Zakiyah Ansari is the Advocacy Director with the New York State Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) the leading statewide organization that has been working to fight for educational equity for the last 14 years. Zakiyah is one of the co-initiators on a national grassroots movement “Journey for Justice”, an emerging alliance currently comprised of grassroots community-based organizations from 18 cities across the United States representing constituencies of youth, parents, and inter-generational organizations who have been impacted by the closing, turnaround, and charter expansion of schools in communities of color. The goal of the Journey for Justice Alliance is to bring the voice of those directly impacted by discriminatory school actions into the debate about the direction for public education in the 21st century and to promote sustainable, community-driven school reform for all school districts across the country.
Zakiyah resides in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. She is also the mother of eight children, all of whom have or are currently attending public school. Zakiyah was a parent volunteer with AQE for over 6 years before she became employed by them. She was an active parent volunteer in her children’s PTA and was a founding parent leader with Coalition for Educational Justice. In addition, she was a Learning Leader for five years and served as Co-President of Manhattan High School Presidents’ Council (MHSPC) for two years. As Co-President, one of her responsibilities was sitting on the District Leadership Team of School Districts 1-6.