Why are you running for school board?
I am running for MPS Board District 4 because our community of color needs a change in the education presented to them. District 4 is the most marginalized and disproportionate community that lacks resources, revenue and support from policy and lawmakers. Therefore, I plan to ensure a quality education to children of color through Music, Arts and Mental Health Professionals being in all schools for a holistic educational approach. I also want to hold Charter Schools accountable for continued funding through an Accountability Clause that measures each school’s success where they must offer a curriculum that is different from MPS and offers a higher quality of education than MPS. This will ensure that children of color are able to compete with any other child across the nation. I am running because it is time to level the playing field in education and economic stability in the community of color. I plan to combat economic, racial and climate injustice in the community of color by fighting for a Green New Deal for Milwaukee and MPS. This will create living wage Good Green Jobs for the community of color such as HVAC, Plumbing, Horticulture and Solar Panel Installation to name a few. This opens the curriculum for skills and trades in MPS and jobs for families. This also creates a clean and healthy infrastructure for MPS students and teachers, which will cost MPS nothing, but will increase the value, revenue and resources for schools and communities of color. Finally, I am running to bring “Spirit” back to schools. It’s time to rally up the teachers, students, staff and community to bring life and vitality back to MPS. Teachers have lost the spirit of teaching, students have lost the spirit of learning and Directors have lost the spirit of leading, therefore democratization of education is very important at this juncture. We need to know what is needed and how we can provide support, revenue and resources to ensure the best quality education for our children.
What in your background or make up especially qualifies you for this seat?
I am qualified especially for this seat because I genuinely care about the life and longevity of MPS and it’s students. I am an alumni of MPS and very proud of the educational experience I received through North Division and other Milwaukee Public Schools. I work as a co-op organizer of North Side Rising, for Citizen Action of WI, where we fight for political, economic, and racial and climate equity and justice. I stood up against WE Energies and the PSC this past summer and was successful in getting the Utilities Moratorium extended throughout WI. I have sat on numerous Boards including the Citizen Action Education Fund, and currently as the first vice president of Church Women United-MKE. I am also the assistant pastor of The Reviving Faith Movement Church where we assemble online since the pandemic. I am a leader that loves to serve. I am the voice for the voiceless and hope for the hopeless. I am not afraid to stand alone or with the group as long as it leads to freedom and equality for all.
What are the most important issues facing the board — and your district in particular? What do you think should be done about these issues?
The most important issues facing the board and District 4 in particular is equality. Privatization plays a big role in that. Therefore, we must work and fight against parasitic privatization which sucks the life out of MPS. We lack support, revenue and resources. There are misallocations and misappropriations of funding and support for teachers, parents and students. We must follow the money and rectify the problem of lack in our district. We must also work to encourage parents to bring their children back to MPS. We have to strengthen our curriculum and support for the district, staff, students and parents alike. This is where democratization of education would be most helpful. Let’s stop doing what we ‘think’ is needed and provide what we ‘know’ is needed for families and schools. The only way to know and to grow is to bridge relationship gaps.
Are you satisfied with the district’s efforts to address disproportionate disciplining of Black male students as described in the Office of Civil Rights report? Would you want to change the district’s approach to this issue if elected?
Being the mother of two sons, I definitely do not agree with the disproportionate disciplining of Black male students. I fought hard to keep my sons from being labeled and caught up in the system. But many parents are not as fortunate as I have been in advocating for their child’s educational and criminal justice. The School to Prison Pipeline is very real in communities of color and continually perpetuated due to lack of social development funding in our community. We are rewarded with more police instead of resources for rehabilitation, moral and social development and just plain fun. Our suburban communities do not have this same problem of lack for their youth and this is why the grass looks greener on the other side. Any grass that is not watered will wither and die.
Once elected I will advocate, fight and shout for less policing and more social programs like ROTC, Music, Arts, Mental Health Professionals, Student Clubs and even a Student Union for MPS.
Do you agree with MPS’ decision to keep most students in all-virtual instruction until April? If not, how would your plan be different?
No, I do not agree with MPS’ decision to keep most students virtual until April because I believe April is too soon to return to In-person learning. Therefore, I would not decide to bring students back at all this school year. Yes, it has been challenging for all stakeholders, but our children and our community will be at risk with reopening MPS too soon and without an adequate public health and safety plan.
Children are affected by COVID and carriers of COVID. They live with family members that are elderly and that have compromised immune systems. This poses a public health risk and will affect the community of color at a more disproportionate rate than any other community. I want to keep our children safe and our community safe.