Meet Brandi Heather - A World-Class Educator and Speaker
Brandi is a world-class educator and speaker who utilizes the power of play to help organizations navigate diversity, inclusion, communication, self-care and mental health using play as a catalyst for change.
Brandi utilizes the power of play to navigate diversity, inclusion, change management, self-care, and mental and physical health. She reveals how play is the catalyst to igniting and developing innovation and productivity and the foundation of moving from diversity to belonging.
“People and organizations that can play in both times of challenge and success will flourish because they have learned how to build from the unexpected and unknown, a skill built first in play.”
Once upon a time there was a girl, who’s childhood was full of mud pies and leaf soup, snow castles, sawdust and swings. This girl believed very much that anything was possible and spent much of her time in imagining worlds filled with magic and mystery.
As she grew up people told her that “life was not a fairy tale” and “in the real world it was different”, and she started to believe this was true. No matter how she painted the picture it wasn’t always complete.
The girl longed to change the script, and so she became a “teacher”. She earned a Bachelor of Education in Physical Education and Special Education and a master’s degree in Physical Education, building inclusive physical education for at risk youth experiencing homelessness and children living with disabilities and illness. For over 20 years she taught thousands of students at the college and university level, professionals, families and children of all ages and abilities the value of inclusion, most often by helping them find first the value in themselves.
She was often considered the quirky college professor who taught the “soft subjects” among the fit and fearless expert coaches, exercise physiologists, and anatomy instructors. She was known for showing up to a class with carts full of rubber chickens and fish and using playdough and plaster to teach kinesiology concepts and human connection. She thrived in spaces where people didn’t quite fit, because her goal was not to make every space the same but to find and demonstrate the strength in difference.
She taught the value of difference by creating spaces that invited and celebrated different ways of doing and being. She built programs in community that taught families, with children of all abilities, the value of movement and play. Together with friends and community she created spaces where people said “this is where I can be my best self”.
She realized that her tool kit for change was built on finding and growing people’s connection to play and completed her Advanced Play Therapy Training in 2017.
Believing she could reach more people, create greater change, she left college teaching and created a business where she could share her work with more people. She founded a company in 2017 called AMPED2PLAY that allowed her to grow and build her reach.
She speaks locally and internationally on the power of play for growing from diversity to inclusion in all levels of education, business and healthcare.
She is changing the way we experience the world, people and spaces that are different from our lens, our experience, background and expectations. She is a champion for those who feel they just don’t fit. She creates spaces where difference is acknowledged and celebrated.