Tanesha first got involved with AQE in 2016, and in 2019 was elected to the Community education Council in District 5. In 2019 she became a member of our first Education Warriors cohort. Throughout the 10-month program she developed skills, knowledge and experience to become a key leader in the statewide movement for educational justice. 

In September, Tanesha organized her first major event: a town hall for education in her home district in Harlem. She reached out to her State Senator, Brian Benjamin, who attended the town hall and stayed through the end to hear from parents and community members voicing their concerns about their local schools. Together they worked to identify the key needs and priorities of their community.

In January, Tanesha brought her passion for education justice to Albany. She spoke out for public education at the Black State of the State, capturing its centrality to racial justice in the fights for funding, culturally responsive education, ending the school to prison pipeline. She returned to Albany in February to participate in a city-focused advocacy day at the Capitol, and again to attend the 2020 New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Conference weekend, which gave her the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with some local policymakers and a greater understanding of how to interact with elected officials. 

Tanesha’s leadership has proven invaluable to advocating for students back at home in Harlem and New York City. She is organizing a restorative justice tour of D5 schools in Harlem, just one more example of her plans to continue using the skills she’s learned in the Education Warriors to be an outspoken advocate on behalf of the children in Harlem and across the city.