Chukwuma ("Chuks") Ekwelum is a Ph.D. student in the department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis at UW. His research interests revolve around race, the shortage of black men within the U.S. teaching profession, and the inherent correlation between the two. Guided by Critical Race Theory, he contends that black men, the least represented demographic in the teaching workforce, are valuable sources of empowerment and instructional leadership who are often taken for granted. He believes that emphasis should not just be placed on recruiting them into the teaching profession; emphasis must also be placed on creating spaces and conditions for them to thrive in as leaders and autonomous agents of change, long-term. Chuks holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction (Secondary Education) from Boston College and a B.A. in Creative Writing & Literature from Trinity College (Hartford, CT).