When a visitor arrives at Sankofa Freedom Academy, a Philadelphia charter school, the first feeling is one of love. A second feeling is calm – Sankofa students and teachers are full of intention and purpose. The third is respect and joy.
These school walls may hold moments of stress or success, but either way, no one is going to be left unsupported or un-loved, and the community is there to value and lift each soul, and all minds, up.
Ayesha Imani, PhD, is the Quaker educator who serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Sankofa Freedom Academy. She is also one of the founders. The kindergarten to grade 12 school – which opened in 2009 and is currently the only Freedom School in Philadelphia – was inspired by Ayesha’s children’s positive experiences in Quaker schools, the Quaker faith, the need for a culturally African-centric instructional model, and the charter school movement.
This is a story of Quaker energy and spiritual focus.