Public Affairs Faculty Spotlight March
Dr. Shurita Thomas-Tate
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Many times, ethical leadership involves seeing a need in the community, and creating a program or service to fill that need. That is precisely what Dr. Shurita Thomas-Tate has done with the Ujima program, and it is why she is this month’s Public Affairs Faculty Spotlight.
“Ujima” is a Swahili word meaning “collective work and responsibility”. This is the mission of the family literacy program that Dr. Thomas-Tate founded four years ago. The Ujima program meets once a month and encourages families and community members to come together to support language and literacy development, and to facilitate a love for reading. Participating members meet once a month for dinner and literacy programming to help keep families engaged and practicing with one another. Ujima also hosts a summer literacy camp in July. Families come from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, racial groups, and cultures which makes for a rich experience.
In addition to her work with the Ujima program, Dr. Thomas-Tate has demonstrated her passion for education and leadership in other areas of the community. This past December, she applied to be a candidate for Springfield Public Schools School Board. As she states, it is important for the school district to provide equitable and accessible education to all students. She is currently hard at work campaigning before Election Day on April 2. Her work is to be commended, as she has done so much to incorporate ethical leadership, cultural competence, and community engagement into her daily life. Congratulations on earning this month’s Public Affairs Faculty spotlight!