Dr. Shawn Joseph

Dr. Shawn Joseph, Former Metro Nashville Director of Schools, will continue his fight for equity and excellence for all children as a newly appointed Visiting Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Fordham University.  Dr. Joseph shared, “I had numerous offers to apply for superintendent positions around the country, but my experiences in Metro Nashville Public Schools left me wanting to help school districts around the country improve opportunities and create greater access for all kids on a larger scale.  My role at Fordham University will allow me to help many more communities by training the next generation of equity leaders.   Now, I can work with school districts around the country and the world to focus on educational improvement.”

US News and World Reports ranks Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education as one of the top 50 graduate schools of education in the nation.  Located in the heart of New York City, Fordham University provides students with a high-quality Jesuit education.  According to Fordham University’s mission statement, “A Jesuit education means living a life beyond self, helping to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and heal the sick”. Service is a critical part of a Jesuit education, and it is built into the university’s curricula.   

Dr. Joseph shared that he plans on leading an Institute for Effective Governance and Equity at Fordham University.  He shared, “School districts around the country are having a difficult time doing the difficult and important equity work that needs to happen for children and communities.  School leaders and school boards need support learning how to best collaborate with one another on these critical issues, and the institute will work to support school governance teams, administrative teams, and employee organizations to collectively focus efforts on better achievement for all kids.”

When asked whether he planned on leaving Nashville, Dr. Joseph shared, “My family has grown to appreciate both the challenges and opportunities within this city.  Over the next year, I will develop a research agenda that allows me to keep Nashville as my primary residence.  As a city, we have much work to do, and I will continue to collaborate with organizations such as the Equity Alliance, the NAACP, the IMF, and Gideon’s Army to empower our community in the areas of education, economic development, and political empowerment. We hope to strengthen the movement by establishing clear, measurable annual goals in these critical areas”.    Dr. Joseph continued, “I am thankful for my experiences in Nashville.  God gives us tests to be able to have a testimony.”

You can learn more about the Unchained Movement by visiting www.nashvilleunchained.com.