Why I'm Running for Election
I am running because all children should learn about the contributions of all people especially African Americans and the African diaspora, as I was able to experience. I still believe in the power of the village that stepped in and helped my mother take care of my sister and me when I was three years old, and my mother returned to her hometown of Evanston after she separated from my father who was from the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaïre) in Central Africa. I grew up here and had very enriching formative years here. In the very early years, my mother was a very hands-on and engaging parent, who kept my sister and me involved in numerous artistic activities from West African, contemporary, jazz, and ballet dance to painting and sculpturing. She filled our home with books on African history and Black culture and identity. We had music from all around the world and my father was classically trained in Paris France and in Congo in the traditional music of ancient Africa. He was a Jazz professor at Howard University, Washington, D.C., among other world-renowned institutions of higher learning. My mother was a dancer, model, and singer. The beginning of my life was full of culture and diversity. After nearly twenty-five years of living elsewhere, I needed a place to bring my children that would provide quality education and an overall safe and supportive environment for myself and my children. The village embraced my children and husband and gave me a place to rest and an extended family that already knew my children even though many had only seen them in pictures and on family vacations. Due to health reasons, I had to make a decision on where we were going to live. I chose my hometown of Evanston.
I am running because I had my maternal grandmother Julia Perrin-Winfield and great-aunt, Mildred Perrin who stepped in and took over, along with my extended family, caring community members, quality educators, and administrators who knew me and my situation I was able to receive the support and services that were necessary for my overall development and well-being, I was able to overcome!
I am running because my personal academic experiences were much different from other families today. Although like many other Black families we had our challenges. I was fortunate to have an extended family of my maternal grandmother Julia Perrin-Winfield and great-aunt, Mildred Perrin who stepped in and took over. In addition to my caring family and community members, committed educators, and administrators who knew my situation, I was able to receive the support and services that were necessary for my overall development and well-being.
I am running because I want to address the issue of underperforming Black third grade children being on a pipeline to prison. I am here to say, that I am living proof that all children need proper support and services in order to overcome whatever they might be going through personally and academically.
I am running because as a child of an immigrant who did not know his rights, I will advocate for your children, because all children and families regardless of where you come from and what language you speak, or immigration status deserve a quality education and a safe learning environment.
I am running because after spending my entire professional career in the private sector I realize giving back to my community and those who are forgotten, volunteerism is the essence of building a healthy family and community. I am an advocate for children and underserved communities like many were for me, throughout my childhood and even to this day as an adult; this may involve interpretation, meals, clothing, or just simply a ride to the grocery store, I try my best to help when I am able.
I believe in the power of the collective, and that no individual is an island all unto themselves. We need one another in order for the children of District 65 to succeed, and that means the strengths of everyone in the community from diverse backgrounds, with different perspectives and life experiences to come together, including business owners, community-based organizations, and older adults, because all children can thrive when everyone comes together!
As a board member, I seek to understand and lead with a conscientious and mindful approach that is well thought out, synergetic, impartial, and based on stakeholder expertise. I will hold the district accountable to improve when improvements are necessary and provide constructive criticism, coupled with solution-focused problem-solving as a partner of the school district 65 board.