Tekoa Pouerie is a dedicated and result-driven Certified Implicit/Explicit Bias trainer focused on healing communities by bringing awareness to racial bias ranging from courtrooms to boardrooms.
As a Certified Implicit/Explicit Trainer, Tekoa has trained over 10,000 individuals including judges, trial lawyers, and HR professionals on how to recognize and reduce bias when in the workforce.
She is committed to improving social and racial equity. Her extensive track record in bias training and philanthropy has helped improve the legal interactions with youth of color, create better law enforcement officers, position organizations to increase their knowledge of diversity and inclusion, as well provide monetary resources to communities in need.
Tekoa’s efforts to erase the lines of racial bias began while pursuing her Criminal Justice degree from the University of Central Florida in the early 2000s. As a student, Tekoa was astounded by the shocking criminal statistics and disproportion in sentences of youth of color. Wanting to bring awareness in hopes of lowering these disparities, she began her journey advocating for change by cold calling law enforcement offices, state departments, and local schools. She made it her personal mission to use her voice and background as a means to help others in need.
Her persistent efforts awarded her the opportunity to educate and train on Disproportionate Minority Contact for the Orange County Sheriff's Department and Orlando Police Department. Tekoa developed a unique blend of training that focused on empathy, historical facts, and criminal statistics. Using her own personal experiences as an African American child with parents and other family members incarcerated, she was able to educate law enforcement officers on how to identify their own biased opinions and ultimately change their way of thinking to better serve the local community.
Within a few years, she transitioned from a civil activist to a sought-after certified bias trainer. Tekoa has received the opportunity to speak on this subject matter to over 10,000 criminal justice professionals throughout the Nation. She has been awarded multiple grants totaling $700,000 from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice to provide training for law enforcement, judges, and youth program providers.
To date, Tekoa has trained and worked with the Department of Juvenile Justice, Governor’s State Advisory Committee, National Criminal Justice Training Center, Department of Children and Families, Florida’s Attorney General Office, Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. 92% of those surveyed stated that her training increased their knowledge as it relates to racial bias when serving black communities.
In addition, she has recently trained over 3,000 trial lawyers for the Florida Bar Executive Council on understanding explicit and implicit bias. This training resulted in a new CEU’s curriculum being added to trial lawyers’ catalog of classes to promote diversity and inclusion.
In her latest venture, Tekoa is volunteering her time and efforts to curate an environment of diversity and inclusion throughout the Central Florida hospitality industry. Working with the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, she has developed an assessment to measure bias and inclusion. Her research and training will lead to more people of color and ethnic backgrounds to hold management or higher positions at some of the largest hotel chains in our community.
Outside of her bias training, Tekoa is the Director of Center Advancement at Pace Center for Girls. In her role at this nationally recognized non-profit organization, she is responsible to develop and oversee the execution of Pace’s regional fundraising and development strategies that assists all 20 centers in the state of Florida. Her fundraising contributions help the center meet its long-term revenue goals to help young girls avoid entering the juvenile justice system.
Additionally, she supported Pace's vision to start a movement focused on improving the organization’s cultural awareness of social justice and bias. Tekoa was selected by the organizations Chief Operation Officer to help lead in the creation of framework focused on issues of social justice and bias within the organization. After receiving a certification to conduct Franklin Covey’s Unconscious Bias: Understanding Bias to Unleash Potential she helped to train Pace employees statewide. Her contribution and subject matter expertise have helped Pace create a culture of diversity and inclusion through special programs, funding and leadership focused on issues of social justice.
Educating others is only part of Tekoa's unique skills. She understands that for change to happen, monetary resources must be made available to support the cause. She has helped nonprofit organizations raise over $10 million including Power Promise, Harbor House of Central Florida, and Pace Center for Girls. Her fundraising efforts and development strategies help organizations reach their long- term revenue goals that help change the lives of underserved women, children, and youth.
Tekoa's most important role is being a Mother. Tekoa and her husband Dio Pouerie are rearing two future leaders; Maximus and Bella.
A W A R D S A N D R E C O G N I T I O N
A W A R D S A N D R E C O G N I T I O N
Congressional Recognitions (2011 & 2014)
Sheriff Citation Medal (2012)
Hats off to Success Honoree (2017)
Department of Juvenile Justice Volunteer Award (2019)
Circuit 9 Advisory Board Member (2011 - Appointed by the former D.J.J. Secretary Wansley Waters, Chairwoman from 2018 - 2020)
Mayor of Orlando's Community Investment Panel (2018)
Orange County Mayor's Domestic Violence Commission (2019)