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Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum Educators Are Featured in Latest #proudMIeducator Video

LANSING – The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to announce the release of the latest #proudMIeducator video, featuring Dr. Brian Smith and Sha’Malia Willis, educators at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum in Detroit.

“I help kids to discover their dreams,” Ms. Willis shares in the video. “Representation in the flight community is very important and once you see it, especially as a kid, you understand that it’s an option. Communities don’t always have the opportunity to see professions in front of them and it’s life-changing because typically you can dream at that level if you are able to see it.”

The Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum is the dream of many individuals to capture the history of the exceptional aviators known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-African American fighter pilot squadron. The museum looks back to honor the Tuskegee Airmen while recognizing the importance of looking forward to inspire and educate the next generation of aviators.

“Children’s dreams and staff representation matter, and for so many of our children across the state and country, there is an interplay between the two,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Shout-outs to Dr. Smith, Ms. Willis, and many other Proud Michigan Educators who are teaching children and nurturing and helping develop children’s dreams daily.”

Increasing the number of certified teachers, especially in areas of shortage, is one of the eight goals of Michigan’s strategic education plan.

Since 2016, the #proudMIeducator series has featured educators and supporters of Michigan educators who share their passion for education. The full playlist can be found on the MDE YouTube page. If you know a proud Michigan educator who should be considered for a future video feature, please email