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Dr. Arki

Dr. Shemariah J. Arki

Dr. Shemariah J. Arki identifies as an educator, an activist and an organizer. Currently serving as an assistant professor in the department of Africana Studies and as the director of the Center for Pan African Culture, both at Kent State University, she is an intersectional feminist scholar with expert knowledge and skills to develop, implement, facilitate and evaluate curricula that promote institutional equity, communication, and access for traditionally marginalized students and families. In addition to earning a master and doctorate degree in education, Dr. Arki has also received a graduate certificate from the Penn Equity Institute for Doctoral Students from the Center for The Study of Race & Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She has also been a certified Federal EEO investigator since 2017. In 2019, Dr. Arki was enstooled as Bonyi Bofor (Queen Mother) Akosua Kalesea of the Igbaba lineage, in the village of Akapafu Todzi, Volta region, Ghana – the future home of Ellipsis International, a secondary school for girls.

Serving as the founder and program director of the Ellipsis Institute for Womxn of Color in the Academy and as an auto/ethnographic researcher and creative non-fiction writer, her work centers cultural epistemologies and the construction of a #BlackCommaFeminist pedagogy. Dr Arki is one of the editors for Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls, curated to position classrooms as places of radical transformation and to amplify the voices of the Black girls who inhabit them. Her work has also been featured on Democracy Now! and Yahoo!

Dr. Arki also serves outside the academy as an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church and the Founder and Lead Experience Curator for Sankofa Circle International, a boutique non-profit providing capacity building to creative and social entrepreneurs. Dr. Arki also serves as the board co-chair of Shooting Without Bullets. Most recently, her work has been recognized by Preterm Cleveland (Mickey Stern Award), National Coalition of Black Women Greater Cleveland Chapter (She Leads 100 Award-2020), Case Western Reserve University’s LGBT Center (QGrad’s Outstanding Faculty Award-2020) and the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity (Diversity Collaboration Excellence Award - 2019), Who’s Who in Black Cleveland (2016-2019), Kaleidoscope’s 40 under 40 Club (2015) and by the Kiwanis Club at High Tech Academy (2010).

A proud Clevelander and mom of Solomon Tafari and Malcom Saadiq, Shemariah enjoys traveling, yoga and making memories with family and friends.

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