Shaping America's Education Agenda: Seeing Dr. King's Dream Through

What is the extent to which Dr. King’s dream has been realized as it relates to equity in education, and what policies do we need to implement to see his dream through? These questions will shape the second thought-provoking discussion of our education series in honor of Dr. King’s birthday this month. Join us!

Virtual Town Hall Discussion
Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021
6:30 PM - 8:00 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: 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. Nicol Turner Lee

Dr. Turner Lee is a senior fellow in Governance Studies, the director of the Center for Technology Innovation, and serves as Co-Editor-In-Chief of TechTank podcast for The Brookings Institution. She researches public policy designed to enable equitable access to technology across the U.S. and to harness its power to create change in communities across the world.

Dr. Turner Lee has a forthcoming book on the U.S. digital divide titled Digitally Invisible: How the Internet is Creating the New Underclass (forthcoming 2021, Brookings Press).

Her work has made her a sought-out speaker in the U.S. and around the world. She has been cited in the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Communications Daily, Multichannel News, and Washington Informer. She can also be seen or heard on NPR, NBC News, ABC and other print and online publications.

Panelist: Ralph Martire

Mr. Martire is the executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (CTBA), a bipartisan 501(c)(3) think tank committed to ensuring that state, federal, and local workforce, education, fiscal, economic and budget policies are fair and just, and promote opportunity for all, regardless of race, ethnicity or income class. Mr. Martire is also the Arthur Rubloff Endowed Professor of Public Policy at Roosevelt University and has helped obtain numerous legislative successes, including passage of the Evidence Based Model of Education Funding.

In 2018, he was appointed to serve on the review panel charged with monitoring the implementation of Illinois’ new evidence-based school funding formula. From 2011-2013, he served as a full voting commissioner on the “Equity and Excellence in Education Commission,” which was housed in the Federal Department of Education’s Civil Rights Division. There, he helped co-author the first section of the  “For Each and Every Child” report, which made recommendations regarding the fiscal and education funding policies required at the state and federal levels to provide an excellent education to every child. His work on education policy reform has garnered him numerous awards.

Panelist: Dr. Fadhilika Atiba-Weza

Dr. Atiba-Weza is the executive director at National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE).

He is an educator with more than thirty-six years of experience, having previously worked as a classroom teacher, building administrator, district administrator, and university faculty member. 

At NABSE he provides administrative leadership as the Chief Executive Officer and National Spokesperson of the organization. 

A former school superintendent, Mr. Atiba-Weza has been involved in many educational reform and school improvement projects. Additionally, he has served on the boards of the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE), the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS), the New York State Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), among others. 

Panelist: Dr. David Wilson

Dr. Wilson is the president of Morgan State University and has more than 30 years of experience in higher education administration. Dr. Wilson holds four academic degrees from Tuskegee University and Harvard University, including an Ed.D. in administration, planning and social policy from the latter.

Dr. Wilson has authored two books and more than 20 articles published in scholarly journals. Among the many honors and recognitions he has received for his work: he was named one of the nation’s top 100 leaders in higher education by the American Association of Higher Education in 1998, was selected as one of The Daily Record newspaper’s Influential Marylanders for 2011, and was honored by the University of Alabama with an award for outstanding leadership in engaged scholarship in April 2011.

Who Should Attend?

About Shaping America's Education Agenda Series

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 series of events 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.