Shawnee Mission East High School teacher, martial artist and rapper David Muhammad this weekend will receive the Crescent Peace Society’s education award.
Muhammad, 32, an African American and Muslim, is a popular teacher at East. Students flock to his classroom just to chat with “Mr. Mu.”
He says he relishes discussing cultural difference and similarities with his students, who are predominantly white and from financially well-off households.
Muhammad told The Star in a February 2017 interview that he loves teaching and respects what he learns from his students.
“I want my classroom to reflect what I’m about,” he said. “And I try to keep an open environment.”
When he’s not in the classroom, Muhammad makes music under the hip-hop persona Brotha Newz — he is pretty sure he’s the only rapping teacher at East — and teaches martial arts at his father’s Red Bridge gym.
Muhammad has over the years spent a lot of time training himself. This past year, he was the No. 1 seed on the U.S. Karate team.
Muhammad has been teaching in Shawnee Mission for eight years. He started at East, then transferred to a district middle school before rejoining the high school’s staff.
The Crescent Peace Society is a Kansas City area interfaith organization that seeks to enhance the understanding of Muslim culture through dialogue, discussion and shared experiences.
The Crescent Peace Society annual awards banquet will be 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday at the Marriott Kansas City Overland Park.