Background: Jeremy Knight is the Communications and Marketing Manager at Bellwether Education Partners. Prior to Bellwether, Jeremy was the Director of Communications at Students for Education Reform (SFER), an organization that develops college students into grassroots organizers who fight for educational justice in their communities. He joined SFER as a founding member on his college campus before joining full-time to develop SFER’s early membership and training programs — and later developing its first communications department. His department helped grow SFER’s media presence from a few untraceable media hits to over 200 pieces a year and its membership from a few hundred names to more than 11,000 members, supporters, and alumni.
Jeremy has organized and spoken on panels at SXSW and managed a national polling effort, surveying 1000 first-generation college students about their K-12 experience. He’s also conducted research on the relationship between city planning, government, and education policy, in addition to creating a rural participatory community development plan for a small village in Sierra Leone and developing community engagement and marketing plans for the City of Sydney, Australia’s transportation department.
Jeremy is currently a New Leaders Council Engaged Fellow. He was a Robertson Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill and currently sits on the Robertson Scholars Alumni Council. He studied city and regional planning and received his B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill. He also studied education at Duke University and hails from Atlanta, GA.
Why I do this work: My drive for educational justice is rooted in my experience as a first-generation college student who attended both good and bad public schools and as someone who had access to a strong college-going culture inside and outside the classroom. I am exploring the relationship between education policy and city planning — particularly in long-term regional planning — as a set of critical conditions for building smart, integrated cities of the future, where marginalized communities see their ideas, dreams, and hard work reflected in their city’s growth and progress.