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Meet the Black moms mobilizing parents in schools

Over the past seven years, D.C. PAVE’s annual “Parent Voice and Choice” week has empowered parents to walk into the Wilson Building, D.C.’s seat of government, and advocate for their students. For Maya Cadogan, the founder of the group, it’s about breaking down barriers to access the rooms where people are making the decisions about their kids’ schools. Similarly, in Baton Rouge, La, Adonica Duggan, a mother of four, founded the Ataon Rouge Alliance for students about two years ago to organize parents to hold school boards accountable and press for more budget transparency. 

Kim Dukes, the co-founder of Atlanta Thrive and a mother of 10 children, has also been training other parents on how to advocate for their children’s education. About six years ago, Shennell McCloud founded Project Ready to demand more from her local schools. Since her organization’s inception — along with her New Jersey Parent Summit — McCloud has mobilized parents to head to the polls for local elections and has seen hundreds of parents become elected officials, nonprofit leaders and grassroots advocates.

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