La Toya Headshot

LaToya Whitlock

Louisville

Co-Founder and Executive Director, Decode Project

LaToya Whitlock is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit Decode Project, Inc. located in Louisville, Kentucky. LaToya’s dedication to improving the lives of children and families began as a residential counselor in 2001 for young men who were in the care of the state. It was apparent in the over representation of young men of color that there was a need for change within systems, schools, communities, families, and the hearts and minds of individuals that could improve the overall health of our future leaders. 

Since then, LaToya has completed her studies at the University of Louisville in Sociology. She has held many leadership positions within Louisville community centers, recovery programs, and recently as a school counselor at an independent school. Throughout each venture while providing services, LaToya has felt compelled to dig deeper to examine the source of the disparities and disadvantages that immobilize such a resilient yet marginalized group. Thus, the creation of Decode Project. Decode Project’s mission is to eliminate inequities in education by fostering a diverse community of learners prepared to navigate the world. It was the startling observation of the lack of access of quality literacy resources for students of low-socioeconomic backgrounds, dyslexia, and particularly male students of color that compelled the founding of Decode Project. 

The Decode Project uses a comprehensive approach of working with schools to train and institutionalize best practices that are cross-culturally inclusive and supportive of ALL students. D.P. pairs future educators using a researched-based method with students with symptoms of dyslexia or a dyslexia diagnosis. Students and families qualifying for free or reduced lunch are provided with resources that can positively their life trajectory at little to no cost. The goal is to assist students in learning to read so that they can read to learn.