The Education Committee stayed very busy throughout March. We welcomed several new members to our committee. Our BIPOC Parent and Student Voices campaign inspired opportunities for us to engage with the wider Anchorage community. Members of the committee attended the dedication ceremony at Bettye Davis East Anchorage High School and witnessed the unveiling of a plaque commemorating Bettye Davis’s legacy. The Education Committee Chair of Program Management, Rhiana Gay, was recognized in the Alaska Journal of Commerce as part of the 2022 Top 40 Under 40 young professionals in the state of Alaska. Members of the committee also came out in celebration and support of our secretary Emily Wood as she competed in the Miss Anchorage Pageant Scholarship Program.
The BIPOC Student Voices subcommittee continued to facilitate informed and impactful weekly conversations with students in our community. Each week, participants engaged in interactive presentations with guest speakers; observed demonstrations of public testimony in real-time, and were encouraged to reflect on their daily experiences within the Anchorage School District. Participants learned about the structure and mechanics of the Anchorage School Board. They also learned how they can each exert their influence by speaking to the Board through making public statements. They were taught where the School Board meets and how to sign-up to attend these meetings. As a result, they achieved a better understanding of how ASD School Board influences their daily lives.
Students listened to impactful statements made by other students, parents and committee members. Altogether, the BIPOC Student Voices campaign became a safe place where students could be vulnerable. Each session yielded thoughtful conversations as students turned their thoughts and concerns into compelling statements. In the final session, students produced a video presentation to commemorate their experience and were prepared to give speeches at the School Board Candidates Forum and the Justice Rally for Bishar Hassan.
Students were empowered to make changes in their learning environment, and gained the assurance of support from The Alaska Black Caucus.
As the month wrapped up, committee members were coordinating a book drive through AUUF Church.