Senior Fellow Programming 2023–2024

For all students, but especially Black students, Black teachers matter. Research shows that having Black educators increases educational attainment, sense of belonging, and access to more rigorous courses while reducing rates of discipline and suspension. And exposure to positive Black role models helps prepare students of all backgrounds to live in—and thrive in—an increasingly diverse society.

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Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Black Educator Pipeline learning arc, led by Senior Fellows Sharif El-Mekki (Cohort 1), CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development, and Raymond Fields (Cohort 4), Executive Director of Urban Teachers Philadelphia, focuses on the recruitment, selection, development, and support of Black educators in order to deepen and expand the pipeline.

Structured for learning within a racial affinity group, in the 2023-2024 programming, the faculty team is expanding to support white Senior Fellows; this white affinity group will be led by Jeff Glowik, Director of Clinical Faculty for American University in partnership with Urban Teachers Philadelphia and former principal of Mastery Charter School—Gratz Campus. Affinity groups will meet separately for some sessions or parts of sessions based on the topic and focus of work.

See Black Educator Pipeline faculty Sharif El-Mekki’s PBS News Hour segment surrounding the critical need for educators of color and the impact they have on student outcomes. The segment begins at approximately 36:18.


You are an ideal Black Educator Pipeline participant if you are:

  • A Senior Fellow who identifies as Black or white and currently leads a single school as a principal, Head of School, CEO, President, etc.
  • Prepared to be pushed in your equity practices by program facilitators who will challenge and support you to get out of your comfort zone.
  • Dedicated to retaining, engaging, and recruiting educators of color in support of student achievement and representation
  • Able to manage your calendar and prioritize fulfilling all program commitments with fidelity (attending and actively engaging in sessions and events).

During the one-year program, participants will:

  • Identify individual complexities of identity and recognize the impact that has on leadership and culture.
  • Develop systems and structures surrounding diversity that positively impact school culture and student achievement.
  • Build plans specific to each individual’s school community for retaining, engaging, and recruiting educators of color.
  • Set, work toward, and measure progress toward improved teacher retention for educators of color.
  • Actively engage and develop leadership teams to add capacity to support Black teacher retention and engagement.
  • Work to create a collective voice to address talent pipeline issues and advocate for solutions at the local and state level

Registration Criteria

Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis.


Participants must be Senior Fellows who identify as Black or white and are still serving as principals in a Philadelphia school.

The Commitment

Successful participants must commit to full participation in the program, including attending at least 80% of sessions and events.


Contact Program Director Latanya Simmons: