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Sara Bokhari: Embracing intersections

  • Sara Bokhari

In the education world of today, leadership from people who acknowledge their own intersecting social identities — such as gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion, to name a few — is vital to ending educational inequity. The classroom has long been a place where history is learned through a particular lens that then shapes how students interact with the world; intersectionality in education makes room for new lenses and new ways for students to think critically about the world around them.

LEE member Sara Bokhari (TFA New York ’04), a Muslim-American and mother embodies this important quality.

In 2015, Sara began the LEE Public Leaders Fellowship (LPLF) with the intention of strengthening her network and learning more about how leadership intersects with power and oppression. But the fellowship also encouraged her to go a step further in her career. Building off her experiences as a teacher, education advocate, and mother, the LPLF prepared her for a more senior leadership role within her organization. Sara is now a site manager with The New Teacher Project (TNTP), where she works with teachers and school administrators on ideas to help educators grow and become more effective, and improve teacher retention.

After the fellowship, Sara wrote a blog post for TNTP about the need for “both challenging and safe” environments for all students, an issue close to her heart. For Sara personally, her “top priority is finding a school where [her] son — and his religion — will be accepted, not attacked.”

Using her voice to speak up against inequities has taken Sara far, even landing her a seat at a White House roundtable on bullying in schools on behalf of TNTP. Her leadership, which started from a personal place, will continue to have a ripple effect, impacting students and moving us ever closer to educational equity.