top of page

Our Farewell Message

Thank you to all the folks that have struggled tirelessly to make education better for African-American children. Thank you to those who have supported our efforts as well as supported others’ efforts who are trying to move the needle toward equity, health and justice.


Despite our vision, dedication, passion and conviction and after 5 years of swimming upstream with very slow forward progress, we have come to accept that our exhaustion requires us to take a respite. We are saddened by the apparent defeat.  However, as with all energy, ours is not lost but simply transformed.


I am reminded by one of our board members that the battle of this work has always been uphill.  Structural racism in the society, in philanthropy and in the educational system in general play outsized roles in who controls the conversation around what the educational harms are and what needs to be done to repair them. There is not a critical number yet of those who want to change the status quo. We are not politicians, law makers, fundraisers or members of the elite who shape policy. We are simply concerned community members who want to make a change.


There are also layers of historical pain and internalized oppression in our larger community making it all the more difficult for our schools and organizations to simply thrive in the ways that they should and could. Even those among us who are well connected to powerful and wealthy networks struggle to find funding for the education of Black youth. We, a group of average community members, without such connections certainly found this to be even more true. As with everything, this journey was made even more challenging through the effects of the COVID pandemic.


Although our ultimate goal of opening an independent school that serves Black youth (SILE), and creating an institution of higher learning that could foster and further develop all of the reparative ideals needed to transform and revolutionize education for our children (AFRE), was not fully realized, we were successful in sprinkling a little water on the seeds already planted by those before us. This included among other things,


  • Hosting multiple community listening sessions to find out what community members found important in the education of their children

  • Learning from Black educators why they chose the independent school model over Charter School (and vice versa). Understanding the perceived benefits and limitations of each.

  • Hosting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) sessions for the youth in the community for free

  • Hosted a pilot teacher training session to test principles of restorative education with seasoned educators

  • Created a tutor training curriculum for community teens to be able to develop skills to both earn income and help younger children in need of academic assistance

  • Shared free home science videos on our social media platforms for children and their families.

  • Our inaugural fellow completed an oral history project interviewing community members about their experiences in education as children

  • Created multiple community partnerships to further the conversation about how we improve education for our community (including faith groups, other independent Black schools, tutoring specialists, philanthropists, educators, marketing specialist, fundraisers, parents, financial advisors, accountants, journalists and community allies among others.

  • Raised funds using various platforms to ensure fiscal sustainability of our efforts.



If you are following us on our social media platforms, you will notice a pause in activity.

You will no longer be able to leave voicemail messages nor emails..

If you are a donor, the funds we have raised thus far will be donated to a local independent Black school of our Board’s choosing and you will receive updates accordingly.

If you are a parent that was hoping to send your child or children to our institution, please consider contacting other independent Black schools in the Bay Area including Ile Omode and Umoja House in Oakland and the Meadows Livingstone School in San Francisco., 


Thank you for all of your support!

The AFRE/SILE Founders:

Awana Black

Falating Nwagwu

Imani Nwagwu

Dr. Lasha Pierce 

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 7.11.23 PM
Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 7.12.18 PM
AFRE screenshot (1)
Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 7.11.47 PM
Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 7.13.05 PM
Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 7.12.52 PM
Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 7.13.57 PM
Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 2.58.02 PM

The Academy for Restorative Education seeks to reinvigorate young minds. Our mission is to aid in the development and support of specific, proven and meaningful educational models to close the academic and economic achievement gaps in our country. We believe that effective and targeted education as a remedy for under-resourced children and their families can transform entire communities and be a bridge to economic opportunities previously out of reach. Broadening the menu of strategies to help all students achieve excellence, especially among underperforming African-American children, is crucial in helping students achieve their full potential.


Education is the Great Liberator. Restorative education is a purposeful strategy that helps build healthy communities, increases social capital, repairs harm and restores relationships.There is a wealth of research showing that current educational models are not optimal to the learning styles of African-American students and that those students don’t perform as well on standardized assessments of learning. Further research shows that current discipline models in education disproportionately affect those students in negative, often catastrophic ways. Historically, educational models in the United States discount the role that prior institutionalized abuse, neglect and cultural disrespect, and the resultant trauma and harm caused by such experiences have on learning.

Restorative education seeks to acknowledge the historical neglect those vulnerable students and families have endured in traditional education models, seeks to discover effective, targeted, innovative models of education for those students and thereby reversing the historic trend of bias in education. Restorative education disrupts the U.S. school-to-prison pipeline. It emphasizes repairing the harm done by educational institutions to people, relationships, and communities.


Opening Fall 2021


SILE : Yoruba meaning “Exceptional"

The Academy for Restorative Education holds as it’s primary mission to develop and maintain an endowment for its partner SILE schools. The most successful schools have longterm financial stability to ensure lasting investment in the school's mission and its students. Closing the educational resource gap starts with creating and maintaining institutional fiscal strength.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 2.59.19 PM
Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 2.55.22 PM
Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 2.58.02 PM
Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 2.56.06 PM
Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 2.57.52 PM
Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 2.58.14 PM
Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 2.58.36 PM
Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 2.58.48 PM

The 3 T's







One of the critical components to AFRE’s mission is to encourage the study of the impact that Restorative Education can have on learning. Multiple researchers have looked at the impact of poverty, educational level of the parents, high stakes testing and a multitude of other variants have on academic performance. Many overlook the role that historic trauma has had, and therefore fail to study potential remedies related to that trauma.


Guided by our Mission, we pursue the following goals through our fundraising, research, and advocacy:

  • Address the particular educational needs of traditionally under-resourced communities, particularly those of African American children, by supporting and strengthening our innovative partner SILE schools and our training and research institute.

  • Promote progressive educational research and best practices for culturally literate, effective teaching within those vulnerable communities

  • Highlight strategies to deconstruct the obstacles that institutionalized racism has created to disable transformative teaching and equitable learning.

  • Recognize and encourage leaders who are working to increase educational achievement within those communities

  • Inform policymakers and opinion leaders about important issues surrounding the education of vulnerable learners.

bottom of page