Ziara R. Smith serves as the Program Implementation Associate within the Center for Race and Public Education in the South. A native of Memphis, Tn, she spent many years as a middle school Social Studies teacher-leader in the community. With additional experience in the history & cultural museum industry, she seeks to bring a wealth of knowledge to Charlottesville community stakeholders. Her areas of interest include culturally relevant education, teacher wellness, and professional development. She is eager to engage teachers and students with many culturally diverse educational resource materials and programming offerings. The impetus for her commitment to cultural diversity in education is reflected in the Ralph Ellison quote, "When a child has no sense of how he should fit into the society around him, he is culturally deprived." Ziara received her B.A. in African/African American Studies from the University of Memphis and completed her M.A.Ed. at Union University.