smith is Chalkbeat’s first advice columnist for teachers.

Learn more about Dr. Kem in her interview with Voyage STL.

School is in session with teacher and advice columnist Dr. Kem Smith

Interview with Dr. Kem on the Own Your Now Show

A Missouri high school teacher's advice column helps celebrate students — 'and ourselves'


McCluer North’s Dr. Kem Smith offers gems of advice for teachers

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