What Up Doe Detroit.
WHERE I COME FROM
Service has always been a calling for me. Since my first school yard fight defending a fellow first grader from fifth grade bullies, I've fought to make sure that those with the most need are well represented and well served. I've fought for young people, for older adults, for the LGBT community, and for the Black community in all its diverse forms. Doing that work in Detroit is in my blood. Even after living in Chicago where I achieved by Bachelor's in Research Psychology from the University of Chicago and served Chicago's youth in classrooms and community centers; and after living in Los Angeles where I served as a City Year Corps Member in Los Angeles Unified School District, I knew I had to come home and continue the service work in Detroit. Coming back to Detroit included attending the University of Michigan School of Social Work and studying Community Organizing and Social Systems plus immediately diving into youth development work and eventually multi-generational organizing and service work in the Blackest city in America.
Be the change you want to see. I want to see an end to racism. I want to see an end to violence against women. I want to see an end to housing discrimination against trans people. I want to see a more connected and supportive society. With a mind for systems change and community engagement, those are the changes that I work to create.
This means I:
Work with policy makers
Collaborate with community organizers and organizations
Build coalitions of diverse individuals around shared issues
Develop special programming
Educate through writing and speaking
WHAT I'M ABOUT
FOUR YEARS OF
PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRESS
A large part of my life in recent years has been the Detroit School Board. When I was elected in 2016, the school district was exiting bankruptcy and under the supervision of the Financial Review Commission. Within a few months more 50 schools were on a state list recommended for closure based on poor performance. Since that time--and after our first major hurdle: selecting an outstanding reform ready superintendent, Dr. Nikolai Vitti--we protected all of those schools from closing and demonstrated consistent progress each year in the performance of those schools. We've established new Math and English Language Arts curriculum that meets national standards and has resulted in student growth that's outpaced the state average and national averages for other urban districts. We've had a balanced budget each year since that 2016 election. We've established career pathways at every high school and brought music and art back to schools including a special K-12 Arts Pathways program. As a board member I've brought voice to racial equity issues such as student discipline and the school to prison pipeline; I established DPSCD as a sanctuary district protecting immigrant students and families; and I created the student board member opportunity for voice and representation on the board. I was re-elected in 2020 to serve for another four years and have big plans to continue to build a progressive and high quality school district.