Our Team

Takiema Bunche Smith

Executive Director, Center on Culture, Race & Equity

Takiema has worked for over two decades in support of children, families and educational programs and systems through her work as a teacher, teacher educator, curriculum director, parent activist, and executive leader. Her life’s work has been guided by a deep commitment to racial equity, social justice, and a belief that centering the histories and perspectives of marginalized people can support individuals, institutions and systems to become more equitable for all.  Her work lives at the intersection of theory, policy and practice, and she uses a culturally responsive and anti-oppression lens to re-frame and re-imagine what educational experiences could look like for children, adults, families and communities. Her wide range of professional and personal experiences, and deeply reflective approach to life and learning, helps her create a culture of collaboration wherever she goes, centered around a vision of liberation for all.

Takiema has presented on education related topics to a variety of audiences across New York, the United States and Sweden, and has published articles and op-eds in venues such as Childhood Education Innovations, NAEYC Young Children, Al-Jazeera and The Washington Post. She is also a doula, and is passionate about creating a culture of self-care, particularly as it relates to professional environments.

Takiema holds Master’s degrees in Early Childhood & Elementary Education from Bank Street College of Education, Urban Education Policy from the CUNY Graduate Center, and from NYU Wagner’s School for Public Service.