Charles Stanley, Jr.

Throughout his career, Charles Stanley, Jr. (he/him/his) has seen few Black men running charter management organizations. “The reimagining of education must include voices of those who have been marginalized when creating and designing spaces that marginalized communities will exist in. This is the motivation that drives my desire to found a school that is anti-racist in design and execution. Freedom for the most marginalized communities in this country means more freedom for everyone.”

Through the BES Fellowship, Charles is eager to join like-minded community members striving to close the opportunity gap for many of the city’s children. “St. Louis has experienced the negative effects of racism and inequalities in housing and education, leaving Black students performing on key milestones at lower levels than their peers. Black liberation is fostered through excellent education, so our proposed school will partner with the community to give students just that.” He seeks to found and lead a school that prepares students for their post-graduate lives, with its core program including exposure to the arts and similar vocations, critical thinking skills, and social emotional learning. Above all, the school will be an anti-racist space where students will learn independence, risk taking, and confidence in their authentic identities, supporting them to be successful in challenging moments and when engaging with rigorous content.

Charles is currently an entrepreneur-in-residence at The Opportunity Trust, where he began the work of designing and launching a new charter network. Previously, he worked at RePublic Schools, where he served as director of schools and founding principal in Jackson, MS. He also spent several years as a teacher and assistant principal. Charles received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and child studies from Vanderbilt University, and holds a master’s in elementary education from Trevecca Nazarene University.