Education Is The Key to Our Country's Success

We need an education agenda that makes equity a priority for schools and organizations serving our country’s most vulnerable children and their families.

The ultimate goal of this event is to bring policy makers and members of the education community together to discuss shaping our educational agenda and pushing it to the front of public policy at local, state, and federal levels.

It's Time to Set the Agenda Straight.

Town Virtual Hall Discussion
Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020
6 PM - 7:30 PM CST

Meet the Moderator, Speakers and Panelists

Moderator: Dr. Sonya Whitaker

Dr. Sonya Whitaker, the National Director for Educational Policy for PUSH Excel, will be the moderator of our upcoming virtual town hall discussion. Dr. Whitaker is a national speaker and highly regarded educator who started as a classroom teacher and has since served as Superintendent of Schools in two different school districts in Illinois. She also has served as Deputy Superintendent of Schools and as a central office administrator for the largest elementary school district in the state.

Dr. Whitaker is the founder of Whitaker Educational Consulting, Inc., the author of Is There Anybody That Can Teach Me How to Read?, and the host of the national radio show and podcast: What’s Really Going On??, a spotlight on solutions for improving student achievement in America’s schools.

Speaker: Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.

Rev. Jackson is one of America’s foremost civil rights, religious and political figures and the Founder and President of Rainbow PUSH Coalition, which focuses on civil rights work through economic parity, equal educational opportunities, and international social justice and peace.

Over the past 40 years, he has played a pivotal role in virtually every movement for empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, and economic and social justice and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Clinton. A hallmark of Rev. Jackson’s work has been his commitment to youth. He has visited thousands of high schools, colleges, universities and correctional facilities encouraging excellence and inspiring hope in  young people.

Speaker: Rev. Dr. Janette Wilson, ESQ.

Rev. Wilson currently serves as the National Executive Director of PUSH Excel, Senior Advisor to Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., and Senior Pastor of Maple Park United Methodist Church in Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Wilson has taught at every grade level. She also developed the first public school Interfaith Community Partnership for the Chicago Public Schools system (CPS), and was later employed as the Manager of School Climate for CPS. Dr. Wilson’s commitment to youth is unquestionable. She has spent her adult life hiring, mentoring, employing, and establishing internship programs for youth.

Speaker: Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Dr. Malveaux is the President of PUSH Excel. She has long been recognized for her progressive and insightful observations. Dr. Malveaux’s popular writing has appeared in USA Today, Black Issues in Higher Education, Ms. Magazine, Essence Magazine, and the Progressive. Dr. Malveaux has been a contributor to academic life since receiving her Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1980. During her time as the 15th President of Bennett College for Women, Dr. Malveaux was the architect of exciting and innovative transformation at America’s oldest historically black college for women. She is the President and owner of Economic Education, a 501 c-3 non-profit headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Panelist: Dr. Dhanfu Elston

Dr. Elston serves as Chief of Staff and SVP for Strategy at Complete College America, a bold national advocate for dramatically increasing college completion rates and closing equity gaps by working with states, systems, institutions, and partners to scale highly effective structural reforms and promote policies that improve student success.

He has coordinated relationships with Governor’s Offices, higher education state-wide systems, and national partners in their college completion efforts. He also launched a national initiative with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to amplify completion efforts at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and minority-serving institutions.

Panelist: Dr. Donna Leak

Dr. Leak is the Superintendent at Community Consolidated Schools District 168 in the Greater Chicago Area. She also is the Vice Chair of the Illinois State Board of Education and is the first sitting school board superintendent to become a member of the State Board of Education.

Panelist: Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, Ph.D, JD, CPA

Dr. Glover serves as President of Tennessee State University and is the institution’s 8th and 1st woman president. Under her leadership, the University has attained increases in academic program offerings and corporate and community partnerships, as well as alumni giving. While Dean of the College of Business at Jackson State University, Dr. Glover led the College of Business through the accreditation process and spearheaded the implementation of the nation’s first Ph.D. program in Business at a HBCU. She also served as the Chairperson of the Department of Accounting and as an Assistant Professor at the Howard University School of Business.

Who Should Attend?