Ohio Human Trafficking 2017 NBC4i Interview


Human Trafficking Awareness

Human Trafficking Awareness

Ohio Human Trafficking Awareness Day at the Ohio StateHouse was more than amazing. Organized by State Representative Teresa Fedor, this event brought together advocates, survivors, educators, students and more. I was especially honored to be interviewed by Elyse Chengery of NBC4i



April in the Carolinas w/ Claflin and NC A & T

I was hosted by Claflin University Calabash, the Freshman College and the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center on April 5th. I performed my OneWomanShow on campus, and gave a talk later at the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center in the evening “Black Women and Girls’ Lives Matter”. Many thanks to Cynthia Duncan Joseph for recommending me!
claflin aud


On April 14th and 15th I was hosted by North Carolina A & T and its REMBA Conference. On the evening of the 14th I gave a talk, read excerpts from PHD to PhD and did a book signing. On the 15th I performed to a great audience at the REMBA conference. It was truly a blessing to be received with so much love. Many thanks to Pam Moye, Dr. Tyra Turner-Whittaker and Dr. Geleana Drew Alston for the opportunity to perform in the midst of healing vibrations!

PHD to Ph.D TedXOhioStateUniversity

PHD to PhD TedXOhioStateUniversity

Interview on Milwaukee’s Morning Blend w/ Dr. E

Check out my interview on Milwaukee’s Morning Blend 

Marquette University and Milwaukee

An amazing visit to Milwaukee, Marquette University, True Skool, and a wonderful interview on the Morning Blend. Great audience, students, community gathered around my story of human trafficking and healing through love and education. #phdtophd #humantrafficking #recovery #education #love #grateful

We are coming out of the shadows!

What a wonderful email message I received. I met this beautiful person after one of my PHD to PhD OneWomanShows. I am removing the name for privacy reasons. Confirmation that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing:
Dr. E,
I hope you’re well! My name’s ___. I’ve attached our correspondence from 2014 to this email. I wrote to you in 2014 to let you know how much your book inspired me, because I was also a drug addict and sex worker who got clean and started college in recovery. Well, would you believe it – three years later and I am studying at Yale University where was accepted last year. I just started my second semester. I think it would be so cool to get a PhD and become an expert in my field just like you. I mean, I certainly was an expert in that other stuff back in the day. Haha. I hope you are well and take care, Dr. E!

Champion Middle School Columbus, OH

It was truly amazing being with the girls of Champion Middle School yesterday. Putting in time with our youth is an excellent investment.Champion Middle School

12631494_582980271849117_7910496835219213199_n. ‪#‎blackgirlmagic‬ ‪#‎ittakesavillage‬ ‪#‎phdtophd‬

Tremendous Thank You Lane CollegeJacksonTN

Give thanks to Ms. Ameera Graves and Lane College of Jackson, TN for inviting me to speak and perform on a warm Wednesday in October! Memories I will cherish. The inspiration really worked both ways. I will carry these new friends in my heart.

Cleveland Catholic Diocese Bridging Racial Divide

Speaking for Cleveland Catholic Diocese

Speaking for Cleveland Catholic Diocese

It was an honor to present my work on Racism Against Black Women and Girls at this conference on October 10, 2015.

Columbus Zonta-Human Trafficking Awareness w Dr. E

Speaking for the Zonta Club of Columbus for their September Advocacy Event focusing on Saving our Adolescents from Human Trafficking.

Guest Speaker for Antioch Prison Ministry

Thanks to Reverend Mylion Waite for inviting me to speak at Antioch Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio on Sunday June 28th, 2015.  This has got to be one of the best comments I’ve ever received:

‘Several people have asked  ”what are the three qualities or criterion that pimps looked for in a woman.”  I remember you said, low self esteem, someone who needed to be loved, but can’t remember the third.  You need to know, that people can’t stop talking about what they heard.  The conversation at the Monday night Bible study was all about Dr. E and her story. and not the book of Romans.  The conversation at the Book club, which should have been Toni Morrison’s God Help the  Child –instead, turned into an hour discussion about Dr. E and her story –no one minded that our agendas were changed.  That is how powerful your story and delivery were.’
I am beyond encouraged!

May 2015 Women’s Empowerment & Single Parents

Two conferences in May 2015
Indigo Life Women’s Empowerment Conference in Cordele, Georgia and Single Parents Conference in Gary, Indiana
Meeting women from places such as Barbados, New Jersey, Georgia, New York, the Women’s Conference, organized by Dr. Alicia Ritchey provided the rare opportunity to share information, inspiration, and encouragement. Still powered up from those vibrations I performed my OneWomanShow the following day at the Single Parents Conference hosted by Ivy Tech College, Purdue University and several community organizations, thanks to Akili Shakur for the opportunity. #LovingThisJourney #PHDtoPhD

Cal State Fullerton Hip Hop Symposium

Thanks to the English and African American Studies Departments for inviting me to present “Hip Hop Generation Mutha Werk: Chipping Away at the Culture of Disrespect of Black Womanhood with Wrecks”








Columbus CitySceneMagazine March 2015 Party!


E w Garth Bishop, Editor

E w Garth Bishop, Editor





E with Stephanie Steele

E with Stephanie Steele

E with Monique

E with Monique

PHD to Ph.D. @ U of Wisconsin Stevens Point


Professor Dishes Out Emotion at Soul Food Dinner

Posted by: Emily Showers February 26, 2015

Dr. Elaine Richardson went from living in the ghetto to receiving her Ph.D from Michigan State University.

Richardson specializes in linguistic education and human ecology at Ohio State University and is an expert in linguistic diversity. At the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Black Student Union’s 22nd Annual Soul Food Dinner, Richardson delivered an emotional account of events that lead up to her passion for linguistic diversity.

Richardson wrote PHD to Ph.D: How Education Saved my Life” which she described as an urban educational memoir. PHD is slang for,”poor ho on dope.”

Richardson's book entitled "PHD to Ph.D: How Education Saved My Life." Photo courtesy of amazon.com.

Richardson’s book entitled “PHD to Ph.D: How Education Saved My Life.” Photo courtesy of amazon.com.

“My book talks about how I was addicted to street life, and how I could have died a million times,” Richardson said.

Between age 13 and 24, Richardson worked with four different pimps and felt like she could not escape street life.

In her early twenties, Richardson was arrested over 200 times. Her life began to change through involvement with Project Second Chance, an organization which helped sexually exploited girls and women get off the streets and receive an education.

Richardson was with the program, but failed many times to do what she was told in order to succeed. It was not until Richardson’s second child was born, she realized she had change.

“I didn’t want to go back to that life,” Richardson said. “I felt like I was going to get killed or kill myself.”

When Richardson enrolled at Cleveland State University, she began to discover her culture because she learned about Creole language and black dialect. She gained confidence and before she knew it, she received A’s in her classes, tutored students with black and Asian dialects and was graduating.

Richardson became empowered and knew she was going to make an impact in people’s lives. After graduation, she continued to grow and discovered her own self-worth through working with Dr. Geneva Smitherman, director of the African American Language and Literacy Program at Michigan State University.

Dr. Elaine Richardson. Photo courtesy of syracuse.com

Dr. Elaine Richardson. Photo courtesy of syracuse.com

Richardson wrote her memoir because she knew many people who did not believe in their own self-worth and thought an education was unobtainable.

Dr. Mary Weems, Richardson’s colleague and former Poet Laureate of Cleveland Hights, cried when she read the manuscript.

“I thought of all the women I’d encountered during my life who’d died there,” Weems said. “As one of the first to read the manuscript, I knew immediately, not only did this book belong out in the world, but that once it was, it would change lives.”

Richardson has plenty of advice for students. She said a person must invest in themselves to reach their full potential.

“What I mean by that is you got to fill your head with good thoughts about yourself,” Richardson said.

Investing in oneself includes not being surrounded by negative people. Richardson advocated losing self-hating or limiting thoughts and replacing them with a passion.

“You got to reprogram your mind,” Richardson said. “Learn as much as you can about the things you love that motivate you.”

Rika Calvin, president of the Black Student Union, heard about Richardson through her adviser Madam Beverley David who attended Richardson’s talks.

“I feel like students of every ethnicity and background can relate to her,” Calvin said.

Akua Duku, Richardson’s colleague and associate professor at Arizona State University, said Richardson has an almost spiritual understanding of the individuals she interacts with.

“She has the insights of the troubles that people can experience, and how they can overcome them,” Duku said.

Richardson has spoken at prisons, high schools, women’s groups and human trafficking conferences. She said it is rewarding because it touches the attendees souls.

“I’m telling my story to all kinds of people who may not have been in human trafficking, may not be black, may not be a woman, may not have been raped or on drugs,” Richardson said. “But, there’s something deeper, something spiritual, that causes pain and growth in our spirits that links our stories together.”


Emily Showers

Pointlife Editor


PHD to Ph.D. @ Howard and Morgan State

It was so cold in the BMV! But hearts were warm for PHD to Ph.D!  #GiveThanks to Drs. Teresa Redd and Dana Williams for hosting my visit to Howard University and their Barnes and Noble Bookstore.

Howard University

Howard University




Thanks To Dr. Monique Akassi, Dr. Dolan Hubbard and Dean Pamela Scott-Johnson for hosting me at Morgan State University.

S Ann Morgan State

Morgan State University

Morgan State University

Interview w/ 92Q Baltimore DJ KiKi Brown


One On One w/ Dr. Elaine Richardson [Audio]

14SaturdayFeb 2015

Featured Image -- 871

I received an email from fellow RadioChickRocks alum, media chick, Felicia Haney (BeechStreet) asking if I would be available for an interview with a woman she thought was amazing and inspiring. Her name is Dr. Elaine Richardson and she is currently promoting her third book “PHD to Ph.D: How Education Saved My Life” The title is Po Ho on Dope, and I knew I just had to book this woman!

What was her story? Why did she want to reveal so much? How did she get a PhD AFTER recovering and surviving from drug abuse, prostitution and rape? Oh yeah! I needed to talk to this chick!

I have to say, this was one of the most interestingly funny and touching interview that I ever had in my professional career.

Dr. Elaine Richardson or Dr. “E” is phenomenal and I’m so honored to have had the opportunity to speak to her and get her view on the issues on sex trafficking, prostitution, drug use and growing up in the mean streets of Cleveland, raising two daughters and herself at the same time.


2015 OSU Libraries Women’s History Month


Women's History Month

Women’s History Month


PHD (Po H# on Dope) to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life (Philadelphia: New City Community Press, 2013)
By Dr. Elaine Richardson, Professor, Teaching & Learning Department, The Ohio State University | Author | Recording Artist
March 10, 2015
Thompson Library Room 165

Selected Works by Dr. Elaine Richardson aka “Dr. E”
Richardson, Elaine B. African American Literacies. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Richardson, Elaine B. and Jackson, Ronald L., ed. African American Rhetoric(s): Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2004.

Richardson, Elaine B. Hiphop Literacies. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Richardson, Elaine B. PHD (Po H# on Dope) to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life. Philadelphia: New City Community, 2013.

Jackson, Ronald L. II and Richardson, Elaine B. Understanding African American Rhetoric: Classical Origins to Contemporary Innovations. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Selected Works on Women’s History and Hip Hop Literacies
Brown, Ruth N. Black Girlhood Celebration: Toward a Hip-Hop Feminist Pedagogy. New York: Peter Lang, 2009.

Brown, Ruth N, and Chamara J. Kwakye. Wish to Live: The Hip-Hop Feminism Pedagogy Reader. New York: Peter Lang, 2012.

Durham, Aisha S. Home with Hip Hop Feminism: Performances in Communication and Culture. New York: Peter Lang, 2014.

Hill, Collins P. From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006.

Love, Bettina L. Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South. New York: Peter Lang, 2012.

Richardson, Elaine B. Hiphop Literacies. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Rose, Tricia. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1994.

Rose, Tricia. The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop-and Why It Matters. New York: BasicCivitas, 2008.

Sharpley-Whiting, T D. Pimps Up, Ho’s Down: Hip Hop’s Hold on Young Black Women. New York: New York University Press, 2007.

Strausz, Sté, and Antoine Dole. Fly Girls: Histoire(s) Du Hip-Hop Féminin En France. Vauvert: Au diable Vauvert, 2010.

Survivor Story

Sexual exploitation survivor shares story of self discovery
By Aimee Plante
February 12, 2015 at 11:24 pm
Motivational speaker and educational consultant Elaine Richardson told students at the West campus of her experiences as a prostitute and finding herself through education, with the hope of inspiring viewers to overcome the adversity in their lives.

Richardson has performed her story, which she calls “PHD (Poe Hoe on Dope) to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life,” across the country for more than two years. She said she wants to empower those who have lost hope.

“I think it’s important for people to … break that stereotype of who’s educated and who’s worthy,” she said. “All people should have a chance at life and to fulfill their dreams.”

Through her poverty-stricken childhood and rape, Richardson said she became susceptible to abuse, sexual exploitation and drug addiction.

“Pimps run on three things: ignorance, low self-esteem and a need to be loved,” she said. “And I had all three in spades.”

Since her recovery, Richardson earned a Ph.D. in English and applied linguistics from Michigan State University and published three books. College enrollment provided her the tools necessary to find herself, she said.

“(Education) was my journey to finding who I am and where I came from,” she said. “Not knowing who you are is a part of low self-esteem because, if you don’t know who you are, you don’t value who you are. It was my journey to valuing who I was.”

Richardson said her show’s title thus accurately portrays her journey from a prostitute to a doctor.

“People control you and oppress you by tagging you to this sexual label, so I wanted to break that (assumption),” she said. “You still got to see the humanity of the person, so the title of my story isn’t a contradiction. It’s my journey.”

Niko Popovich, a sociology and English junior who attended the event, said Richardson’s performance taught there is more to a first impression.

“When you meet someone, they can have so much going on in their life,” he said. “Those words that come to your mind when you meet them, that has nothing to do with them as a person. You need to take the second thought because they can have a whole past.”

International Initiatives director Duku Anokye met Richardson through academic circles nearly 20 years ago and brought her motivational performance to ASU to inspire students, she said.

“Her story is very powerful, and having read it and now seen it, it makes it even more powerful,” she said. “Her whole mission in life is to help the people who are in the position that she was in.”

Anokye said she hopes ASU students feel assured by Richardson’s story.

“Take, for example, the students at West campus,” she said. “There are many from the working class, or are first generation, and they don’t always have the motivation or believe in themselves. Her story tells you to believe in yourself and that you can be what you want to be.”

Richardson’s performance should generate dialogue between academics and students, Anokye said.

“I hope we continue this conversation,” she said. “We meet at so many angles to support our students and give them a feeling that they can do it. There are people here to mentor them, be the examples for them and just to continue that work.”

Reach the reporter at aplante@asu.edu or follow @aimeenplante on Twitter.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.

Social Justice Institute Gender and Justice Forum

Thanks to Dr. Rhonda Williams, Director of the Institute for Social Justice at Case Western Reserve University, and Dr. Shannon Lundeen, Director of Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, for inviting me to perform PHD to Ph.D-OneWomanShow and participate in the panel discussion on girls’ traumatic experiences, the juvenile justice system and how we can protect and help our girls. A powerful experience and vision for working together to effect change.

OneWomanShow* @Cleve State Univ- My Hometown!

Perhaps Cleveland is not my hometown anymore because Cleveland blessed and honored me with their presence, gifts and awards! The City Council dubbed me “Docta E the Inspirational Professor.” I stand amazed. Thanks to the English Department, Black Studies, Women’s Studies, Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, and all my former professors, colleagues, the students, friends and community members that came out to support my visit!


Doing Young Teen E

Doing Young Teen E

Beautiful Cleveland House

Beautiful Cleveland State Univ House

My East Tech Family

My East Tech Family

Ashley Gray Benson and Students North Central State College

Ashley Gray Benson and students from North Central State College, Mansfield Ohio[

Louisiana Memories

My first stop was at the Community Book Center in New Orleans, where I was hosted by Sister Vera and Mama J.

Sister Vera

Community Book Center

It was great to do a mentoring session and then a performance of my ONEWOMANSHOW for the LSU education community.

With Ariane Mitchell

Ariane and Dr. E


With Benterah

Emilie and Sarah

With Emilie and Sarah-we connected!

Ken Varner

Grateful to Dr. Ken Varner for hosting me!

LSU Group

With LSU Education grad student group


Cleveland Public Library Rice Branch Book Signing and One Woman Show

with Rhonda Crowder

with Rhonda Crowder

with Kevin "Chill" Heard!

with Kevin “Chill” Heard!






Bev Smith’s African American Women’s Challenge Conference, Pittsburgh

Dr. E-Keynote Speaker for the Luncheon

Dr. E-Keynote Speaker for the Luncheon

Gala Speaker-Iyanla Vanzant with Sheila Baylers

Gala Speaker-Iyanla Vanzant with Sheila Baylers

Ms. Bev Smith, former BET Talk Show host and Conference Organizer

Ms. Bev Smith, former BET Talk Show host and Conference Organizer

With Congresswoman Donna Christensen

With Congresswoman Donna Christensen

With Ms. Bev Smith

With Ms. Bev Smith

Dr. E with Dick Gregory

Dr. E with Dick Gregory

With Georgette Miller, Esq

With Georgette Miller, Esq

With my Sankofa Sister, Nazura

With my Sankofa Sister, Nazura

With Ms. Jean Dowdy

With Ms. Jean Dowdy

New Friends!

New Friends!

Call & Post Juneteenth and Mt. Olivet Baptist Church #phdtophd

A journey of a million miles begins one step at a time! Great weekend! Thanks to the Cleveland Call & Post (Ohio’s oldest and largest African American newspaper) for my performance at their 1st Juneteenth Festival Celebration on June 22nd. Thanks to everyone that came out to support me and have your books signed and for the love! The following day was my first official public book signing in Columbus, Ohio at the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church. I am speechless. My friends showered me with many hugs, well wishes and words of encouragement. Special thanks to my choir director, Willie Barthel and my dear friend Diann Johnson for organizing the signing and for the chocolate cake!

Book Covered Chocolate Cake!

Book Covered Chocolate Cake!

Press Release

Ebony Jeanette
Ebony Jeanette PR
(614) 664-3491

Download Press Release

PHD to PhD: How Education Saved My Life
By Elaine Richardson, Ph.D.

Unapologetic autobiography of struggle and triumph inspiring millions of girls to achieve despite ANY obstacles.

COLUMBUS, OHIO – April, 2013 – PHD to PhD: How Education Saved My Life (Parlor Press/New City Community Press, 2013) is a new gripping, no-holds-barred memoir, that details how education took Dr. Elaine Richardson from being a PHD, or Po Ho on Dope, to getting a real Ph.D.

Focusing on higher education and empowerment, Richardson utilizes her life journey to reach out to those ensnared in hopelessness, those who are where she was. “I really do believe the only reason why God let me live is so I could tell my story,” Richardson explains, “I did things I’m not proud of, but I want somebody to feel like they can make it, too!”

“Education saved my life,” asserts Richardson as she recalls her struggle to return to school and get re-acclimated from a warpath of self-destruction to a life of self-respect and academic achievement. The road was far from easy, but despite obstacles, Richardson propelled her efforts, graduating with undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cleveland State University and earning a doctorate in English from Michigan State University.

While women and youth are among the fastest growing audience for the book, Dr. Elaine Richardson’s message will touch the hearts of all those reaching from darkest corners for a better life.

For more information about PHD to PhD: How Education Saved My Life, please visit www.phdtophd.com or contact Ebony Jeanette PR at 614.664.3491.

About the Author

Dr. Elaine Richardson, Ph.D. aka Dr. E. is Professor of Literacy Studies in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. She focuses on literacy education of African American and African diasporic people, and specializes in critical language and literacy education for social equality. Richardson belongs to a global network of Hiphop activist-educators for social transformation. She founded The Ohio State University Hiphop Literacies Conference and an Afterschool Program for middle school girls in 2011 (currently serving sixth to eighth grade girls). Richardson uses her story of recovery from human trafficking and drugs to becoming an award winning Ph.D., performer and recording artist to motivate others. She has won awards from the National Council of Negro Women, City of Columbus, and Cleveland State University, and other organizations.PHD to PhD: How Education Saved My Life (Parlor Press/New City Community Press, 2013) is now available at Amazon.

For all press related inquiries, contact Ebony Jeanette

 ebonyjeanettepr@gmail.com | 614.664.3491