February 18, 2022

KIPP MA Black Leaders Gathered to Talk Education, Blackness, and Joy

Watch the full panel here.

(KIPP MA, February 2022) On February 17th, Black leaders across KIPP MA joined in conversation to celebrate, honor, and recognize Black History Month. What was planned as an initial discussion on Black History turned into a deeper dive on Blackness, wellness, joy, heroes, and the future. 

The panel, moderated by Adrianna Barnes, a 4th grade teacher and Grade Level Chair at KIPP Academy Boston, featured Black regional leaders. Our panelists included: Nikki Barnes, Executive Director of KIPP MA; Coretta Martin, Chief Academic and Strategy Officer of KIPP MA; Bryce Turner, Director of Academics (Secondary Social Studies); Farida Mama Graham, Managing Director of Teacher and Leader Development; and Shameka Coleman, Managing Director of Equity and Engagement. 

Our moderator and panelists dove right in by starting the night answering the question: What does it mean to you to be a Black educator? This sparked common themes of the night, including joy, resilience, action, self-care, and passion. 

Take a look at some notable quotes of the evening!

“What we’re doing is reclaiming our space in education.” –Bryce Turner

“We celebrate Blackness every day because we celebrate our students every day. You can’t do that without celebrating their identity.” –Coretta Martin 

“We need Black brilliance.” –Nikki Barnes

“I used to say ‘Negative emotions’ and ‘positive emotions’…they are just emotions.” –Adrianna Barnes

“To know that you have people literally and figuratively there to help fix your crown is something I don’t take for granted.” –Farida Graham

“Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. We’re Black History yesterday, we’re Black History today, we’re going to continue to be Black History tomorrow.” –Shameka Coleman

A special thanks to brightbeam network for co-sponsoring this conversation via Twitter. 


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