Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why I'm Running for Buffalo Board of Education_Part 2

Please view this video, which will give you a better understanding of the reasons that I've decided to seek election to the Board of Education.  Please respond to this video with your thoughts and observations.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Why I'm Running 2

The Candidate Speaks

Why I'm Running

I believe that every child has a right to an education that prepares them to reach their potential.

I was appointed to the Board of Education in January 2012.  In the last two years I have had the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about the extraordinarily complex challenges that the District needs to address to improve the educational outcomes of our children.  

As a sitting Board member I also have gained, from my experience, an understanding of the strategies that the Board should support through policy and advocacy that will strengthen our District’s capacity to provide a quality education to the children.  The problems that the District has are not new and did not materialize overnight, nor will they be eradicated quickly.  It will take sustained and consistent leadership to achieve sustained and consistent change.  

In the last two years, we have seen incremental progress in several areas that are indicators of positive change; an increase in graduation rates, decrease in suspensions and in absenteeism.   Are these numbers where they need to be? Absolutely not but they are moving in the right direction and I would like to ensure that we stay the course as I believe that continued change in the positive direction is possible and I believe that I can contribute to that change.

The Sisterhood: Setting the Record Straight

Welcome to the inaugural post on my new blog:  “Board Matters:  the Politics of Education”, a commentary on the issues of the Buffalo Board of Education that matter.  The campaign season leading up to the election to fill three seats on the Board this May has just begun and it appears that there will be a crowded field of candidates (11 at last count) and a plethora of issues to discuss/debate.

If you notice the Blog owner’s profile, it references the GTM Sisterhood.  I decided to keep that profile, with a few modifications because it is a fitting representation of the true definition of a “sisterhood”.  It contradicts the meaning that one Buffalo Board member wants to ascribe to African American women on the Board and staff.  He uses the term to convey his contempt for this group of Black women, and to label us as incompetent, seeking undeserved status, negative, destructive, clandestine and irresponsible.  He tries to mask his use of “the sisterhood” by claiming that this is the reference we make to ourselves.   However, he means the term to be demeaning and derogatory. 

Historically and presently, the “sisterhood” describes the tradition of black women banding together, formally or informally, to create agency (self-help), advocacy and service to members of the community (theirs as well as the community in general).  Members of the “sisterhood” are leaders but also understand the power of “strength in numbers”, so they collaborate and coalesce. 

So, when you understand the true meaning of the “sisterhood”, you understand why we embrace that descriptor, celebrate it and proudly call ourselves, members!