Ayele Shakur, the Co-founder of Campus Without Walls and the President of the Redstone Foundation, brings over three decades of experience as an innovator in urban education.
The mission of the Redstone Family Foundation is to combat racism and antisemitism primarily through civics and cross-cultural education for children, youth, and families while also including the broader community. Before becoming the President of the foundation in 2023, Ayele served as the CEO of BUILD for five years and the founding Regional Executive Director for BUILD Boston for seven years. Prior to BUILD, she was President and CEO of the Boston Learning Center. A veteran classroom teacher, Ayele taught for eleven years in the Los Angeles area and in the Boston Public Schools, and co-authored the book Boost School Performance – A Parent’s Guide to Better Grades Fast.
Ayele is the recipient of the 2012 Boston Celtics Heroes Among Us Award and the 2007 Boston Children’s Museum’s Great Friend to Kids Award. From 2014-16, she served as Chairwoman for the Boston NAACP Education Committee. She is a 2017 Barr Fellow, a distinguished group of outstanding nonprofit leaders in Boston, and in 2018 became part of the GK100 Most Influential Black Bostonians. From 2015 to the present, she has co-chaired the Opportunity and Achievement Gaps Task Force for the Boston Public Schools, which is an appointment by the Boston School Committee. She also served as an advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Equitable Futures Initiative. She is currently Co-Chair for Open Opportunity – Massachusetts (OOMA), a network of 40+ education, nonprofit, advocacy, and governmental leaders from both grassroots and grasstops organizations focused on driving systems-level change to advance racial and economic equity. As part of her work with OOMA, she founded and now spearheads a new educational initiative called Campus Without Walls, designed to provide unprecedented levels of access to high-quality teaching and learning experiences for children in underserved communities.
Ayele is a motivational speaker and a former blogger for the Huffington Post. Her writing has also been featured in The Hill, WBUR, Commonwealth, and Entrepreneur Magazine. A native of Boston, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Boston University and a Master’s degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.