Powerful Quotes from 4 Black Educators for Black History Month

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4 Black Educators

This Black History Month, the National Alliance is looking forward. Specifically, to Black educators on the rise who are making history now, in this moment. In our month-long celebration of Black History Month, we shared the inspiring stories of four education leaders at charter schools who are making an impact on students and in their communities.  

Meet our four Black educators and see the powerful quotes they shared on education and Black excellence: 

Genel Fowler

“It should be the norm that every single student in this country is guaranteed a quality education no matter where they live, which tax bracket their family might fall into, or their race. And it’s unfortunate that it has to be argued so often and politicized.” – Genel Fowler 

Genel Fowler, instructional guide at Detroit Achievement Academy, is a Detroit native who has been a dedicated educator for more than five years in the city that raised her. Genel joined the Detroit Achievement Academy’s instructional coaching team in 2019 to increase her impact across several classrooms. She was featured on the Today Show for her incredible commitment to students throughout the pandemic.  

In her video, Genel talks about the incredible educators she had as a student in Detroit and how her education led her to want to replicate that quality education for all students.  

Watch her full video:  

Lenny McAllister

“It’s that self-determination, that school choice in the public school system throughout the country that allows kids that would otherwise not have the opportunity to see the breadth of opportunities throughout the world.” – Lenny McAllister, CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools 

Lenny McAllister, CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, has been a champion for education equity, civil rights, and policy reforms throughout his decades-long career in the public realm. The growth of public charter schools in Pennsylvania is at an all-time high due in part to the agility charter schools have exercised in the face of the pandemic and Lenny’s leadership.  

In his video, Lenny talks about how the adversity he experienced as a young adult shaped him into a better leader and how charter schools provide a quality education to all students.  

Watch his full video: 

Lagra Newman

“The legacy I’d like to leave for the next generation of Black leaders is to do whatever in your power, in your realm, in your purpose, to ensure our children live out the full power of their magnificence.” – Lagra Newman  

Lagra Newman, founder and head of school at Purpose Preparatory Academy, is a long-time charter school leader with a proven track record of transformative academic outcomes for students. Purpose Prep Academy in Nashville is one of the best elementary public schools in the nation through her inspiring leadership and drive.  

In her video, Lagra talks about the historical oppression of Black students through denied access to education. This knowledge pushed her to create a school that is accountable for providing students support to achieve their full potential.  

Watch her full video:

Khadijah Williams

“For me, education is absolutely a civil right because that is the key to being able to fully realize the American dream, access a livable wage, and participate in civil society.” – Khadijah Williams 

Khadijah Williams, senior education organizer at Rocketship Public Schools, is a nationally recognized advocate for homeless youth and a survivor of homelessness herself. In her role, Ms. Williams leads the D.C. branch’s work in parent capacity building, family engagement, parent leadership development, and organizing and mobilizing.  

In her video feature, she addresses how schools can empower parents and show students what is possible by employing Black leaders and teachers. 

Watch her full video: 

Reed Mitchell is the communications coordinator for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.