After attending the October 4 Common Hour: “Building a Movement for Education Opportunity for All,” with Wendy Kopp, the CEO of Teach for America, I was intrigued to find out more information about the highly regarded program. I was lucky enough attend the talk, and I came away very inspired and with a lot of great insight.
For those of you who did not have the opportunity to catch Kopp at this event, read here! Next week (November 12, 13, and 14), F&M will be hosting its own “Education Week.” There will be three days of various events, panels and speakers, where our very own professors and alumni will talk about their involvement and understanding on
the topic of educational inequity.
I had the opportunity to speak with the individuals who are responsible for this event and gained some valuable insight as to why this initiative has taken on such a large role in our community. Alexis Teevens, a student here at F&M and founder of the Students for Education Reform club on campus, partnered with the Office of Student Post Graduate Development to bring this event to campus. I spoke to her about Education Week and why it is important for students to learn more about educational inequality. “I believe if more students were informed about the grave inequalities based largely on race and class, they would want to talk about how our generation can be a part of the solution,” Teevens said.
Alexis also explained why she chose these specific individuals and events. The events on Monday, Nov. 12 include a panel discussion with both alumni and faculty. The F&M community will recognize some familiar names, such as Donnell Butler ’95, Senior Associate Dean for Planning & Analysis of Student Outcomes; Katherine McClelland, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology; and Shawn Jenkins ‘10, Special Assistant to the Dean of the College for Strategic Projects. The panelists will discuss the history and statistics of educational inequity. On Tuesday, Nov. 13,, two F&M alumni, Aaron Bass, ’01 and MollyMae Wall ’12, who work for KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program), will discussion efforts to “close the achievement gap” among aspiring college students. Nov. 13, organizations such as Teach For America, KIPP, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Children Deserve A Chance will answer any questions and provide information about their programs.
Events like this help F&M students who are interested in pursuing a career in education to gain further insight, learn more about internships and other post-graduate opportunities. Education Week will be exciting and informative even to those who may not even be interested in pursuing a career in this field but who are looking to be more informed about one of the biggest social injustices in our country.
I HIGHLY encourage you to attend at least one of the events next week. I think it will be an eye-opening experience!