How Are You Welcoming Your Students Back To School? Our Community Is Suiting Up And Showing Up.


Wear something that shows you value our kids.

On the first day of school, join a community of Black men to welcome our students to a new year and a future of great possibilities through education.

Suit Up. Show Up. That’s the rallying call that The Fellowship – Black Male Educators for Social Justice has been using to organize a multi-state welcoming for the start of the new school year. While many students do not receive a  welcome when the year starts anew, The Fellowship has been committed to   partnering with schools to demonstrate how much we honor the chance to be a part of our communities and a part of our students’ lives.

It is important to note that while there is a growing awareness of the persistent trauma that many Black students experience, we also have to realize that some of that trauma is experienced in public schools. And, while it is a distinct privilege to be a part of our children’s education and development, when Black students arrive to schools, they are not always embraced.

Welcoming our students on the first day isn’t enough, we hope to send the message that our students are well worthy of being celebrated on the first day (and beyond), just as athletes are cheered on when they step on the  field.

Just as we wholeheartedly celebrate the start of the new calendar year, we encourage our communities to join us in celebrating the start of the school year with the same zest and zeal. Bring that same energy!

Our festivities are a part of a larger effort of our district to bring in the new school year right. Dr. Hite, superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, challenged our city to welcome our students back to school with celebrations and ringing a bell. #RingTheBellPHL

See you all on Monday. We will be welcoming our students with an act of love. With bells on!



Sharif El-Mekki
Sharif El-Mekki
Sharif El-Mekki is the principal of Mastery Charter School–Shoemaker Campus, a neighborhood public charter school in Philadelphia that serves 750 students in grades 7-12. From 2013-2015, he was one of three principal ambassador fellows working on issues of education policy and practice with U.S. Department of Education under Secretary Arne Duncan.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Up Next