Ebony Murphy-Root is a literacy advocate, an erstwhile prep and Catholic schoolgirl, and an instructor of developmental English at Capital Community College in downtown Hartford. She has served since 2011 on the board of the Hartford Friends and Enemies of Wallace Stevens, a nonprofit organization formed to promote the literary arts and preserve the cultural legacy of the longtime capital city resident and poet.  At age 13 she earned a black belt on the second try after training for eight years with Sa Bom Joseph Devita in Fairfield County.

During her senior year at UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences she presented her work “Supporting Undergraduate Speakers of African American Vernacular English in the Writing Center” in Hershey, PA, at the International Writing Centers Association National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing.  She earned a BA in English and African American studies with a minor in women’s studies and a certificate in creative writing studying under Doug Anderson, Marilyn Nelson, Gina Barreca, Noel Cazenave, Evelyn Simien and Jeff Ogbar.  After college she served as a GED instructor to pregnant and parent teens in Springfield, MA, and supplemented her $12/hr salary by folding t-shirts at the Gap.

For two and half years she worked with youth in DCF care as a group home case manager at a full-scale social services agency.  During this time she enrolled in graduate level women’s studies courses at Southern CT State, making the drive to New Haven two or three times a week.

She has since taught composition and literature at Watkinson School, Capital Preparatory Magnet School, Jumoke Academy, and Goodwin College.  In 2009 she was a fellow of the Collegiate School Teaching Institute, a partnership with the Faculty Diversity Search, designed to prepare aspiring and beginning teachers of color for the unique culture of independent schools.  Particularly interested in the intersections of education, culture, literacy, gender, and politics, in 2010 she completed an MA in Curriculum and Instruction at UConn’s Neag School of Education where she studied media literacy and centered her action research on the efficacy of suburban onsite high school alternative programs. 
Ebony is a graduate of the Women's Campaign School at Yale and in spring of 2012 won a scholarship in support of that endeavor from the CT chapter of National Organization for Women.  She will begin doctoral work in educational leadership this summer at Central Connecticut State University where she hopes to identify traits of academic resiliency in working class black girls whose ancestors moved north in the Great Migration.

Ebony is a former high school track star, a future yogi, and the daughter of a Teamster truck driver.  You will usually find her dented Bimmer filled with books and parked in Asylum Hill, right across the street from Mark Twain’s and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s historic homes.  Available for one-on-one writing and literacy enrichment sessions tailored to a wide range of learning style, Ebony is also a dynamic speaker skilled in facilitating authentic group discussions and community conversations.

The Real Ms. Murphy will feature responses to current events in education reform, pop culture, Black Twitter, and more. 

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