That’s what Virginia Walden Ford hopes parents of color will continue to do to advocate for their children’s educational rights.
This past Saturday, PSO tuned into a special summit event centered around a heralded film, Miss Virginia.
Miss Virginia is the true story of Virginia Walden Ford, a mother of an inner-city student who fights tirelessly so that her son – and other children like him – can get the education they lawfully deserve.
(Pssst! If you haven’t already, you can watch it on Amazon Prime here.)
Not only were we so lucky to hear from Miss Virginia herself – we reacted and discussed poignant scenes from the film.
We also heard from a number of black parents, educators, advocacy group founders and national education thought-leaders over the course of the event, including event moderator and Connecticut Parents Union founder Gwen Samuel, former CEO and Co-Founder of Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia charter school David Hardy, Cierra Freeman of the Philadelphia Parents Coalition. Rashad Turner, Jay Artis-Wright of the California Charter Schools Association, and Shannell Dunns of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, among others. Lenny McAllister co-moderated this summit.
Over the course of Black History month, we appreciated this opportunity to hear from black leaders in the education reform and charter school space talk openly and deeply about the unmet educational needs of Black families.
While we took away many messages from this summit event, we drew a common thread of speakers that day – who all said, in essence, that “as parents, your voice is enough.”
If we could share one message with our parents, this would be it.
No educator, or bureaucrat – knows what your child needs more than you do. With acknowledgement that as a parent unversed in intricate public policy, it can sometimes feel intimidating to go up against those with decision-making power. That aside, it’s even more important to recognize the power you have as a parent.
As the movie Miss Virginia demonstrates, there is tremendous power in numbers. But sometimes, as in Miss Virginia’s case, you alone stepping out of your comfort zone to advocate for your child can affect tremendous positive change.