Voices from the #PrincipalProject Community

5 Quick Videos: Retaining Educators of Color


Many of your fellow leaders have expressed the desire to recruit and retain more educators of color, and Principal Project has partnered with leader Sharif El-Mekki to share his insights on what it means to build a school environment that is inclusive and empowering for all educators. 

Sharif is a former principal and founder of the Center for Black Educator Development in Philadelphia, PA. He describes the imperative to recruit more Black teachers this way:

“Part of helping kids believe they can be successful is showing them that they can be successful, and there’s no more impactful way to show them than by who’s in front of the class. Because one of the answers to creating more equitable outcomes isn’t elusive. It’s not a mystery. One study found that Black students who had a Black teacher by third grade were 13% more likely to go to college. Two Black teachers? Kids were 32% more likely to go to college. And there’s research that shows that diverse teachers lead to better outcomes for all students, not just students of color.” 

– Leader Sharif El-Mekki

Watch the following short videos to hear Sharif’s insights on recruitment and retention, in his own voice. 


The videos offer bite-size insights that can drive big changes (click to watch):

1. Why setting up a leadership team is key to an inclusive school culture:

2. How your school culture impacts both students and teachers of color:

3. Considering what your school ecosystem says to and about teachers of color:

4. Questions you can ask yourself as a leader to better support teachers of color:

5. The power of “insight surveys” in retaining a diverse teaching staff:


For a deeper dive into Sharif’s thoughts about recruiting and retaining BIPOC educators, explore his blog posts here.

About the Author

Sharif El-Mekki
Sharif El-Mekki

Sharif El-Mekki is a former principal and the founder of the Center for Black Educator Development in Philadelphia, PA.