Myke Tairu is the type of person whose warm demeanor engulfs you, his humility inspires you, and his passion for justice spills over onto you within minutes of any conversation with him. Raised by a hardworking single mom, Myke is the middle of three boys, born and raised in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Myke saw first hand how disparities in things like affordable housing, high-paying jobs, and adequate education can affect not only individuals, but entire families as well. He has always had a heart to serve, and attending Bethune Cookman-University only strengthened his desire to do so.
After obtaining a degree in Philosophy from B-CU, Myke was accepted into Yale University for a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies. In August of 2012, Myke stood out as one of the only blacks on the campus and his dreadlocks only added credence to his ethnicity. Though he faced many challenges while seeking his second degree, both academically and personally, he credits those experiences for building his resolve in the pursuit of truth, reconciliation, and restorative justice. While in Connecticut, Myke served as an intern at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Headquarters in Washington DC. He also served as an Academic Coach, mentoring students in New Haven’s inner city.
Fueled by a deep conviction to help those who have been marginalized and disenfranchised, Myke earned his Master’s of Religion from Yale and returned to Volusia County, to the community he’d grown to love. He has held several positions of service and currently has the privilege of serving as the State Coordinator for the National Reentry Project, a program that seeks to address the policy barriers to reentry for formerly incarcerated individuals. Through the program, Myke has lead several successful ‘Ban the Box’ campaigns across the state of Florida, including Daytona Beach; the place he and his family call home.
In 2015, he achieved the President’s Award from the Volusia County-Daytona Beach Branch of the NAACP in appreciation for his service and leadership to the Daytona Beach Community. He was also a part of a national delegation that traveled to the White House to meet with representatives from the Obama Administration concerning policy that impacts formerly incarcerated individuals. From that meeting came an executive order by President Obama to Ban the Box on Federal job applications, giving individuals with past records the opportunity to gain adequate employment.
Though Myke has lost the dreads, he will never lose his unwavering desire for civic consciousness, justpeace ethics, and to be an advocate for the overlooked. As a faithful husband to his college sweetheart Shanicka, a kindergarden teacher at Westside Elementary, and a dedicated father to their twin girls, Myke is committed to pursuing justice and equality for all.