Our History

It started as vision, the vision of two impassioned, driven and bright women who when first set foot in New Orleans instantly felt a connection. They arrived in the city in April of 2007 for what was to be a weeklong visit and immediately knew this was a place – a city, a people and a culture, they wanted to join. And so what began as a trip to help rebuild McDonough 42 Elementary became the birth of Sojourner Truth Academy. Armed with unwavering determination and experience in some of the toughest Los Angeles public schools, Channa Mae Cook and Kristin Leigh Moody set their sites on New Orleans and rebuilding a troubled public school system. With the support of New Schools for New Orleans, Channa and Kristin relocated to New Orleans in June of 2007 to begin developing the fundamentals of Sojourner Truth Academy. Their goal was to create an environment that offered students an inclusive, community-centered education combined with rigorous college preparation and social justice activism. As the pillars, mission and values of the school began to take shape, Channa and Kristin began to assemble a Founding Board of Directors who would be critical to turning their vision into a reality. After interviewing a wide spectrum of members of the community, Channa and Kristin decided on 6 people who would become the founding Board. With a Board of Directors in place, Channa and Kristin worked tirelessly to complete the rigorous Charter School Application for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). On October 30th, the group traveled to Baton Rouge for their interview and to present the application to BESE. The response from BESE was positive and on December 6, Sojourner Truth Academy was granted a charter as a Type 5 open enrollment charter high school. Sojourner Truth Academy, with a staff of 14 committed founding teachers and staff, first opened its doors on Monday, August 18, 2008 serving 120 ninth grade students from Orleans Parish.