EMA is a non-traditional learner-driven community where Panthers (our mascot) are in control of their own learning. 

What we value is what we are:

  • African-Centered
  • Learner-Driven and Self-Paced
  • Multi-age and Montessori-Inspired
  • Learner-Led and Self-Governance
  • Exploration, survey, and assessment of skill levels, learning styles, aptitudes, IMG_20180219_143152464.jpgpersonality traits, and unique interests
  • Guides rather than teachers
  • Kemetic Conversations (aka Socratic Seminar) rather than lectures
  • Writing Workshop and DEAR (Drop Everything And Read)
  • Mastery learning and portfolios of achievements
  • Real-world projects and apprenticeships, entrepreneurial leadership and wealth building
  • NO letter grades, NO homework and NO teaching to the test
  • Growth Mindset Culture (Ted Talk by Carol Dweck)


“We share the need, as African-heritage families, to create and provide spaces that are welcoming and safe for our learners;  spaces that reflect who we were, who we are, who we will be;  spaces that nurture our capacity for genius, allowing learners to develop their skills.  We need environments that will help us grow in self-knowledge and subject-matter knowledge, environments that help our learners use and discover their gifts, their passions, their purpose and their calling.  

Indeed, educating our black learners is the most African-Centered thing we can do!”  

Read the Position Paper.

Learner-Led and Self-Governance

Learners are capable and should be allowed the freedom to manage, reflect upon, and correct their own behavior.  Mindfulness and self-control are essential qualities of a leader, and our community needs leaders.  Therefore, instead of cultivating learners who function well only under authority, we aspire for all EMA Panthers to be liberated learners who cherish freedom and the responsibilities that come with it, learners who are empowered to uplift, support, and peer coach one another.

Done effectively, we want EMA kids to be prepared to lead group discussions, ask insightful and “incite”-ful questions, create quests and lead projects, perform demonstrations, protect EMA values, culture, and community.

Writing Workshop

“The desire to write grows with writing.”  Desiderius Erasmus

From reluctant writers to the most independent writers, all EMA Panthers are equipped to become “owners” of their writing and to think of themselves as writers.  This requires time, effort, and regularly scheduled practice.  WW is predictably scheduled to occur at least twice a week, allowing authors to independently write, confer, and share their works-in-progress with their learning community.  Writers use The Writing Process (pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to craft self-initiated writing projects, and respond to writing challenges.  6+1 Rubrics are used to aid in self, peer, and guide evaluation.

Real-World Projects and Apprenticeships

For our MS learners, real-world projects, internships, and apprenticeships are a vital part of their Hero’s Journeys.  Customized according to their hobbies, interests, and passions, learners gain valuable experience, skills, and knowledge that will help them clarify their future choices and discover their callings by connecting them with real people who love what they do.  Opportunities may include working at an animal shelter, volunteering at an organic farm, shadowing a DJ at a local radio station, interning at graphic design or animation studio, “working” at a restaurant, an investment firm or a magazine publisher.

Entrepreneurial Leadership (Development of Products/Services) and Wealth Building

Black America would have been much better off had the movement equipped Blacks to be their own job and product producers rather than seekers of the jobs and products of others.

Dr. Claud Anderson, Ed.D, Powernomics: The National Plan to Empower Black America

At EMA, we believe the future is for those who create.  While EMA Panthers will be prepared for the rewards of advanced independent studies and may choose the college-to-career path, learners will also be exposed to entrepreneurial leaders and business-creation opportunities.  Learners will be challenged throughout the year to create by designing apps and games, growing food, herbs, and sprouts, making clothing and jewelry, creating beverage, food and hygiene products, writing and publishing books, and more.  These real-world projects will provide opportunities for learners to collaborate, design, market, and distribute.  EMA aspires to be a learner-driven community that confronts our dire need to equip future leaders who will create and provide jobs, careers, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

Blended Learning with Use of Adaptive Software

Blended learning is the use of technology in combination with other modes of “unplugged” learning such as Kemetic Conversations, hands-on projects, collaborative work or independent reading.  Adaptive software is self-paced and individualized; these are two of the most outstanding benefits of their use.  Khan AcademyST Math and DuoLingo are used most frequently.

See our Sites We Use page.


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