Andre Zarate (him/them/siya) - House of Legends, The Z Factor, LLC, 228 Accelerator

Queering the Classroom: Centering TGNCNB Youth

Through the Equity X Design Framework, we are going to take a critical look at the idea of belonging that builds a brave space for all children, but centering TGNCNB Youth. We will discuss what it means to design at the margins, what a transformative classroom looks like, what transformative environments look like, and co-create & co-design with youth. 


Andre is a Mount Vernon, New York native passionate about making sure LGBTQ+ youth of color have spaces to dream and imagine. He is an educator, leader, innovator, and edupreneur, who spent the last ten years mostly in Chicago, IL, but also New York, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia. He is the founder of House of Legends, a dream space that centers on healing and the needs of students of color who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community through imagination, dreaming, arts, literacy, and healing. The Z Factor, LLC focuses on inclusive and brave education for LGBTQ+ youth. Over his career, he has won multiple awards for excellence in teaching and culturally responsive practices including Illinois State Teacher of the Year Finalist in 2016 and Teach for America Chicago's Alumni Excellence in Teaching Award in 2018. Andre holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies with a minor in Urban Education from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012. The following year, he received his Master of Science in Elementary Education from the Graduate School of Education at UPenn. Immediately after, he joined Teach for America Chicago-Northwest Indiana in 2013. Andre is finishing his doctoral program in Educational Leadership also with the Graduate School of Education at UPenn in 2024.