In the winter of 2011, I published a short article in Independent School magazine titled “Embracing our Cultural Differences.”
The article discusses my time as a child – growing up in West Philadelphia, going to a public elementary school, being pulled out of that public elementary school, being placed in a Center City Philadelphia-based K-12 private school, negotiating two different communities: West Philly and a private school, and how that experience fueled my desire to become an educator. I saw that what made me different, my Black male identity, could be a tool in the classroom to support my students.
Diversity matters to me because I can address lingering issues (of race, gender, etc.) affecting students who share similar educational experiences with me. I want to be the mentor I never really had. Additionally, as a young Black male educator and leader in an independent school, it is my personal responsibility to create the kind of learning environment where everyone can thrive.
A decade later, those same sentiments hold true, but on a vastly broader scale.
My experience as a teacher, school administrator, and diversity practitioner has brought me pride, joy, and the knowledge that there is still so much work to do, in schools, but also on a community-based macro level. The practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion is both a social AND organizational service. My experience and expertise are directly applicable to business and organizational environments, developing benevolent, sustainable and highly marketable community culture.
With that, I bring you Comprise DEI Consulting.
I’d like to give special thanks to a few folks who have been instrumental in getting this endeavor on the runway. Diana, my mother and Anita, my grandmother. I don’t know what else to say. Thank you! Carla James, no matter where I go, there you are. Thank you. Christopher Arlene, my best friend and biggest supporter. Thank you, brother! Edisa Rodriguez, your understanding of how to start a business is inspirational! James Peterson, my mentor for life. Andre Robert Lee, my muse for this work. Peace to both of you! Erin Rickard and Khalif Harris, thanks for believing in this mission. Matt Tarditi and Khalil Munir, you both already know! JR and Andre Chappelle: thank you for your understanding of and support for the mission of Comprise DEI! And lastly, my co-conspirators in this work: Ayinde Tate, Mikael Yisreal, Dr. Dena Samuels, Brendon Jobs, Brandon Jacobs, Toni Williamson, Erica Snowden, Dwight Dunston, Dr. Ali Michael, Dr. Eddie Moore, Dr. Howard Stevenson, Dr. Darryl Ford, Sulaiman Rahman, Jen Cort, Jackson Collins, Marissa Colston, Charles Adams and Shamm Petros. Please keep doing what you do!