Ever Rising

A Homecoming of HBCUs & K-12

February – May 2023

Uplifting Virtual Series by the

National Charter Collaborative & UNCF

Empowered by EdPost

Charter school leaders of color are often unsung heroes. We are changing that.

The National Charter Collaborative (NCC) partnered with UNCF, and EdPost to present:

“Ever Rising: 

A Homecoming of HBCUs and K-12”

featuring charter leaders of color who attended HBCUs and are having a profound impact in communities through K-12 education. 

Create a vision of what is possible with HBCUs and charter schools, both now and in the future

HBCU and charter school leaders from across the country have a profound impact in communities through K-12 education came together for engaging discussions around how HBCUs can set leaders of color up for success and equity, retaining leaders of color, shifting the needle on how we think about charter schools, and so much more. 

There is power in connecting K-12 education with HBCUs. We all have a common mission in mind – building and sustaining quality schools that reflect the cultural fabric of our communities. 



The series featured charter school founders and education leaders of color who attended HBCUs and are having a profound impact in communities through K-12 education

Dr. Marco Clark

Jami Dunham

Delano Ford

Dr. Nina Gilbert

Patrick Jones

Ma’at Lands

Alaina Chipman Leeks

Jamar McKneely

Dr. Arterius Miller

Ruben Morris

Kimberly Neal-Brannum

Shantelle Wright

Dr. Michael Lomax

Naomi Shelton

Sekou Biddle


Educational Excellence in Charter Schools

(February 2023)

Alaina Chipman Leeks, Founder & Executive Director, Atlanta Unbound Academy (Atlanta, GA); Spelman College Alum

Dr. Artesius Miller, Founder & CEO of the Utopian Academy for the Arts Charter School Network (Ellenwood, GA); Morehouse College Alum

Ma’at Lands, Founding School Leader of Rooted School Indianapolis (Indianapolis, IN); Tennessee State University Alum

Meredith Anderson, Ph.D., director of K-12 Research Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI), UNCF (moderator)

Leaving Their Mark: HBCU Alumna Leading Charter Spaces

(March 2023)

Kimberly Neal-Brannum, Founder and Executive Director, BELIEVE Circle City High School (Indianapolis, IN); Alabama A&M University Alum

Jami Dunham, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer, KIPP DC (Washington, DC); Howard University Alum

Shantelle Wright, Founder, Achievement Prep (Washington, DC); Hampton University Alum

Breaking Barriers: The Power of HBCU Men in Charter School Leadership

(April 2023)

Jamar McKneely, Inspire NOLA Charter Schools (New Orleans); Southern University Alum

Dr. Marco Clark, Founder of Richard Wright Public Charter School (Washington, DC); Clark Atlanta University Alum

Ruben Morris, Alabama Aerospace and Aviation High School (Bessemer, AL); Morehouse College Alum

Patrick Jones, The Mind
Trust (Indy); Fisk University
Alum (moderator)

Shifting the Narrative: The Future of Charter Schools, HBCU Innovations and Opportunities

(May 2023)

Dr. Nina Gilbert, Director, Morehouse Center for Excellence in Education, and Founder and former leader of Ivy Preparatory Academy (Metro Atlanta, GA)

Delano Ford, Partner, Charter School Growth Fund; Morehouse College Alum

Dr. Karega Rausch, President and CEO, National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA)

Dr. Michael Lomax,
President and CEO, UNCF; Morehouse College Alum

Dr. Naressa Coefield (moderator)