Zakiyah Shaakir-Ansari is advocacy director of the New York State Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), the leading statewide organization that has been fighting for educational justice in New York State. She has 20 years of experience in organizing and advocacy for education justice as both a leader and staff member. She is well known and highly respected among education justice organizers and leaders across the country.

Zakiyah has tremendous skills and experience developed from being a parent of eight New York City public school students, being a parent activist, and working for AQE for more than a decade. Zakiyah brings a wealth of knowledge on policy, organizing, and campaign strategy. Zakiyah directs AQE’s NYC office and has worked on a range of education justice issues including equitable funding, ending the school-to-prison pipeline, culturally-responsive education, community schools, school governance reform and progressive revenues to fund schools—among others.

Zakiyah led AQE’s process of recentering their work to lead with a racial justice frame. In 2017, she was named one of City and State magazine’s “25 Most Influential in Brooklyn.” Zakiyah volunteers her time with NY Justice League who works to end childhood incarceration.