Black History Month Spotlight: Shaniece Conyers

February 25, 2022 / 5 mins read


For our next staff spotlight, we’re giving some shine to our Early Head Start Associate Director Shaniece Conyers!

Shaniece, a New Haven native, has been a part of the All Our Kin family since 2020. She was introduced to the field of Early Head Start and Head Start over twelve years ago and brings a wealth of experience (and passion) for supporting underserved families and educators with the tools needed to succeed.

Read on to learn more about Shaniece’s journey and the importance of uplifting Black voices not just today, but everyday. “I challenge educators to dig a little deeper and teach about Angela Davis, Moms Mabley, or even the black city Mound Bayou in Mississippi. Let us teach the children beyond slavery!”



What is your role at All Our Kin?

I’m the Early Head Start Associate Director.

What do you love most about what you do day in and day out?

As an Early Head Start Associate Director I enjoy being able to help enhance family child care programs so they can continue to provide high-quality care; hearing directly from educators on their needs and being able to pull resources together to make it possible. I truly love being a part of a collaboration that services the whole child and providing wrap-around services for families.

What inspired you to join this field and become active in this important work?

I joined early childhood education initially because I was good at it. I was able to play while at work and I’ve always loved working with children. Then I was introduced to Head Start and Early Head Start 12 years ago and fell in love with it, especially the mission and vision to take care of the entire child. Knowing that I was directly shaping the minds of young children, while their parents were getting resources and being advocated for, was something special and I had never known about it prior. I wanted to be a part of that and serve in a leadership role as a principal or director, where I can talk to stakeholders and have more of a voice to enhance programs and systems.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History isn't just a month, it is year-round. I live in this skin every single day and face adversity and challenges because of it, yet Black excellence is recognized in the shortest month of the year.

Still, Black History Month provides a dedicated time for children to learn about their ancestors and black leaders like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and W.E.B. Du Bois. I challenge educators to dig a little deeper and teach about Angela Davis, Moms Mabley, or even the black city Mound Bayou in Mississippi. Let us teach the children beyond slavery!

Tell us about a moment in black history that influenced or shaped your career.

The first time that I walked into my third grade classroom, the world changed for me. I had my first-ever black teacher and will never forget the excitement of seeing someone who looked like me. I remember looking forward to attending class every day because she provided a safe space for us to celebrate learning through singing and dancing. She was relatable — using idioms and references that were familiar in my own home.

What historical black figure has inspired you the most? Can you share a quote or lesson that you’ve learned from them?

Maya Angelou has always been my inspiration! My favorite quote:
" Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it."