Preacher, Teacher, Advocate for Children & Youth
A native of Newark, New Jersey, Reverend Doctor Shakeema North has committed her life’s work to empowering young people to reach their fullest potential, despite the challenges that many of them face. She was elected and ordained to the office of elder at the Elmwood United Presbyterian Church in East Orange, NJ at the age of 24, making her one of the youngest persons ever to be elected to that position in the history of Elwood Church. Her ministry career then led her to the historic Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, New York where she served for ten years as the Pastor to Youth and Families. There, she was ordained to the gospel ministry on May 18, 2014. As a gifted teacher, preacher, and writer, Dr. North has shared with congregations and organizations across the country and abroad.
Pastor Shak, as she is affectionately called, has an exceptional ability to develop holistic and inclusive youth development initiatives. She is skilled at designing strategic programs, preparing thought-provoking workshops and seminars, facilitating community-based campaigns, and improving overall organizational productivity. These skills, coupled with her passion for youth development, led to her creation of iBridge, a workshop series designed to train Youth Pastors, Youth Ministry Leaders and Volunteer Youth Workers around the country on how to create sustainable youth ministries geared to reach today’s youth.
As a multi-site professional, Shakeema also serves at the Director of Youth Development and Interfaith Pastoral Services at Covenant House New York – a residential facility for youth experiencing homelessness for reasons including, but not limited to, abandonment, abuse, sexual orientation and gender identity, trafficking, and exploitation. Prior to joining Covenant House, Shakeema worked for over 10 years as a marketing and production professional with HBO.
Pastor Shak earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science (cum laude) from North Carolina A&T State University, where she also was a member of the Lady Aggies Women’s Basketball Team. She received the Master of Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary and the Doctor of Ministry Degree from Duke Divinity School. She is a 2017 Faith and Justice Fellow at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, and a 2014 Fellow of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary. Shak is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
"Until the killing of black men, black mothers' sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother's son, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens."