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Rodney Robinson

Rodney RobinsonRodney Robinson, a 20-year teaching veteran and passionate advocate of underprivileged and underrepresented students, is the 2020-21 Jepson School of Leadership Studies leader-in-residence. He was teaching for Richmond Public Schools at Virgie Binford Education Center, a school located inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center, when he was named the 2019 National Teacher of the Year.

Using his teacher-of-the-year platform, Robinson advocated for economic and cultural equity to ensure students have teachers and administrators who look like them and value their culture. He worked on creating student programs to combat the school-to-prison pipeline and collaborated with Pulitzer Prize-winning author James Forman Jr. to develop curriculum units on race, class, and punishment as part of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. 

In his current role as senior advisor for Richmond Public Schools, Robinson is creating the RVAMenTeach program to support the recruitment and retention of male teachers of color. He is also coordinating anti-racism programs for the school district and Greater Richmond community.

Robinson’s many accolades include being named the 2019 historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) male alumnus of the year by HBCUdigest.com and appearing on The Root (magazine) list of 2019 most influential African Americans.

As the 2020-21 Jepson School leader-in-residence, Robinson will meet with leadership studies classes in the fall semester and will give a public presentation—either in person or virtually—in the spring semester.