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Derrick Jakolby Washington is an innovative, insightful, and ambitious leader with over 16 years of local government, higher education and nonprofit leadership experience. He considers himself to be a, “people builder,” aiming to empower others with the skills needed to improve their quality of life and be successful. As an accomplished author, Washington has captivated young readers with his thought-provoking and inspiring children's books. His commitment to making a positive impact on children's lives is evident in his works, which are filled with messages of hope, inclusion, empowerment and self-worth. In his inaugural book, "Son, You Matter," Washington takes readers on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance.
Through relatable characters and heartfelt storytelling, he emphasizes the importance of recognizing one's worth and embracing one's unique qualities. This book has received critical acclaim for its ability to instill confidence and resilience in young readers, while addressing inequities in policing in communities of color. Washington tackles these injustices head on and offers a springboard for relevant discussion around these injustices for readers. Washington's second book, "A Special Little Girl," is a heartwarming tale that celebrates diversity and inclusivity. Through the story of a young girl with unique abilities, Washington promotes acceptance and understanding, encouraging children to embrace differences and appreciate the beauty of individuality. Written as an ode to his niece, Zyion, Washington states that he wrote the book, “to remind my niece and all little children that learn “differently” that they are seen, valued, important and loved.” Beyond his writing endeavors, Washington serves on several boards and community organizations. He is the founder of Friends of Zyion, a national non-profit organization that provides educational resources and support to children of color and their caretakers that have been diagnosed with autism or other neurodiverse disorders. Through this initiative, Washington has been able to positively impact the lives of countless children, giving them access to supportive services, resources and educational opportunities that they may not have otherwise had. Washington's passion for inspiring and motivating others extends beyond his books. As a motivational speaker, he harnesses his leadership experience to inspire audiences of all ages to pursue their dreams and reach their full potential. Additionally, Washington hosts "Storytime with Uncle Kolby," a popular online program where he engages children with his captivating storytelling, fostering a love for reading and learning. As an advocate for black authors, Washington founded the Black Author Experience (BAE), an event that aims to showcase the talents and achievements of black authors. This platform provides opportunities for authors to connect with readers, encouraging diversity and representation in literature. Through his efforts, Washington has created a space for black authors to be recognized and celebrated for their contributions to the literary world. In addition to his literary and community involvement, Washington is the Executive Director of ArtStream, a nonprofit organization that uses the arts to empower individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As the ED of ArtStream, Washington has successfully led the organization in its mission to provide inclusive arts programs, giving individuals with disabilities a platform to express themselves creatively and build self-confidence. Derrick Jakolby Washington is not only a talented author but also a dedicated leader and advocate for positive change in the community. Through his writing, his community involvement, and his commitment to inclusivity, he has made a lasting impact on the lives of children and individuals of all ages. His innovative and insightful approach continues to inspire and empower others, making him a role model for aspiring authors and leaders alike.
Derrick Jakolby Washington
Driven by his extensive work in Human and Social Services, Washington considers himself to be a “people builder,” aiming to empower others with the skills needed to improve their quality of life and be successful.
We encourage young Black boys and Black girls to embrace themselves with his innovative and insightful books.
Friends of Zyion is a national nonprofit that seeks to positively transform the lives of children of color diagnosed with autism or other neurodivergent disorders, and those that care for them, through providing resources, services and collaborative partnerships.
- Our Testimonials -
What The Parents Say
-Alexa Young, CA-
"His books ignites interest in my kids, fostering their passion for reading and creating captivating tales that captivate them with delight and delight. I appreciate you fostering their passion for reading."
"His books are some amazing that they became our go-to source for quality storytelling and educational content. In his books, there is always something new and exciting for my kids to explore."
"I would highly recommend his children's book to all parents out there! The engaging narratives and colorful illustrations have turned reading time into a cherished family ritual. It's truly a treasure trove for young readers!"