Disruptive and conduct disorder diagnosis bias and the school to prison pipeline: Creative and compassionate interventions for BIPOC children


Shaquita Starks, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, with Miranda Kyle, curator

Additional collaborators

Mr. Totem is an Atlanta-based, world-renowned graffiti artist and muralist. He specializes in large-scale community-themed murals, including multiple 200-foot neighborhood wall commissions by various cities in Georgia. Chamblee contracted him to enhance a dull, lifeless corridor with his artwork that celebrated the spirit of the community as well as the city’s centennial anniversary. The Chosewood Park Neighborhood Association also commissioned him to paint a mural that accurately depicted the community.

Mr. Totem acknowledges that his art is greatly impacted by environment. He paints murals based on the people, residents and spirit of a community. He has an innate understanding of place and is highly adept at translating the essence and individuality of a certain locale. As a self-employed muralist for the last three decades, he is also an incredibly efficient painter with many years of experience. Mr. Totem brings this unique talent and experience to each commission, captivating the imaginations of viewers and producing artwork that leaves a lasting impression.

Mr. Totem continues to elevate graffiti as an art form and bring street art to the mainstream. Personally he strives to push the limits of his style and his abilities in each and every composition. As American born street art and graffiti art continue to gain global notoriety, Mr. Totem is proud that his own community has integrated this emerging art form as part of its appeal to younger generations and businesses.

His corporate clients include Adidas, Cartoon Network, Google, Macy’s, Popeyes, Red Bull, Reebok, The Coca-Cola Company and Sony among others.

Sometimes operating under the nom de plume “Cole Only”, Antar K. Fierce was born and raised in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn New York in 1971. When Hip Hop was coming into its own in the late 1970s, Fierce was there to experience and witness it as it swept in from uptown. In 1985 Fierce took an interest in the elaborate highly stylized writings on the New York City subway and began documenting, collecting, and archiving it. He relocated to Atlanta Georgia in 1989 to attend Clark Atlanta University. Upon arriving in Atlanta, he quickly noticed this same brand of writing already arrived there. Not just on public walls, painted by local artists, but it was also starting to appear on the freight trains that passed by the Clark Atlanta University campus and traveled all over the North American continent. He immediately took out his camera and began documenting. After graduating with a B.A. in History, Fierce entered the workforce. He spent the next 20 years in the corporate sector as a Training Instructor and Customer engagement manager. In 2015 He joined 4 friends and co-founded the Right Track Program which is an educational organization that uses the traditional Hip Hop disciplines to inspire creativity for learners of all ages. With his work at The Right Track Program Fierce realized it was his calling to combine his passion for training with his experience in graffiti art. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Creative and Innovative Education at Georgia State University. His goal is to advance the idea that creativity, art and technology can work together to include authentic learning and equity and ensure the educational experience is made so that all people can thrive. Simultaneously, Fierce is working to incorporate the history of graffiti and Hip Hop as a course of study at the college and university level. Antar currently lives in the City of South Fulton, Georgia with his wife and children.

Jennifer Morrison is a sculptor, youth educator and art therapist. She received a Bachelor of Arts in sculpture from Ramapo College of New Jersey and a Master’s of Mental Health Counseling with a Specialization in Art Therapy from Lesley University. As a sculptor Jennifer primarily works in clay and cast metal. Her work focuses primarily on the destigmatization of trauma in our personal narratives. 

As an art therapist Jennifer is focused on working with youth who are experiencing crisis and their families. In her current role as the manager of youth programming and outreach at Decatur Makers Jennifer aids in the professional development of teachers in the Atlanta school system on how to best integrate art-making and a hands on creative process with social and emotional growth among children and teens. On a daily basis Jennifer develops programming for youth that consists of hands on making with a STEAM approach.