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The Founder

Adinkra symbols are visual symbols originating in Ghana, West Africa. They represent human qualities and values that we should uphold. These include harmonious living, independence, life-long learning, patience, forgiveness and many more. We can discover many of these symbols built into the architecture of New Orleans, especially the French Quarter and Treme. We view these remnants as a reminder from our ancestors to constantly create and be innovators of new ideas and concepts but to never forget the roots that were planted in order for us to be leaders in this world.

Elizabeth Fletcher, educator, Mother and lifelong learner, made a courageous leap in 2012 by dedicating her life and career to the foundation of Adinkra Nola. Though she explains this decision as a selfish act to set the standard of education she desired for her daughter, this singular act of vision, passion, and faith has impacted more than 80 young people. “As an educator and mother, I wanted something different for my daughter’s education.

I realized that almost none of the “best practices” that I studied as I pursued my teaching certificate are being implemented in mainstream schools. Operating as communities of learners has proven time and again to be the most effective. Schools with small environments that encourage student-led learning, that encourage exploration and discovery over the memorization of a biased selection of test-prep curriculum are also often out of the average person’s financial capabilities. I wanted THAT education for my daughter, and I knew that I wasn’t the only one. I also demanded an environment that respected her as a young Black woman of the 21st century.

I wanted to share that with my community in a way that is accessible to as many people as possible. Adinkra NOLA is the continuation of my own commitment to improve, serve my community, and advocate for youth. Now entering its fifth year, I have no doubt that with what is going on in the world today, more people will realize that education belongs in the hands of or children and the people closest to them. Our children must be prepared today for problems that we do not yet know exist, and if we don’t leave behind this outdated educational system, we will be the ones who are left behind.”

Elizabeth Fletcher

Career Highlights

  • 9 years as a classroom teacher: Honors and AP English, Drama, Poetry, Yearbook, Speech and Debate
  • Traveled to Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria to document anti-human trafficking efforts of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to study the boarding school model
  • Recipient of the 2010 Jessie Vickman Special Teacher Award (Awarded by the New Orleans NAACP)
  • Produced the NAACP Youth Council’s Youth Against Violence Mayoral Forum
  • Lobbied on Capitol Hill for improvements in child care resource and referral funding and regulation at the national CCRR Convention 2009
  • Organized grant writing workshops at Warren Easton Senior High School
  • Facilitated a math and science, hip-hop workshop for teachers at Tulane University

Our Parents Say…

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