Malik Dare is a 2014 Shaker graduate who went on to play Division II basketball at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester. He is the School Operations Data Analyst at the SUNY Charter Schools Institute. Dare is a local leader that has organized various community events such as a COVID-19 and social injustice webinar, a Thanksgiving Food Drive and he brought the UAlbany men’ basketball team to speak at the Albany School of Humanities on the importance of education and hard work. He resides in Cohoes.
Q: What motivates your community involvement and is there a favorite cause or focus that gives you more satisfaction than others?
A: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?” That quote has always stuck with me. There is no feeling more rewarding than doing something to help someone else. There are needs in the community that must be addressed and I feel as if I’m capable to help address certain needs. Helping children is my main focus. They represent our future and no one needs more guidance and support than someone still trying to figure out their place in the world.
Q: Charter schools were controversial when they were first introduced by Gov. George Pataki but have not been in the news much, good or bad, as of late. Why do you think that is?
A: All change is controversial. No meaningful change begins without controversy. The fact remains that traditional public schools haven’t served minority populations well. I don’t mean that as an indictment, I’m just stating a fact. To the extent that we can give families choices and opportunities that lead to greater ownership and accountability, I believe that is a good thing. I consider myself a product of school choice. I was fortunate that my family had the financial wherewithal to send me to CBA, but not everybody has that. When I had the opportunity to go to Shaker High School, an equivalent performing high school, I then made that choice. I don’t know why charter schools haven’t been in the news much in this region, but they certainly have in other areas of the state. There’s definitely a lot that we, at the SUNY Charter Schools Institute, would certainly like to share about the difference that charter schools are making in our communities every day.
Q: What would you like to see come out of the Black Lives Matter movement?
A: America to finally realize the promise of its creed. I know that this cannot be accomplished overnight, but the African American community has always deserved the same rights and treatment as any other race. We want to be represented with respect and appreciation within the community. This would mean, teachers that look like us working within school districts in all areas, black police officers and politicians to become a routine and established source of strength. We want to be legitimized within the corporate world. It is no longer a want but a need to completely eliminate all bias and negative connotation about African Americans. We are an extremely tenacious and gifted race. We deserve to live in a world where the playing field is leveled. We wish to embrace who we are and stand proudly without being judged by our neighbors, without living in fear for our existence. A right that every human being should have.
Q: Do you think we will still be wearing masks and keeping six feet apart in June 2021? Why or why not?
A: I think that the enforcement of wearing masks will strictly depend on our progress as a country. It’s difficult to think of any exact answers because it seems that our information changes with each new test and discovery that takes place. Like everyone else, my hope is for life to return to a new normal as soon as it is safe to do so.
Q: Who is your favorite basketball player? Why?
A: This one is a no brainer. Kobe Bryant. People have commented that they find it strange that my favorite player happens to play a very different position than I do. I was drawn to Kobe for many reasons apart from his athletic ability and skill set. Although I do think of him as the greatest basketball player to ever play the game, what I admired most about him was his work ethic, his passion and his mentality. I’m still just as inspired by Kobe as ever and I aspire to emulate his character and mindset in my own life.
If you know anyone who would be a good candidate for 5 questions contact Jim Franco at
[email protected] or call 518-878-1000.