podcastED: SUFS president Doug Tuthill interviews education choice advocate Denisha Merriweather on importance of choice for Black community

On this episode, Tuthill talks to the director of family engagement for the American Federation for Children about her new project, Black Minds Matter, a resource that connects families with Black-owned schools. Launched earlier this year, the initiative highlights inequities in the education system that resemble systemic racism inherent in the criminal justice system.

Merriweather also talks about how the right learning environment changed the trajectory of her life and led her to a commitment to advocating for the expansion of education choice opportunities for all families.

“If you are not interacting with people on a daily basis, hearing their stories, their struggles … the real needed changes they need in their community, you become disconnected. (Supporting education choice) becomes a class issue.”


  • How growing up in a low-income Jacksonville neighborhood and attending a small private school changed Merriweather’s life
  • Merriweather’s employment with the U.S. government and how she became an education choice advocate
  • The birth of Black Minds Matter and why Merriweather has become a vocal advocate for Black-owned schools
  • The disconnect in racial equity activism and the lack of support for educational choice