Meryem Tunagur

Community Engagement Manager

In 2007, Meryem and her family moved to Birmingham from the Middle East. After a short adjustment period, Birmingham quickly became home and she found herself staying in the city for her Undergraduate Degree. Meryem graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2017 with a B.A in Theatre Educational Psychology; a research major she contracted which focused on theatre therapy for children and adults in marginalized communities. At BSC she had the honor of serving two terms as the President of the Cross-Cultural Committee, an organization that strives to promote diversity and cultural awareness throughout the campus and community. Through this position she worked with peers, professionals, and organizations such as Planned Parenthood, HICA, the National Women’s History Project, and the Civil Rights Museum, to create awareness and start a dialogue about personal identity, breaking barriers, and the importance of education. While at BSC she also worked with Birmingham City elementary schools to incorporate Arts Education.

Over the last eight years, Meryem has worked with many non-profit organizations. She taught theatre classes at the Dance Foundation, worked as a stage manager with local Theatres such as the Virginia Samford Theatre, and Central Alabama Theatre, served on the Junior Board of the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA), and was a member of YPN Birmingham.

During the last four and a half years, Meryem has served with the Birmingham Education Foundation (Ed). She began her career at Ed as an AmeriCorps VISTA Program Specialist, delivering and creating curriculum for Birmingham City Schools students grades 1st-7th. In the fall of 2018, Meryem was promoted to Community Engagement Manager. Under this role, Meryem launched three successful community engagement campaigns, such as the All In Campaign, to better understand the needs, desires, and experiences of Birmingham City students and families. Through these campaigns and Meryem’s work, Ed was able to engage over 3,000 families and students.

Since 2018, Meryem has had to remain resilient, solution-centered, and collaborative in order to best serve families and students in the midst of a global pandemic. In the fall of 2021, Meryem shifted to the Communications and Outreach Manager. Throughout a leadership change and organizational shift, Meryem has taken on new responsibilities and realigned old ones. Meryem is grateful every day for her team at Ed, and the continued opportunity to serve Birmingham City schools, families, and students. After all, “service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth” -Muhammad Ali.