Black Leaders in Education

Black leaders in education make a difference in the lives of students and communities.

Now more than ever, Black students and their families are in need of advocates at the campus level. Black leaders in education are stepping up to meet that call by making positive impacts on the lives of their students, and challenging the status quo. Black educators are a beacon of light for students who often go unseen, and we are happy to shine a light on these leaders for Black History Month.

We would like to introduce you to a few Black educators who are creating positive change in education and their communities.

Pupils listening to their teacher reading in the library

Dominique Lee, CEO, BRICK Education Network

As a Teach for America alumnus, Dominique saw the need for a network that not only provided quality education for Black and Brown children, but resources for their families as well. He founded BRICK – Building Resilient Intelligent Creative Kids – a community education corporation –  in the South Ward area of Newark, New Jersey. The network includes Achieve Community Charter School, a high performing K-8 public charter school and the South Ward Promise Neighborhood which provides essential services and opportunities for the families that call it home.

Naomi Shelton, CEO, National Charter Collaborative

Naomi Shelton is a tireless, passionate advocate for Black and Brown charter schools and leads National Charter Collaborative in the fight for access to quality education. She has an extensive background in the education space, including seven years as the United Negro College Fund’s Director of K-12 Advocacy. Naomi also serves on the Washington D.C. Public Charter School Board.

Schoolgirl Studying In Classroom With Teacher

Erica Buddington, Founder, Langston League

After more than a decade in the classroom, Erica Buddington created the Langston League, a multi-client consultant firm that develops culturally relevant curriculum for school systems, organizations and businesses.

Kurt Russell, History/African-American History Teacher, Oberlin High School, Oberlin, Ohio

For 26 years, Kurt Russell has been a constant in the classrooms of his hometown high school. Mr. Russell was named National Teacher of the Year in 2022 by the Council of Chief State School Officers for his tireless efforts. In his first year at Oberlin, he created an African-American history course and created a Black music history course with a music teacher at the school. He is also the head boys’ basketball coach, guiding the team to a 16-6 record and the Lorain County championship in 2022.

Smiling female teacher explaining lesson to the pupils

Dr. William M. Hayes, CEO, Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School

Dr. William M. Hayes is the CEO of Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter, a grades 6-12 all-male charter school in Philadelphia that prepares boys for success in college and beyond. Dr. Hayes, a Morehouse College graduate, has served as a teacher, college counselor, and assistant principal as well as founding principal of both a middle and a high school in Camden, New Jersey. 

We are grateful for the tireless work of these Black leaders in the education space, but we know that there are many more doing great work. If you’re a leader in education seeking to amplify your voice and the impactful  work your organization is doing – contact us today to learn more about how we can work together!

Are you looking for ways to improve recruitment and alumni relations or amplify the great stories at your HBCU? Join our webinar on February 21st: “3 Ways HBCUs can extend legacy, embrace tradition, & innovate for the future through communications”, to learn how to leverage social media, identify and align with trusted media partners, and create and implement a strategic communications plan to consistently communicate with stakeholders at your HBCU. Our expert speakers will share best practices and strategies to help you effectively communicate and engage with the HBCU community. This is a valuable opportunity for HBCU administrators, staff, and students to learn how to effectively communicate the HBCU story. Register now!

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