September's Hot Lunch will feature a discussion between Charles McDonald of Education Cities and Mark Fraley of Leadership Educational Equity. This conversation will be moderated by RISE Colorado's Veronica Palmer. The discussion will focus on two key topics: One, the transition of education reform from a top down approach to a movement led by those most impacted by the inequities of the education system. Two, bringing parents and students to the policy and systems design table as partners and leaders in this important work.
About the Speakers:
Charles McDonald is the Senior Fellow, Advocacy and Engagement for Education Cities, a national non-profit that supports and advises city-based education organizations on their efforts to grow great public schools. Charles uses his expertise as an educational justice organizer, strategist, advocate, and fundraiser to support Education Cities’ member organizations with their approaches to community engagement and advocacy, with a special emphasis on lifting up the voices and influence of the parents and families most impacted by educational inequity.
Prior to his role at Education Cities, Charles was the Senior Managing Director, External Affairs for Teach For America – South Carolina. He also served as Program Manager for Education Pioneers’ Greater Boston Analyst and Graduate School Fellowship programs for two years. Early in his career, Charles was a youth organizer for the Alliance for Educational Justice and Californians for Justice. He is currently a 2016 Pahara NextGen Network Leader. Charles has a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He lives in Columbus, OH with his wife, son and their three dogs.
Mark Fraley is the Senior Advisor for Organizing at Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE). He spent over fifteen years organizing with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the nation’s oldest and largest community organizing network, where he helped launch
Action In Montgomery in metro DC and Southeastern Wisconsin Common Ground. Mark taught third grade at Polk Elementary School in Baton Rouge, LA. Mark earned his B.A. from Miami University (OH) and his MPA from the University of Delaware. Mark lives in Wisconsin with his wife, Leigh Anne, and their three children.
About the Moderator:
Veronica Palmer is the Co-Founder and CEO of RISE Colorado, a family empowerment non-profit in Aurora. RISE works to educate, engage and empower low-income families and families of color to RISE as change agents for educational equity in our public school system. Born and educated in Denver, Veronica is a 7th generation Colorado native. She served as CU Boulder’s first Latina Student Body President. Veronica began her career in Los Angeles as a Teach For America (TFA) corps member and has over ten years of experience as a teacher, coach, organizer, and social entrepreneur. RISE has been awarded the TFA Social Innovation Award, the White House’s Bright Spot in Hispanic Education, Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, and Colorado’s MLK, Jr. Humanitarian Award. Veronica is a proud wife and mother of two.