Sharif El-Mekki

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 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. Prior to founding the Center, El-Mekki served as a nationally recognized principal and U.S. Department of Education Principal Ambassador Fellow. El-Mekki’s school, Mastery Charter Shoemaker, was recognized by President Obama and Oprah Winfrey, and was awarded the prestigious EPIC award for three consecutive years as being amongst the top three schools in the country for accelerating students’ achievement levels. The Shoemaker Campus was also recognized as one of the top ten middle school and top ten high schools in the state of Pennsylvania for accelerating the achievement levels of African-American students. Over the years, El-Mekki has served as a part of the U.S. delegation to multiple international conferences on education. He is also the founder of the Fellowship: Black Male Educators for Social Justice, an organization dedicated to recruiting, retaining, and developing Black male teachers. El-Mekki blogs on Philly's 7th Ward, is a member of the 8 Black Hands podcast, and serves on several boards and committees focused on educational and racial justice.

Posts By Sharif El-Mekki

student achievement

Want a National Effort to Combat COVID Learning Loss? Study Your Black History.

We know all too well Black and brown students in marginalized communities are now bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s effect on schools—with inadequate technology, lack of internet access, little to...

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anti-racism

One Incident Can Tragically Alter a Black Boy's Life

Do you know how it feels to almost drown? I will never forget that feeling. I was 7 years old and knew that I could not swim; still, I just had to dangle my feet into the pool’s deep end. The...

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equity

To Teach Black Children Superbly Is a Revolutionary Act

Dear Freedom School Literacy Team 2020, Across the nation, we started the summer of 2020, lighting up the streets with rage. We rage for George Floyd’s senseless strangulation. We rage for Ahmaud...

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Achievement Gap

Everyone Progresses With a Progressive Platform, Except for Black and Brown Children.

I’ve had the chance to travel a lot in my work as an educator and activist, and frequently I find myself in what I call the “too-expensive-for-Black folks” cities. You know, those cities that present...

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School Choice

Black Families Haven't Been Hoodwinked, We Come From a Legacy of School Choice

The Democratic party once embraced charter schools as a tool for equity and opportunity. Now, as Andre Perry points out in his recent op-ed, “Support for charters in 2020 election comes with a...

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Parent Involvement

White Teacher, Here’s How You Can Successfully Partner With Black Families

The show was going really well. We were in Pittsburgh, taping a live 8 Black Hands podcast episode at the State of Black Learning Conference, and we were just wrapping up the Q&A. Then, a White woman...

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