Shared Learnings
| February 19, 2024

Building Inclusive Communities & Cross-Sector Partnerships

For our kick-off Learning Series session on February 13, 2024, we had the honor of being in conversation with ember partner Sharif El-Mekki, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Center for Black Development, and Ansharaye Hines, Assistant Director of High School Programming. Together, they shared their insights about the importance of community-centered approaches and cross-sector partnerships in educational models.

Sharif and Ansharaye were unequivocal in their quest to remain rooted in liberatory pedagogy that truly sees, centers, and lifts Black students. From them, we learned (and unlearned) quite a few gems. Though focused on academic spaces, their reflections could easily be applied across sectors.   

Among them:

Let’s train our replacement: As practitioners, we must take time to pour into and build a talent pipeline ensuring our values-aligned work is seeded in the spaces we occupy and can remain there even as we transition to our next assignment. The work should not stop with us.

Modeling what we promote is critical: We must honestly believe, walk, and live the work we are stewarding. Our work is made stronger by our authentic ability to stand on it and to live by it.

You don’t see the end, but you see the blueprint: As we “do our part” in our roles, organizations, sectors, and even movements, we should keep in mind that narrative change is long term work that is often the sum of many people, parts, and collective effort. Our respective roles in the work may have some timebound limitations that may preclude us from seeing the full fruits of our labor, but it is still important to remain steadfast and focused on the bigger, larger, fuller picture. Sometimes we may not be around to see our work come to full completion but we should remember that we are contributors to a larger story. When “we do our part, we do our part.” And the work continues!

Watch the full webinar recording below or on YouTube to learn from this session.

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