Dr. Tameka ellington


Dr. Tameka Ellington-CEO/Founder of the 1st Generation Revolutionaries Movement-is a Professional Development Strategist & Personal Growth Expert for first generation college students & young professionals.  She is author of Make Fear Your Superpower, a witty and real memoir that speaks to the inner courage that we all possess. Dr. Tameka helps individuals increase their confidence and realize the power that they have inside. Her mantra is, “Revolutionize your thinking!” 

Dr. Tameka started out her career as a fashion designer working for large corporations such as Abercrombie and Fitch. After, several years of working in the fashion industry, she had a calling to teach. She has served as a Fashion Design Professor/Scholar for Kent State University for 15 years; and has had the honor of serving as Director for Diversity Initiatives for a team of over 1,800 people (faculty, staff and students). Dr. Tameka has mentored hundreds of first generation college students and high school students.

Dr. Tameka is an internationally known scholar|educator and  has received many awards and recognitions for her work including her most recent: 2019 First Generation Advocate Award, 2018 Ohio Board of Trustees banquet awarded hosted by KSU’s Provost Diacon, 2017 Alumni Legacy Award, The Alumni Legacy Award is given annually to recognize an alumnus for their distinguished contributions and extraordinary service in the areas of diversity and social justice, the 2016 Distinguished Faculty Service Award for her dedication to the advancement of her students and colleagues, and the 2015 Award for Outstanding Leadership in Student Access, Recruitment Retention and Success. 

Dr. Tameka's speaker sheet


1st Generation Revolutionaries™ is a national platform dedicated to the advancement and professional development of 1st generation college students. Services are rendered through motivational keynote addresses, consulting, training, and mentoring. The goal of this campaign is to equip future revolutionaries with spiritual fulfillment, mentorship, authentic camaraderie and networking. A 1st generation student is someone who is the first person to graduate from college in their family.  

keynote topics


 First-generation college students come equipped with fear, impostor syndrome and struggles that others don’t have to face. However, first-generation people have a tenacity and resilience that I refer to as their “fire.” That First-Gen Fire is unmatched! As a first-generation student, I know this all too well. It is a constant battle on the inside of our minds. According to verywellfamily.com. 5 of the biggest challenges are 1) lack of knowledge about the college experience, 2) guilt, 3) finances and social life, 4) support from home, and 5) fitting in on campus [and/or corporate environments]. The National Association of Colleges and Employers list common barriers for first gen students are low self-efficacy, feelings of not belonging/impostor syndrome and simply a lack of a professional network. “During the session the audience will have an amazing experience finding and /or recharging their fire and reframing their mindset. Tools that will be offered are:

  • A recognition and deconstruction of their impostor syndrome
  • A better understanding their potential
  • A better understanding of how to use their talents
  • Self-esteem building
  • Self-efficacy building
  • Methods for dealing with external criticism and unsupportive family/friends
  • Methods for “fanning the fire!” Increase drive and purpose
  • Methods for supporting and networking with other first-generation people


 Most people have villains (circumstances, people, or inner negative thoughts) holding them back from going after their next level in their career and/or personal life. Villains can be crushed, it’s just a matter of changing your perspective and igniting your superpower within. Villains may also negatively affect one’s self-esteem, self-efficacy, empathy, kindness, and passion. The audience will spend an inspirational time pumping up their superpowers while learning skills along the way that will help them:

  • Identify the villain(s)
  • Build self-awareness by asking questions such as, “What do I really want?”
  • Challenge the villain by changing their perspective of the villain
  • Take responsibility for your own development, the villain is ABSOLUTELY not to blame
  • Self-esteem building
  • Self-efficacy building
  • Stretching their empathy to everyone even those who hard to work with people
  • Learning how to display kindness in adverse situations 
  • Learning how to ignite passion toward their goals in a graceful way
  • Develop a game plan to completely crush the villain and move toward career and/or personal goals


 Most of our internal fear is wrapped up in our ego. Fear of successes, failure, humiliation, and even public speaking What is fear anyway! Fear has been explained via the acronym for F.alse E.vidence A.ppearing R.eal by legendary speaker Zig Ziglar. Fear is the stories we tell ourselves about experiences that have not happened. Eric Edmeades (2019) for Mind Valley stated that “Excitement is simply nervousness about something cool. And nervousness is just excitement about something scary.” There are tactics that we can take to revert that energy for fear to fire! During this keynote the audience will learn basics on the psychological and physiological effects of fear and how to use that adrenaline to get activated. During the session we will explore:

  • What is your fear?
  • Where does it come from (childhood, society, ego, etc)?
  • How to break down and deconstruct your fears
  • How to build confidence
  • How to control body language when fearful
  • How to revert the nervous excitement of fear into positive superpower      to help you excel in your professional and personal life


 Any person who is considered underrepresented or marginalized can be a victim of microagressive language and behaviors. “Research has shown that microaggressions, although they're seemingly small and sometimes innocent offenses, can take a real psychological toll on the mental health of their recipients. This toll can lead to anger and depression and can even lower work productivity and problem-solving abilities. Plus, they can affect a work or school environment, making it more hostile and less validating and perpetuate stereotype threat (the fear of confirming existing stereotypes about one's group, which can have a negative impact on confidence and achievement).” (Jenée Desmond-Harris for Vox, 2015). A work environment filled with microaggressive behaviors is an environment that is not performing to it’s peak. It’s an environment where some employees may feel unwelcome. This type of environment should be resolved from the top administration down to the janitorial team. 

Microagressions are deeply rooted into our society, one training session will not erase the hundreds of years that got our society to this point. However, what this training session will do is, help a business/corporation point out those instances, get the team talking about them, and help them learn how to begin to combat those in the future. Ending microagressions is about learning how to have respect for everyone regardless of your societal beliefs. At the end of the training session, a 24X36 contract will be presented to the team. The contract will be visible in the main halls of the business/corporation. All members will sign a contract stating that microagressive language and behaviors are not permitted, people who are victims should report the incidents and administration/management will pledge to provide support. The contract will serve as a promise that the team will hold the utmost respect for ALL team members. During the presentation, the audience will gain knowledge regarding:

  • How to identify microagressive language and behaviors
  • How to respond if you hear/see microagressive language and behaviors directed at a fellow co-workers
  • How to take personal/societal beliefs off the table and strive for a common respect for all members of the team—start the process of becoming OPEN MINDED
  • How to check yourself in the midst of microagressive language and behaviors
  • How to repair relationships that have been affected by microaggressive behaviors 


Dr. Tameka's speech at the retirement gala for Kent State University's  12th President, April 30, 2019

Book Dr. Tameka Ellington

I have 15 + years experience in education and leadership.  I am very dedicated to the development of young professionals. 

YOUR destiny is in your OWN hands. Let me help you ignite your superpower!