We have just recorded our 30th episode of the 8 Black Hands podcast. Time really flies and it has been an exciting ride. The 30th episode was particularly special because we were at the 49th annual Congressional Black Caucus summit and we had the pleasure to interview Jalen Rose, legendary basketball player/sports anchor turned educator. Jalen was being honored by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
Jalen is a hero. He saw a need, wanted to support his community in the pursuit of educational justice, a basic human right, and opened a school. While some folks talk about equity and justice, Jalen moved the needle forward.
I have mentioned before that we need far more Black folks to start schools in our communities. When people like Jalen step up and into this work, it represents the collective efforts we need. Jalen is not alone in this crucial endeavor, former NBA star David Robinson and current perennial All-Star LeBron James also opened schools. And, we need many more.
Hear Jalen Rose’s take about his motivation, vision, and experiences.
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.