Dionna Latimer-Hearn is originally from Middletown, OH and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in French Studies from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Following the completion of her degree she worked for the French Embassy as an English Language Instructor in Montargis, France. She completed her Master of Arts Degree in Speech-Language Pathology at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She has served as a multilingual speech-language pathologist and educational consultant since 2002, holding positions in Illinois, Japan, Maryland and Texas. She currently works as an educational consultant and continuing education provider in support of a number of organizations in the US and abroad.
Dr. Latimer-Hearn received her Doctor of Philosophy Degree with distinction in Instructional Leadership for Changing Populations at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore, MD. She is the inaugural recipient of the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing (NBASLH) Clinician of the Year Award. Dr. Latimer-Hearn is also a recipient of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Minority Dissertation Fellowship Award, the World Education Research Association (WERA) Innovative Poster Award and the CREATE Doctoral Scholarship. She has presented her research on African American English at more than a dozen conferences including: the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, World Education Research Association World Congress, and American Educational Research Association Conference. Dr. Latimer-Hearn is the author of the book Unexpected Places, and is the founder and director of REACT Initiative, a Christian nonprofit organization that promotes equity in education for historically marginalized populations. She is the founder and administrator of Respect the Dialect an online community promoting awareness and understanding of the African American English dialect. She is also the founder and host of The Culture We Speak, a podcast examining the intersection of culture, language, and education.