Relationships, History & Hip Hop Forestry

Thomas RaShad Easley

Yale School of Forestry and Environment Studies & Easley Branch, LLC

Session & Speaker Overview

Join us for the featured Keynote in an interactive presentation with Dr. Thomas RaShad Easley. Dr. Easley offers a unique take on thinking about diversity, inclusion and the environment. 


Remarkably, Easley is a musician, a forester, a professor, a diversity professional and a pastor. He brings wisdom, heart and soul together in Hip Hop Foresty, a new lens for working in the environment.  


Easley serves as the Assistant Dean of Community and Inclusion in the School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences at Yale University. In this role, he assists with enhancing diversity by promoting access to education for all people, and developing scholarly/relevant programming around workplace equity. 


Before Yale, he served as the Diversity Director of the College of Natural Resources at NC State University for 13 years. In his role as the Diversity Director he taught courses, advised/counseled students, engaged in community activism, and consulted with NC State faculty/staff on programming ensuring they are inclusive to all populations.


Now, as a diversity professional, Easley leverages his background in forestry/genetics/education to teach community workshops, course lectures, and provide diversity facilitation through his role with Yale, as well as in his own diversity consulting practice, Easley Branch, LLC. 


Easley credits his experience as an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, which might have something to do with his love of nature and his decision to become a forester. Dr. Easley studied Forest Science at Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University and received his master’s degree in forest Genetics from Iowa State University. He went on to earn a doctorate in Adult Education. 


Known as RaShad Eas in the world of music, his art is called “Save Your Life Music” because he puts a message of love, embracing self and helping others in his music.


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