African American Female Excellence is working to create a highly visible and proactive collaborative to accelerate academic achievement among African American girls and young women in OUSD, and to address the disparities in educational and social outcomes for African American girls and young women from preschool through high school.

The initiative will work with a core Advisory Group and a team of thought partners to develop strategies, structures, and guidance regarding how to improve the culture, climate, and conditions of female students of African descent from preschool through 12th grade.

The advisory group—OUSD Collaborative for the Achievement of African American Girls and Young Women (OUSD Collaborative for African American Girls)—will develop interagency linkages, inter-departmental recommendations, models, best practices, and feedback loops to ensure that all parts of the organization are moving together to interrupt intersectional bias against African American girls. Lead, supervise and support an alignment of the OUSD Collaborative for African American Girls Achievement with the District strategic plan and equity policy.



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Nzingha S. Dugas, Director

Nzingha S. Dugas is the Director of African American Female Excellence (AAFE). She came to OUSD from the University of California at Berkeley where she served as one of the Directors in the Multicultural Student Development Offices in the area of African American Student Development (AASD). In her role as the AASD Director, Nzingha’s primary focus was student retention, engagement, and matriculation, supporting and ensuring African American success.

In her leadership capacity, she served as an advisor to students, staff, faculty and the administration regarding the needs and concerns specifically of the Black student community and generally of the multicultural student community. Her areas entailed academic guidance and support, advising, advocacy, teaching, research and resource opportunities, multicultural student engagement, and general student affairs.

In addition to her work at Berkeley, she brings over 10 years’ experience working in and partnering with OUSD, teaching courses and providing student development programming at several campuses.



Tanara Haynes, Program Manager

Tanara Haynes is an advocate and servant for youth and communities belonging to the African diaspora. At an early age, she recognized her passion for teaching, being in community, and giving voice to those who are often unheard.

After receiving her undergraduate degree from Howard University in Journalism, Tanara went on to pursue a Masters in Pan African studies from Syracuse University. As a student, she continued to teach and build with the community by providing culturally relevant and educational events. During her time as a graduate student, Tanara also traveled to East Africa where she conducted research on the legitimacy of traditional healing, with a specific focus on the arts, to bring about holistic wellness and combat diseases.

Today, she serves as a Program Manager for Oakland Unified School District’s African American Female Excellence initiative where she continues to further her learning and discovery as a lifelong student while providing services to America’s historically marginalized community as a devoted educator and advocate. 



Nzingha S. Dugas, Director

African American Female Excellence
Lafayette Campus
991 14th Street, Building A
Oakland, CA 94607


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