One Voice at a Time

The reason I chose “One Voice At A Time” as my mantra is because there are often students, families, and community members that aren’t listened to, aren’t included in important conversations. They are often silenced and ignored, rather than lifted up and centered for the contributions that they’ve made. I have spent many years listening to families and hearing their stories of trials and triumph, struggle and success, pain and progress. It’s so important to share the wisdom of these families and these community members, while sharing the encouragement and commitment of their children and neighbors…one voice at a time.”

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Frequently Asked Questions

Leadership skills and experience with adults as well as children:

I was selected to participate in the Community Engagement Fellowship Program through Organizing for Action. We focused on bringing awareness to violence prevention, relationship building, and community organizing in the Indianapolis area. I served a term on the Fight for a Future National Leadership Committee with other community leaders across the country, focusing on disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, police reform, and advocacy towards gun violence reduction. Also, I served as the Strategy Chair for the Justice and Reentry focus area for OpportunIndy, which was a community collaboration with the Indiana Black Expo. We focused on community and alternative placement for young men between the ages of 12 and 18. I served as a volunteer for the Youth Leadership Summit for the Indiana Black Expo for several years. I received a certification as a trainer in Implicit Bias through the Implicit Bias Training Institute, facilitated by Dr. Rita Cameron-Wedding. Finally, I have served on many committees with the Criminal Justice field, including Racial Equity and the IMPD Diversity and Inclusion Council.

Management or project oversight/leading adults:

I previously worked for Public Allies as a Program Manager, managing a team of young adults within the nonprofit community to build their leadership skills, strengthen their networking capabilities, and to support them in identifying short and long-term goals. I served as a regional trainer for Criminal Justice-related topics during my time working as the Staff Trainer at the Juvenile Detention Center. While managing the Training department, I was able to maintain state-required compliance in all areas of the department. During my time as Program Director for the Bloom Project, a local mentoring organization, I was in charge of supervising site coordinators, writing curriculum, overseeing the recruitment of facilitators, and supporting parent and family engagement. As a community volunteer, I have managed multiple events that required strong leadership for a successful outcome. This includes the Tru Dialogue youth forums that have been held for the last four years.

What is your educational background?

I have both Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Criminal Justice, from Ivy Tech and Indiana University, respectively. Currently, I am four classes from earning my Master’s in Urban Education through Indiana University.

What specific skills does “advocating for youth” means?

Looking for what is applicable to the skills a school board member needs: Advocating for young people and their families means being accessible, visible, and dependable. It means finding opportunities for their voices to be centered and lifted, while being intentionally included in conversations. Advocacy means operating audaciously, whether that is “boots on the ground” in the community or fighting for them through policy and procedure development on the Board. It means whatever space I am in, I am fighting for positive change, positive outcomes, and working towards building/maintaining trust and successful relationships to be developed.

What type of volunteering have you done?

I have a history of volunteerism within the Indianapolis area for the last decade. I have served in many organizations (Bloom Project, Ian Smith Foundation, DONT SLEEP, TruColorsIndy, Indiana Black Expo, etc.), participated in ongoing event coordination, youth development opportunities, community forums and discussions, and ongoing mentoring. I have been a workshop facilitator, conference presenter, conference coordinator, trainer, and Keynote speaker for a variety of youth and community-based topics. I have also led and co-led youth violence prevention demonstrations, participated in a multitude of protests around issues such as racial equality, LGBTQ+ equality, and police reform.

Focus Areas

Redefining Climate and Culture

Focusing on the importance of relationship-building for positive student-family-educator-community interactions. Focusing on systemic change to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline by examining racial disproportionality in school discipline; specifically, suspensions, expulsions, and arrests. Focusing on going beyond diversity and equality to be intentionally anti-racist and inclusive in all district movements.

Redefining the Importance of the Value of Voices

Ensuring that students and guardians are included in decision-making across the district. Recreating the narrative around what ‘leadership’ looks like and centering the voices of the most marginalized students. Incorporating the strengths of families and community members into the conversation around educational success.

Healing from Trauma

Creating spaces and collaborations to allow students and families to begin healing from trauma they have experienced. Partnering with community members to facilitate healing-centered discussions to allow for shared seeking of solutions. Prioritizing counseling over criminalization, including the reallocation of funds from law enforcement to social workers and counselors.

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