Skip to main content
Black Minds Matter PodcastED

Black Minds Matter PodcastED

By Black Minds Matter
A podcast exploring the root causes of educational inequality and the hope we have for a better path forward.
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

The Childcare Guru: Tiffany Ford

Black Minds Matter PodcastED

The Childcare Guru: Tiffany Ford
Tiffany Ford is a successful entrepreneur, success coach, student advocate and the owner of 3 schools in Philadelphia.   Tiffany is known as "The Childcare Guru" as a result of the extraordinary impact that she has made through her educational programs that are making a major impact in the learning and development of inner-city youth. She has also served as a mentor for women, aspiring entrepreneurs and educators aspiring to open their own childcare centers and schools.
August 22, 2022
Students are Remarkable, Give Them a Path: Shante Lane Tamerat
Shante Lane Tamerat is co-owner and co-founder with her mother of Discovery Lane school in Waldorf, Md. The idea for Discovery Lane came in the summer of 2014. Shante and Alice Lane were compelled to open an educational program tailored to the needs of the community and enriched the lives of families. Discovery Lane was established with the firm belief that students are remarkable when you give them a path to trail. 
July 22, 2022
Transforming Leaders to Legends: Dr. LeDonna Griffin
Dr. LeDonna Griffin is founder of Leaders to Legends More Than Conquerors Homeschool Co-op in Omaha, Neb., which equips, empowers and educates one homeschool, one family at a time. Leaders to Legends More Than Conquerors Homeschool Co-op swings the door wide open for all families at any developmental stage, to engage in an educational plan that is tailored to the individual needs of their family and children. Leaders to Legends, LLC
July 15, 2022
Passionate Educator turned School Founder : Aba Healing Academy
Aba Healing Academy learned....   For many New Orleans', school- aged children, there is an opportunity to bring in a system that focuses on sound character development, with cultural components that have often been overlooked or underrepresented in traditional education environments. We began planning for a school that would utilize African Traditional Religious concepts, syncretized to widely accepted, Christian beliefs. From our planning, the Aba Healing Academy chose to teach from a Candomble standard of spiritual practice. But why? The answer lies in a better understanding and framing of the question.  Candomble focus of cause and effect, effective decision making, and goal orientation provides students and families with a framework for making any choice and decision that gives them both religious underpinning and a scientific approach to the logic there in.  Aba Healing Academy is committed to this form of religious practice because we believe that it is THE MOST culturally appropriate form of religiosity.    Learn more about Aba Healing Academy at:   Learn more about Black Minds Matter and Black Owned Schools at:
June 22, 2022
Community Lead and Community Driven feat. Rashaun Kemp
Currently, Rashaun recently led a national non-profit organization, Freedom Coalition for Charter Schools (FCCS), serving as its first Executive Director. FCCS is an advocacy organization focused on amplifying the voices of Black and Brown public charter school parents and leaders. Rashaun is an active member of his community having served as Chair and Vice-Chair of Neighborhood Planning Unit K. He also is an alumnus of New Leaders Council Atlanta. Rashaun serves on two boards, Georgia Equality and Ivy Preparatory Academy for Girls.  He is also a former high school teacher and principal.
May 24, 2022
Black Minds Matter SXSW EDU Panel: Black Owned: Freeing Black Minds with Education
At SXSW EDU 2022, Black Minds Matter hosted a panel to celebrate education entrepreneurship!  During this panel, we spoke with three Black school founders about their journey to launch schools, the history of Black-owned schools, and how even more people can undertake this venture.   Today, only 15 out of 100 Black students nationwide read proficiently, and only 13 out of 100 perform proficiently in math. This is unacceptable, our black minds matter. #blackmindsmatter #blackownedschools #sxswedu2022
March 21, 2022
The "E" is for Excellence: T.H.R.I.V.E Christian Academy
T.H.R.I.V.E. Christian Academy (TCA) is a new and unique academic addition to the metro-Atlanta community. Their mission is to equip and EMPOWER our scholars to EVOLVE into leaders, EXCEL through academics and EMERGE as Good Samaritans.    Learn more about THRIVE Christian Academy at:   Learn more about Black Minds Matter and Black Owned Schools at:
March 03, 2022
Zest Preparatory Academy: #BlackOwnedSchools
ZEST Preparatory Academy Charter School is a kindergarten through fifth-grade school community in Georgia. Their founder Ms. Monique Carruthers is making a true difference in the lives of students.    Learn more about Zest Prep at
March 02, 2022
Fighting for Economic and Educational Equity: Legends Charter School
Legends Charter School was founded on the belief that all students can learn and deserve the opportunity to receive high-quality education, regardless of their socio-economic background. It is our belief that a student’s zip code should not determine a student’s access to education. At Legends, we believe in a holistic approach to education and work to provide any and all resources that facilitate student success in the classroom and beyond.    Legends is committed to Prince George’s County, the residents, and the students, and desires to strengthen the relationship with the community by offering an academic choice that is rigorous and integral to the growth of our educational landscape. We look forward to providing Prince George’s County families with the opportunity to experience a truly world-class education.    Legends Charter School’s commitment to equity is unwavering. Equity means delivering to each scholar the things he or she needs to be successful. They are moving urgently to provide education to disrupt the current patterns of discrimination, marginalization, and underrepresentation as civic leaders.    Learn more about Legends Charter Schools at:   Learn more about Black Minds Matter at:
December 08, 2021
Preparing the Brightest Futures
Kind Academy is a project-based, personalized, and passion-infused microschool serving students in grades PreK-5 online - in Florida and all over the world. School founder Iman Alleyne has worked with children most of her life and after teaching Special Education in Public schools decided she wanted to create a program that would work for all learners. She earned her Master's in School Counseling in 2013 and is certified in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Guidance Counseling. She is currently the Assistant Principal at a Nature Based Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale that she helped to start. Preparing for the brightest future, Kind Academy provides unparalleled dedication and commitment to students and their variety of needs, passions, and dreams. Learn more about Kind Academy: Learn more about Black Minds Matter:
December 03, 2021
[Special Edition] Black Minds Matter on the Phyllis Schlafly Eagles
Denisha Merriweather, founder of Black Minds Matter and Director of Public Relations and Content Marketing for American Federation for Children, talks about her organization’s work to advance the quality and options of education for black children. School choice is a game changer for the black community. Visit for more information on her work.
October 11, 2021
[Special Edition] Denisha Merriweather discussed Black Minds Matter w/ Adrian Norman
Denisha Merriweather joins the Adrian Norman show to discuss Black Minds Matter  http://www.facebook.comadriannormandc
October 04, 2021
[Special Edition] Denisha Merriweather discussed Black Minds Matter on Sirius XM Patriot w/ Sonnie Johnson
Denisha Merriweather, founder of Black Minds Matter, joins Sonnie Johnson on Sirius XM Patriot Channel to discussion education freedom. 
September 27, 2021
The Fight Continues for Black Students in Nebraska
After the tax-credit scholarship bill failed to pass in Nebraska, we are all trying to figure out just what happened.
September 20, 2021
Icon Prep is Changing the Game
Icon Preparatory School (Icon Prep) is a non-profit corporation founded in Tampa, Florida by Dr. Dwayne Raiford, Ms. Lolita Jackson, Mr. Maurice Green, Ms. Monique Mills, Mr. Justin Smith, and Mr. Yuri Higgins. Icon Preparatory educates approximately 400 children in the city of Tampa. Icon Prep is open to any student in the state of Florida and committed to closing the achievement gap among its scholars and more affluent peers. To close the achievement gap among students who live in underserved communities, Icon Prep’s Leadership Team aims to educate students who attend schools that have traditionally been underserved. With a belief that a student’s zip code does not determine their destination, Icon Preparatory School empowers its students to reach their maximum potential preparing them for life in college and beyond. Combined the leaders have over 70 years of experience in education. With a leadership team comprised of professionals and seasoned educators that believe that all children can learn and achieve at high levels, Icon Prep’s leadership seeks to change the educational landscape in Florida offering choice and a high-quality college preparatory education to students in underserved populations.
September 13, 2021
Brainwashed by Opportunity?
It is not uncommon for liberals to suggest that students of color who receive a private education are being manipulated to have certain political beliefs and that they no longer “fit in” within their own communities as a result. For this panel, we invite students who attended Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Milwaukee to share their perspectives and react to the belief that “students of color who attend private school are being brainwashed. During this discussion, we will bring light to this issue and provide a space where conversation can help all better understand the depth of this issue in relationship to the Black Minds Matter Movement.
September 06, 2021
Accreditation: Ensuring a High-Quality Education for Children
Dr. Phyllis Walker is a school accreditation, accountability and ongoing improvement consultant with over 20 years experience as an administrator in secondary and post-secondary education.  Currently, Ms. Walker serves as Visiting Associate Dean for the Florida A&M University College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities. She uses her skills to support the College’s strategic planning, program review, specialized accreditation and other effective operations initiatives.
August 30, 2021
A team of parent advocates committed to helping others
Janelle Wood founded and President of the Black Mothers Forum in Arizona in 2016. The organization strives to dismantle systemic racism and ultimately create a safer, more inclusive environment for children and families. Janelle has an economics degree from Arizona State University and a master's degree in biblical leadership from Phoenix Seminary. She is the founder of a homeless ministry and served as a teacher, coach, and mentor to women released from prison. In May 2021, Janelle partnered with the Prenda Microschool Network to launch a chain of K-8 microschools in her community to address the injustices she seeks to rectify in the large education system.
August 16, 2021
How A Homeschool Co-op Meets the Needs of Black Families in Detroit
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Michigan this spring, causing nearly 2,000 new cases a day in early April, Bernita Bradley was ready. Bradley has worked as a parent advocate in her native Detroit for more than 10 years, helping connect both children and adults with educational opportunities. As Detroit schools announced its plans to transition to remote learning, Bradley saw an opportunity. With support from the National Parents Union, a Meet the Moment grant partner, Bradley launched Engaged Detroit, a homeschool co-op. Engaged Detroit also provides its homeschooling families with opportunities through partnerships like the Detroit College Access Network, which provides college and career pathway support and virtual college tours. The families regularly convene for African drum lessons, and occasionally the families go on educational trips, such as a recent tour of State Line Corp., the company that installs and maintains all the street lights in Detroit.
August 09, 2021
The phrase “For Us, By Us” (FUBU) is usually associated with the hip-hop apparel brand. However, Cameron Frazier is using the well-known phrase for a different reason. According to his Facebook page, the Jacksonville, Florida, man is designing a school that’s F.U.B.U (For Us By Us). In various social media posts, Frazier encourages those curious about the school to visit its website. The site outlines the school’s objective to serve as a public, tuition-free, college-prep school called Becoming Collegiate Academy for kindergarteners during the 2021-22 school year. With HBCUs as a source of inspiration, accomplishment, and great pride, the academy will add a grade each year to the school eventually going up to grade five.
August 03, 2021
Lack of Investments in African American Communities
Education inequality is just one result of systemic racism. It has eroded other aspects of black society like housing, public health, employment, criminal justice, and colorism. How do we uproot racism in this country?    Nebraska currently has one of the highest populations of incarcerated individuals nationally and worldwide. Their prison system is flawed and inhumane. During this episode we heard from State Senator Terrell McKinney about his goal to transform the criminal justice system and the education system in Nebraska. Watch the video of this episode on YouTube:
April 30, 2021
Arrested for Education Freedom
In 2012, Kelley Williams-Bolar of Ohio was convicted of lying about her residency to get her children into a better school district. Williams-Bolar lived in a school district that only met 4 of 26 of school standards and wanted to send her children to the neighboring Copley-Fairlawn School District where all of the school standards were met. She asked her father, who lived in the Copley-Fairlawn School District, to use his address. The Copley- Fairlawn School district hired a private investigator to follow Williams-Bolar and ultimately she was asked to pay $30,000 in tuition reimburse the district for the education her children received since she did not pay taxes in the district; when she was refused to pay, she was charged with a felony (her father, Edward L. Williams, was also charged with a felony). Williams-Bolar was found guilty and sentenced to 10 days in county jail plus three years of probation. She eventually received some help from Ohio Gov. John Kasich who believed "that the penalty was excessive for the offense" and pardoned her, reducing the crimes to two misdemeanors. Kasich, however, qualified his act, by saying, "No one should interpret this as a pass — it's a second chance."  Kelley was arrested for seeking a better education environment for her daughters. 
April 05, 2021
Education Incarcerated
For season 2 of the Black Minds Matter PodcastED co-host @brianagilchrist and @deni_mweather will explore the stories of the school-to-prison pipeline and the hope education has brought. The Black Minds Matter initiative seeks to bring attention to the institutional inequities in the education system that eerily resemble the institutional injustices of our criminal justice system. Yet, we look ahead optimistically, knowing that the dream of justice and education freedom for all will not be deferred. The Black Minds Matter movement is our restless, bold, and hopeful way of ushering in innovations, excellence in education, and more schools founded by Black individuals. Our Essence and Our Being Deserve Life. #blackmindsmatter
March 15, 2021
Pioneering a New Education Path (feat. Kevin Chavous)
For this episode, Kevin Chavous, President of K12, Inc. attorney, author, and former District of Columbia city councilman, joins me to discuss his extensive background in education and his hope for K-12 education in a time of Covid-19 and beyond.
December 05, 2020
Why does the Federal Government Care so much about School Choice? (feat. Terris Todd)
Why is federal support for education freedom so important? During this episode, Terris Todd, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Education Excellence for African-Americans, join me to discuss his background in education and why he decided to fight at the federal level to promote education freedom for Black students.
December 03, 2020
Fighting Outside the Ring (feat. Ron Rice)
A study by the Thomas Fordman Institute found that Black students in charter schools are more likely to have black teachers than their peers in traditional public schools, which lead to academic gains.     For this episode, Ron Rice, charter school expert, and former New Jersey councilman joins me and our new co-host, Briana Gilchrist, to discuss the controversial development of charter schools and the hope for black empowerment.
December 02, 2020
Who's paying for your toilet paper?
School Funding and Upward Mobility.  District contracts are not given out equally. During this episode, we discuss how school districts can do a better job ensuring Blacks have access to district contracts and more.   Panelist: Curtis Valentine, Director of Reinventing Public Education at the Progressive Policy Institute,  Paul Dauphin, Louisiana State Deputy Director at the Louisiana Federation for Children, and Emory Edwards, Outreach Director at EdChoice
December 01, 2020
What would the schools in Wakanda look like?
What would the schools in Wakanda look like?  During this episode, the women of Wakanda brainstorm how education would be approached in the Black Panther's kingdom of Wakanda.  Panelist: Tanesha Peeples, Deputy Director of Activist Development at Brightbeam Network   Naomi Shelton, Director of Community Engagement at KIPP,   Lisa Watson, Kansas City Grassroots Advocate   Briana Gilchrist, NJ Charter School Alum/Advocate
November 30, 2020
The Evolution of School Choice in Tennessee (feat. Rep. John DeBerry and Shaka Mitchell)
In this conversation, we will rewind the clocks of time to talk about the evolution of school options in Tennessee with the leaders who are making it happen. What’s changed and what stayed the same? In this episode, we are joined by Rep. John DeBerry. John DeBerry, Jr. has served House District 90 for the past 26 years in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
November 30, 2020
Why don't Blacks vote Republican?
"If David Dukes ran today and put a 'D' beside his name, Black people would vote for him. If Joe Biden ran today and put a 'R' beside his name, no Black people would vote for him. That's just a fact. We are just stuck there.' - Rep. Vernon Jones Will Black always vote for Democrats?
October 19, 2020
Young with Options
Anthony Samuels, the recipient of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit in Pennsylvania, was the youngest, black male to open a daycare in Philadelphia, PA. He's led the way in diversifying his mostly white private high school. It is his goal to ensure all young black kids have options. Read his full story here:
September 30, 2020
The History of Black Minds Matter
My name is Denisha Merriweather and I started the Black Minds Matter initiative after publishing an article titled Black Minds Matter. I wanted to give attention to the unlawful acts of police, while also bringing more attention to the unlawful acts of the public education system. Angela Davis once said “We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.” For those of us who are committed to liberating black minds, it is impossible to develop a high-quality education system for Black students without acknowledging the past. Schools in America were not designed for African Americans and still fail millions of Black children today. It’s no surprise schools have seen little to no innovation since the industrial period. Collectively we can ensure every Black student in America has access to a high-quality education of their parent’s choice. The onus of on us all. Our essence and our being deserve life. During this episode, I want to share my article Black Minds Matter with you. You can read this article here:
September 23, 2020
Black Mind in a White School
Will black students get a better education at an all-white school? Hear from four black males who have had very diverse learning experiences. This Black Minds Matter episode is hosted by Walter Blanks, Jr. Featuring Chris Stewart, Derrell Bradford, and Nanya Morris. 
September 04, 2020
Education, Economics, Criminal Justice, and More: What do they all have in common? And, why must we reform them together?
Education inequality is just one result of systematic racism. It has eroded other aspects of black society like housing, public health, profession, criminal justice, and colorism. How do we uproot racism in this country? And, should we be changing them all at once? Featuring Dr. Howard Fuller, civil rights activist, education reform advocate, and academic. He has spent his life advocating for Black people and their right to better lives, including access to a better education. 
August 25, 2020
History of Schooling in America
Let’s cut to it: American schools were not designed for African Americans and still fail millions of black children today. It’s no surprise schools have seen little to no innovation since the industrial period. That’s a double whammy. Where was the first white school and black school located? How did school founders envision the future of schools? In this episode we focus on the history of schooling with the context of racial inequality in America. Featuring Gerard Robinson, Vice President of Education at the Advanced Studies in Culture Foundation in Charlottesville, Va; and, Paul Dauphin, Louisiana Deputy State Director at the American Federation for Children.
August 25, 2020
Black Minds Matter PodcastED Kick-off
This is a podcast exploring the root causes of educational inequality and the hope we have for a better path forward.  The world is in the midst of a civil uprising as more bear witness to the racial and social injustices that take place daily in America, sparked by the abhorrent murders of black men and women. We must commit to overhauling systems, and that includes acknowledging that our early justice system which hunted people of color as slave patrols. The education system, once a primary mechanism for segregation, is propped up and prowls for black minds just the same. Those committed to protecting black lives cannot simultaneously refuse to nurture black minds. Our essence and our being deserve life. Our black minds matter. This episode features Dr. Steve Perry, one of the most sought-after Nationwide Motivational Speaker in America; Ann Duplessis, executive VP of the Retail Banking, Marketing & Sales, and Strategic Planning Division for the Liberty Bank and Trust Company; Gerard Robinson, Vice President of Education at the Advanced Studies in Culture Foundation in Charlottesville, Va; and Hera Varmah, 2020 Future Leaders Fellow with the American Federation for Children. Moderated by Denisha Merriweather, author of 'Black Minds Matter'.
August 23, 2020