I have lived in Durham since 2003, receiving my PhD from UNC-CH’s Communication Studies Department. I currently run and teach through UNC-CH’s Correctional Education Program, which brings for-credit UNC-CH courses to North Carolina prisoners, a position that requires collaboration with diverse stakeholders.
I attended racially and economically diverse public schools growing up in Seattle, schools with racial achievement gaps similar to Powe’s. I have much to learn about the complex reasons for Powe’s achievement gap. I hope that my research background, professional experience, and lifelong engagement with public schools will help me gain a working knowledge of educational disparities and collaborate to advance Powe’s academic equity.
For decades the racial and socioeconomic inequity in our society has been an important issue to me and where I have focused my volunteer efforts. I would contribute to the SIT through my experience in working on the academic opportunity gap at George Watts and collaborating on ideas and efforts to implement.
At Watts I created, implemented, and coordinated the PTA Summer CLIMB program for 3 summers. I worked on community building which increased the diversity of the PTA board and volunteer base. I formed the parent team that put a spotlight on the academic opportunity gap and created the first DPS PAAC group through our African American Families meeting which I co-facilitated with Jovonia Lewis.
I would like to join the SIT because I want to help Powe continue to make progress bridging gaps in achievement by means of creating equity and opportunity among all students. I am aware that Powe, along with other schools, faces issues getting adequate funding for programs and staffing. I am also aware of major socioeconomic differences among the student population and that the children from middle class, mostly white families seem to be the ones most likely to have access to learning opportunities like the AIG program. I bring to the team my experience as a Powe parent for the last five years and my enthusiasm for working within the SIT.
I work with young activists to improve conditions for farmworkers at Student Action with Farmworkers. I'm also Mom to Ike in 1st grade and feel so lucky to be part of this inspiring school community. I want to be part of the SIT team to help identify how Powe can continue to improve by providing access to opportunities, growth, and resources to students who need it most. What I will bring to the team is my experience working with marginalized communities that face higher barriers to educational achievement and a philosophy of experimentation to find alternative methods to reach students.