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November 2021

10nov4:00 pm5:30 pmLeading the Class: Uplifting the Teaching Profession With and For Our Educators

Event Details

Teachers have the single greatest impact on our children while in school and multiple factors contribute to their success.

As a profession with a significant retirement wave on the horizon, how are we shifting our approaches to critical issues such as job satisfaction, recruitment, career ladders, resourcing, professional progress, and equitable results?

Join our discussion with educators, administrators, and system leaders who are using multiple tools and voices to elevate and strengthen the teaching profession on behalf of our students.

This event is part of the SHIFT Series, a collection of online convenings hosted by GreenLight Fund Detroit and powered by Strategic Community Partners. Each monthly convening approaches timely and relevant issues through a racial equity lens and demonstrates the powerful impact of a collaborative, community-minded process.



CEO, The Skillman Foundation

Angelique Power is president and CEO of The Skillman Foundation, as of September 13, 2021.

Born and raised on the southside of Chicago by a white, Jewish mother who was a Chicago Public School teacher and an African American father who rose to be Sergeant in the Chicago Police force, Angelique has an intense passion for catalyzing new ways of thinking about racial equity and social justice.

Prior to The Skillman Foundation, Angelique was president of the Chicago-based Field Foundation. During her tenure, she designed a journey with staff, board, and nonprofit partners to center racial justice, changing how it funds and who it funds, created accountability structures for community to review its work, rethought metrics, created heatmaps that illustrate the design of inequity within Chicago, and updated its investment policy. Under Angelique’s leadership, the Field Foundation doubled the size of its giving and its programming, including adding new streams of funding for individuals and for-profit media organization.


Superintendent, Detroit Public Schools Community District

Dr. Nikolai Vitti was appointed as Superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) on May 23, 2017 on a five-year contract. On December 8, 2021, the School Board extended his contract by an additional three years until June 30, 2025. In strong partnership with the School Board, Dr. Vitti has rebuilt the school district after two decades of disinvestment under Emergency Management and was most recently named a finalist for Urban School District Superintendent of the Year. 

Through the development and implementation of a Strategic Plan, along with hundreds of community and family engagement sessions over the years, DPSCD has experienced improvement for the first time in decades in the areas of enrollment; student achievement; student attendance; teacher recruitment, retention, and pay; leadership development and stability; student programming, including expansion of the arts; and financial stability. This improvement has led to reduced levels of financial and program oversight and monitoring by the federal and state government.


CEO, New Teacher Center

Desmond Blackburn, Ph.D., is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New Teacher Center (NTC). NTC is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving student learning by guiding a new generation of educators, with a focus on those working with systemically underserved students communities. 

Blackburn began his career in education in 1996 as a High School Math Teacher for Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) where, until 2015, he additionally served in a variety of other leadership and administrative capacities. In 2015 he became the Superintendent of Schools for Brevard Public Schools (BPS). Under his leadership, BPS achieved 65 % proficiency on third-grade literacy assessments, the tenth highest graduation rate in the state.

Blackburn also serves on the board of ERS Strategies, a national nonprofit that partners with district, school, and state leaders to transform how they use resources (people, time, and money) so that every school prepares every child for tomorrow. 


STEM Teacher, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

Originally from New Orleans, Calvin Nellum was attracted to Detroit because of the city’s potential to be a hub for culturally relevant education. His passion for STEM education and its ability to create unique opportunities for students is what fuels his passion in the classroom.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Calvin also shares his love for STEM through his role as a robotics coach! Inside and outside of the classroom, he holds a firm believer in teaching simple and applying science concepts to the real world.


(Wednesday) 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Strategic Community Partnerswill.sexton@strategiccommunitypartners.org 10240 W. McNichols St