Sharif El-Mekki on the Power of Black Educators

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Sharif El-Mekki is the founder and CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development, which is focused on revolutionizing education by dramatically increasing the number of Black educators. “People are naive enough to think that once you enter a school, racial bias disappears,” says El-Mekki. “If a Black child has a Black teacher, they have a higher sense of belonging, they’re less likely to be suspended or expelled. They have more access to rigorous courses, higher attendance, better grades.”

El-Mekki sees the work as a form of activism. “Educational justice and racial justice are connected and cannot be separated,” he stresses. Join us to learn more about a truly different approach to equity in the classroom and beyond.

This episode is part of Add Passion and Stir’s ongoing series Rebuilding which connects with leaders from across media, restaurants, education, government, and beyond to learn how they’re reimagining and redesigning their industries to make sure everyone feels a sense of belonging.

Resources and Mentions:

Sharif El-Mekki

Founder and CEO
Sharif El-Mekki is the Founder and CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development. The Center exists to ensure there will be equity in the recruiting, training, hiring, and retention of quality educators that reflect the cultural backgrounds and share common socio-political interests of the students they serve.  

The Center for Black Educator Development

The Center for Black Educator Development exists to ensure there will be equity in the recruiting, training, hiring, and retention of quality educators that reflect the cultural backgrounds and share common socio-political interests of the students they serve. The Center is developing a nationally relevant model to measurably increase teacher diversity and support Black educators through four pillars: Professional learning, Pipeline, Policies and Pedagogy. So far, the Center has developed ongoing and direct professional learning and coaching opportunities for Black teachers and other educators serving students of color. The Center also carries forth the freedom or liberation school legacy by hosting a Freedom School that incorporates research-based curricula and exposes high school and college students to the teaching profession to help fuel a pipeline of Black educators.  

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