For Women’s History Month, we asked readers on social media to nominate the women who are changing education for the better. It was hard to cut the nominees down to just 21 rising women for the #21in21 campaign. These women are changing the game for kids.
Naomi Shelton, @NaomiSheltonDC Shelton took over as CEO of the National Charter Collaborative in January 2021. Her career has touched basically every corner of the American education system, with “policy, advocacy and programmatic initiatives” all on her resume. Learn more about where Shelton and the National Charter Collaborative plan to take child advocacy this year and beyond.
Dr. Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant, @childshining Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant is a children’s book author, known for her twin books “Black Boy Shining” and “Black Girl Shining.” Beyond her creative work, Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant “is a researcher, educator, and advocate in child and youth development.” Learn more about all her work here.
Karen Mapp, @karen_mapp As a senior lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Mapp is one of the nation’s preeminent thinkers on how to best teach our kids now and in the future. Her work in family engagement and family autonomy is top-notch. Learn more about her work here.
India Johnson, @IndiaHuiEd Johnson has worked all over the education sector. As the founding school leader of Thrival Indy Academy, she has an active, day-to-day hand in making things work for kids’ learning. But she’s also a writer and coach, among wearing other hats, so check out her website for more.
Keeanna Warren, @KeeannaWarren More than just a school leader, Warren has taught at every level of the K-12 education system. “Growing up, school was not a safe place for me,” she told BuzzWorthy, LLC in an interview. Learn more about how she’s making schools safe for students of color now.
Dr. Joy Barnes-Johnson, @DrJoyBJo Most of us are familiar with STEM, short for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. Some of us are familiar with STEAM, which adds arts to the curriculum. What Dr. Joy Barnes-Johnson suggests is something even deeper to help kids learn even better. Learn more about Eq-STREAM here.
Jennifer Veguilla, @JenVeguilla Veguilla, a college professor in suburban Chicago, has run digital hubs for young creatives for the last decade. She’s worked with those in the student debt strike movement to teach young borrowers their rights before they enter into student loan agreements. Learn more about her work with Debt Collective Chicago here.
Zakiya Sankara-Jabar, @ZakiyaChinyere As the National Director of Activism at the brightbeam network, Sankara-Jabar focuses on what the experiences of black boys in schools tells us about anti-black racism in American society, and the transformation of parents of color into movement builders. Learn more about her child activism work here.
Lindsey Jensen, @ILTOY2018 Awarded the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year prize, Jensen has elevated herself these last few years as a national voice on child justice. She’s taken her work on the road as a professional speaker, too, where she brings her knowledge about education to wider (and powerful) audiences. Learn more about where she’s going from here.
Jaraux Washington, @JarauxW Focused on the inspirational side of helping educators improve their craft, Washington has lit up Twitter with smiles—and fierce insistence in kids’ abilities to learn and do extraordinary things. Go ahead and give her a follow here.
Dr. Tonia Holmes-Sutton, NBCT, @tholmessutton Holmes-Sutton knows that teachers don’t come out of teacher prep programs fully formed. That’s why she’s in charge of Teach Plus Nevada, to build up that state’s teachers throughout their careers. Learn more about “enriched learning” for teachers here.
Monica Washington, @TexasTOY2014 The 2014 Texas Teacher of the Year, Washington has been an author and advocate for students around the nation for years. She goes around the country to speak with teachers organizations and offer trainings. Check out her writing for Education Post here.
Jay Artis-Wright, @civilwright1 Parent Revolution executive director Artis-Wright is a policy expert who cut her teeth in the entrepreneurial charter school sector of California. Learn more about what she calls “the power of parents” here.
Natasha Trivers, @NatashaTrivers Trivers has been with Democracy Prep Public Schools for nearly a decade. She rose from her original assistant principal position to become the network’s chief executive officer. Learn more about why she’s thrilled when her students do “things they believe in.”
Angela F. Allen, @drallenPHA The head of school at Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Prospect Hill Academy Charter School, Allen is all about the idea of “we.” She says it’s built into everything they do at Prospect Hill. Learn more about this “communal feeling” here.
Beth Anderson, @BethAndersonPCA Since her stint with Teach For America during the first Bush administration, Anderson has learned a lot about what works for kids’ learning. That led her to found the Phoenix Charter Academy Network in Massachusetts. Learn more about how she’s “tackling poverty-generated social and economic issues that create barriers between older youth and the economic freedom that comes from educational achievement.”
Kelisa Wing, @kelisa_l2teach Wing is an author and educator at Walden University’s doctor of education program. She has contributed to the brightbeam network for years. Check out her pieces for Education Post here.