Malika is passionate about working to develop educators to be change agents of instructional and systemic equity and to nurture students’ cognitive development through culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy. As Chief Innovation Officer at the Highlander Institute, Malika is responsible for the Institute’s evolving and iterative pedagogical approach to change, as well as program implementation across all classrooms, schools and districts. Prior to working at the Institute, Malika served as an Innovation Specialist and a high school science teacher. She was a Rhode Island District Teacher of the Year and served on Governor Raimondo’s STEAM and Equity in Educator Preparation Working Group. Malika holds an M.Ed. in Education Policy and Management from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Public Health from Brown University. As a daughter of strong and brilliant Eritrean refugees, Malika has spent her life critiquing the systems that perpetuate educational inequity, and she is proud to be a part of the struggle to ensure that all children have access to, and can take advantage of, an empowering education.