Dr. Adama Sallu is a passionate educator and skilled administrator with a career in education spanning two decades. She has extensive experience providing equity and diversity leadership and is instrumental in executing equity and diversity work in schools. A certified principal, she is experienced in supervising teachers as well as monitoring and evaluating their performance. Over the years, she has demonstrated leadership by advising, mentoring and supporting educators. She has established a track record of designing, planning, and implementing high-quality educational programs, and is committed to ensuring educational opportunities and success for all students. Dr. Sallu was born in Sierra Leone and grew up in Western Massachusetts where she worked in the Springfield Massachusetts Public Schools and worked as an adjunct faculty at Our Lady Of the Elms College for a decade before relocating to Arizona. Her work focuses on areas of diversity, culturally relevant instruction and equity in schools. She was the recipient of 2016 City of Tempe Arizona, Martin Luther King Jr. Education Award.

2017 Keynote Address

“Culture and Relationship Matters in Teaching and Learning”

With the unprecedented shifts in classrooms and schools across the country, we are at a critical junction in examining the role of culture and relationship with our diverse students. Understanding of culture and how it relates to personal values, beliefs, bias, societal histories, social perceptions all play a role in framing the relational dyad between educators and students. The intersectionality of each element coupled with relationship with our students is present in everyday classrooms. Therefore, recognizing these intersectionalities within our students and ourselves is essential if we are to genuinely engage and interrupt the cultural dissonance in our classrooms and schools that often leads to behavioral infractions and dismal learning outcomes.

As such, purposefully building a culturally relevant learning community that invites students’ voices, and reshapes student and teacher voices through a humanizing pedagogy is essential in a culturally relevant learning space. The continual affirmation of each learner is essential in building authentic relationships and a culturally germane learning community.