I was born into a family of educators, artists, entrepreneurs, and activists. As a young girl, I attended a community school in Roxbury, and then Boston Public Schools, and was later was bused to Charlestown during the tumultuous busing era. For my high school years, I attended a suburban school through the METCO program. I experienced the racial and economic disparities in our communities through our schools. But I saw, firsthand, the power of community organizing, resistance, parent voice, and advocacy and I have taken those lessons with me in my journey.

My varied educational experiences help to inform the work that I do now as an education advocate and many of the same challenges persist – we are still fighting for quality; and our schools, like our neighborhoods, are still largely segregated by race and income.

To overcome opportunity and achievement gaps, I work with both parents and policy makers to focus on solutions that increase access and equity for our young people. I have worked with families of all different backgrounds, including African-American, Latino, Cape Verdean, Somali, and Haitian – all of whom want their children to receive the best education possible.

While many know me for my work in education policy, I am also very active in my neighborhood of Roxbury. I understand the intersection between the lack of good schools and income inequality, the criminal justice system, chronic unemployment, and so many of the challenges plaguing our community. That’s why I advocate for economic and community development opportunities that create jobs and builds community wealth. I also promote arts and culture, and support local businesses and entrepreneurs in our community.

I am a member of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. I am also active on the Boston Ward 12 Democratic Committee and was re-elected as a member in 2012 and again in 2016. I served as a delegate, representing our community, at the State Democratic Convention for the last 7 years. Additionally, I helped found the voting rights group MassVOTE, and served on the board of directors for 10 years.

While attending Smith College, I facilitated the coordination of three Freedom Schools under the guidance of the Children’s Defense Fund, after completing training at the Ella Baker Child Policy Training Institute at Shaw University. I am also an active member of the Boston NAACP and serve on its education committee. And in November 2016, I was elected to provide leadership on the Boston NAACP Executive Committee.

What I am most proud is my family. Raising my daughter, as a young, single mother was not without struggle and sacrifice. I know the challenges that so many families face, because I’ve been there too. As mothers, we want the best for our children. I took the lessons of advocacy from my parents, and began advocating, not only for my daughter, but for all children in our community.

With deep roots in Roxbury and strong ties in the South End, there is a long tradition of activism in my family. I’ve worked hard to give back, not only to my neighborhood, but to children, women, and families all across the city. As your City Councilor for District 7, I will continue that activism and fight every day for our community.