“Nelson Mandela once said education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to save the world. Using wisdom and strength from women across the globe – WOW brings ideas together to build on what we know, to disrupt what we thought we knew and to encourage our curiosity about new ideas. We know education can take many forms, and it is critical we do the work to make access to education a human right. Each day I work to make this a reality and am encouraged by those who stand shoulder to shoulder to expand access to educational opportunity. What is clear, is that without education, injustice will persist and the change we wish to seek will remain unreachable."
Dr. Khalilah M. Harris is managing director of K12 education policy at the Center for American Progress and is a non-resident senior fellow with the Maryland Center on Economic Policy. Harris brings a unique perspective to American Progress from an extensive career working to expand access to opportunity through a racial equity lens in community organizing, public education, education policy, youth advocacy, and building an inclusive workforce. Dr. Harris is a regular contributor on MSNBC and has published in a variety of news outlets including the Washington Post, Education Week, The 74 Million and others. She organizes nationally within the US with the EduColor movement and served as the first Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans.
During her time with the Obama administration, Dr. Harris was responsible for the first ever White House Summit on Diversity and Inclusion in Government, along with the first ever #BlackWomenLead gathering at the US Department of Education hosting 150 Black women and girls of all ages from across the country to discuss advancing women's issues with support of civic organizations. Her current research primarily focuses on racial equity in education policy, pathways to leadership for Black educators and developing public policy through a participatory process with community members. A proud alum of Morgan State University, a Historically Black College and University, Khalilah also obtained her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, and her law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.