CHICAGO, IL – Today, brightbeam, a nonprofit network of education activists and umbrella organization for the platform known as Education Post, named Zakiya Sankara-Jabar as national director of activism. Sankara-Jabar will grow and lead brightbeam’s grassroots activism efforts on a local and national scale. She will oversee the development of place-based action campaigns designed to help families and communities put pressure on local decision makers, in an effort to hold them accountable for improving the educational outcomes of all children in their care.
“We are thrilled to welcome Zakiya into our growing network of activists who are unapologetic in their demand for a better education and a brighter future for every child,” said brightbeam CEO Chris Stewart. “With more than a decade of experience uniting and moving communities to action, Zakiya has the strategic vision and creativity to lead the kind of movement that forces the political class to improve the educational opportunities available to the children living at the margins of their cities.”
Prior to joining brightbeam, Sankara-Jabar served as national field organizer at Dignity in Schools Campaign where she cemented herself as a leading expert in parent organizing and advocacy. She also co-founded Racial Justice NOW!, an organization dedicated to dismantling the structural and institutional racism facing black families and students.
“I am delighted to join the brightbeam team to support the growth and leadership of parents, families and communities in holding institutions accountable to educating all children equitably,” said Sankara-Jabar.
Sankara-Jabar’s first exposure to organizing, advocacy, and policy work came organically as a parent pushing back on harmful school discipline policies that disproportionately impact black students and their families. Since then she has worked to support communities around the country, sharing tools, strategies, and skills for parents and families to exercise their power and influence. Over the years her organizing and advocacy acumen has led to significant policy changes at the local and state level.
As national director of activism, Sankara-Jabar will be immediately tasked with growing brightbeam’s network of activists around the country, leveraging data and analytics, creative thinking, and messaging to launch campaigns that motivate local communities to take action. She will then lead the development of scalable strategies aimed at helping activists hone their personal brand and communications to impact the education issues most important to them and the children in their local communities.
Zakiya’s work has been featured on Democracy NOW, Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas by HBO and TruTV’s Adam Ruins Everything. Zakiya is a preeminent thought leader in racial and educational justice and has received numerous awards.
Brightbeam is a nonprofit network of education activists demanding a better education and a brighter future for every child. Using the power of communications, we shine a light on communities that challenge decision-makers to provide the learning opportunities all children need to thrive. We help strong voices tell powerful stories that unite and move their communities to action. Brightbeam amplifies these stories through a variety of digital platforms, including Education Post, Citizen Ed, Project Forever Free, and more than 20 local and regional sites that spotlight education issues nationally. We also sponsor on-the-ground initiatives, projects or organizations that align with our mission. To learn more, visit brightbeamnetwork.org.