Markus Flynn – Executive Director
Markus came to Black Men Teach as a science teacher at Prodeo Academy in Minneapolis. He held prior positions in research and project management at Iowa State University. He is joining Black Men Teach to follow his passion for creating educational opportunities for future Black male teachers.
“One of the most pressing issues facing the State of Minnesota is the disparity in education outcomes for our Black children,” said Flynn. “The work of Black Men Teach has never been more crucial, so I am eager to join an organization comprised of many talented individuals to cultivate a pipeline of Black men who will inspire, mentor and ultimately increase the success rate for students in our community.”
An active community leader, Flynn is known to Black Men Teach from his volunteer efforts with its College Cohort Program, which recruits Black men to join the teaching profession. He has served as a volunteer at Raising Readers, mentor for the Connect Program, Board Member of United Way of Story City, President of the Black Graduate Student Association and founder of the Creating the Academic Pipeline Program.
“We are so fortunate to welcome someone with Mr. Flynn’s passion and drive,” said Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed, Chair, Black Men Teach, and Superintendent of Hopkins Public Schools. “He is the perfect fit for this role that will be focused on advancing our mission to recruit, prepare, place and retain Black male teachers in elementary schools.”
Domonick Fields – Program Director
We are excited to announce that Domonick Fields joined Black Men Teach on July 14 as the Program Director. Domonick has a strong background in public, private, charter school and community organization leadership. “Domonick’s extensive experience makes him a perfect fit for this new position,” says BMT Executive Director Markus Flynn. “He has the academic training and hands-on leadership in youth development, advising, project management, and serving youth in a variety of organizations that BMT needs at this time in its history. We are honored to have him join our team.”
The program director position is responsible for building partnerships with secondary and post-secondary education leaders, recruiting high school and college fellows, training program coordinators, overseeing curriculum implementation, and managing social media engagement.
“Black Men Teach is so critically important in overcoming the shortage of Black teachers and role models in elementary schools,” says Domonick. “I am committed to helping achieve BMT’s mission using my training and experience serving underrepresented communities.”
Prior to joining BMT, Domonick served as alumni counselor at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Minneapolis; academic advisor for Trio Upward Bound, Brooklyn Park; and family achievement coach for Northside Achievement Zone, Minneapolis. While pursuing his master’s degree, he held positions as academic advisor for Trio Educational Talent Search, program coordinator for The Sanneh Foundation, an AmeriCorps fellow with Twin Cities Rise, and teen center director of the Boys and Girls Club of St. Paul.
Domonick holds a B.A. Degree in sociology and anthropology from St. Olaf College and a Master’s Degree in educational leadership from St. Mary’s University.
Sarikahshres Pannirselvam – Administrative Operations Manager
Sarikahshres Pannirselvam comes to Black Men Teach with a diverse background under the administrative umbrella. She brings experience in HR and general administrative work. She came to the United States from Cambodia in 2018 as a student. During this time she also volunteered as an English tutor among the international community at college. Her desire to bring greater diversity to the teaching profession stems from personal experience with the racial inequities in the American-run school she attended in Cambodia. In the United States she witnessed this issue amplified and disproportionately affecting Black youth.
As she built established experience in the administrative field, Sarikahshres looked for an opportunity to bring her skills to an organization which shared her vision to see change.
“As an immigrant, I am acutely aware of the opportunities being in America has afforded me, and I am thankful for that,” says Sarikahshres. “Yet I cannot ignore the need for change in our communities. Black Men Teach is critical to laying the foundation for the long overdue changes that need to occur in our education system.”
Before joining Black Men Teach, Sarikahshres worked as an Executive Assistant at Golden Supply, Inc. Prior to that she attended California University of Pennsylvania where she pursued an English degree for several years. Before coming to the United States, she worked as an ESL tutor in Cambodia.
Sean Sweat – Impact Director
Sean comes to Black Men Teach with significant experience serving youth in north and south Minneapolis. Prior to joining BMT, Sean taught for six years at Hope Academy, leading 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade classrooms, as well as serving as Dean of Students. Sean also served at the historic Hospitality House Youth Development, where he built and coordinated a literacy program that produced positive outcomes for northside students. Sean’s volunteer experience includes serving on the board of Literacy Minnesota and as a Big Brother for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Sean’s passion for seeing more Black men in the classroom grew throughout his years of teaching, as he found himself often as the only Black male teacher in the hallways or meeting rooms. His passion intensified as he gained the opportunity to mentor a cohort of BMT College Fellows as their leadership coach.
“I often think about the 1950s and 60s. My people. The teachers and the pastors. The poets and the artists. The barbers and the city workers. All these people were teachers. They majored in leadership and strategy. They collaborated and coordinated in church basements a plan to wrestle back Black freedom and humanity. And they did all of this with the grave understanding that their sacrifice would oftentimes end in bloodshed. When a Black male teacher takes that history, that DNA, that will into the classroom—when he educates a young Black student using that power and leading with authenticity—I’m convinced it’s the most powerful and transformative act in education. The mission of Black Men Teach is so important for the healing of our communities here in the Twin Cities. I’m proud to be part of it.”
Sean studied at Virginia State University and Old Dominion University before completing his B.A. Degree in elementary education at Western Governors University.