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Sharif El-Mekki: Dreaming of Liberation Through Education
Episode 520th April 2023 • Dreaming in Color • The Bridgespan Group x StudioPod Media
00:00:00 00:44:11

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Welcome to Dreaming in Color, a show hosted by Darren Isom, a partner with The Bridgespan Group, that provides a space for social change leaders of color to reflect on how their life experiences, personal and professional, have prepared them to lead and drive the impact we all seek. 

In this episode, we speak with Sharif El-Mekki, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Black Educator Development, which is working to revolutionize education by dramatically increasing the number of Black educators to better reflect the students they serve, ensuring teaching practices unleash the power of diverse cultural insights and anti-discriminatory mindsets, and liberating education policy from constraints–real and imagined. 

Join this conversation as Sharif guides us through the journey of how his Masjid and African Free School education served as the catalyst for his distinguished teaching career and activist for education justice. 

Jump Straight Into

(0:28) Introduction of Sharif El-Mekki, Founder and CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development.

(0:57) Sharif shares inspiring thoughts from the Grammy-nominated poet, Amir Sulaiman: “we are all going to be ancestors someday, act accordingly.” 

(5:23) Sharif recalls his anti-racist and pro-black schooling and how that impacted his development of pedagogies that promote positive racial identity development.

(6:44) Sharif reflects on words from Dr. Alfred Tatum on the notion of students becoming proficient vs. advanced in subject matter. 

(9:52) Sharif explores how activism and education go hand-in-hand: “every lesson plan you write is a political document and every time you teach.” 

(16:14) Reflecting on the idea of Intellectual genealogy and being able to trace back your school of thought to its source and using that as a framework to change the narrative. 

(20:51) Sharif recalls how a traumatic incident inspired him to change his path from lawyer to educator. 

(28:34) Sharif tells us about how his Islamic faith and its focus on reading, understanding, and study serves as a framework for inspiring his work 

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