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ERIC Number: EJ1046155
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1553-541X
Becoming the Face of the Community for Public Education Reform in New York City
Shaakir-Ansari, Zakiyah
Voices in Urban Education, n39 p48-50 2014
In May 2013, this author moderated the first mayoral debate in New York City. It was held at New York University with hundreds of parents, students, and teachers in attendance. There were more than sixty media outlets, including MSNBC. The debate had attracted national press, thanks to Anthony Weiner's entry the day before into the New York City mayoral race. Imagine a Black, Muslim woman moderating five mayoral candidates, all men, flanked by a panel of Black and Latino students and parents, who were all women, delivering the questions to the candidates. How did she get here? Why her? How did a wife and Brooklyn mother of eight with no college degree--who was introverted, quiet, unassuming, and lacked self-confidence--become so relevant? How did a woman who witnessed mental, physical, and verbal abuse as a child, who experienced extreme poverty, who helped to raise her younger brother, and who had her first child at age nineteen become the face of educational justice in a massive city like New York? This article describes her journey, and reinforces the idea that when parents acquire the tools and training to engage meaningfully in decision making, they become champions of educational justice and have the power to transform education.
Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. Brown University, Box 1985, Providence, RI, 02912. Tel: 401-863-7990; Fax: 401-863-1290; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A