Snapshots from the Academy’s First Weekend

Charli Cooksey


Our Spring 2018 Education Power Building Academy launched this weekend! We are working with a cohort of 28 north city residents–power-builders, who are participating in our six-month Academy, which is facilitated out of the new Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being. Power-builders will work to develop fundamental leadership skills, build community, and organize towards policy change that improves our city’s public education system.

The first weekend of the Academy was powerful. We developed shared language around key terms like educational equity, power, and systems change led by organizers and facilitators Brittini Gray and Kristian Blackmon. 

On Saturday morning we headed out to visit sites up and down the North city and downtown. Washington University’s Bob Hansman guided a tour that grounded the Academy in local history. Later in the day, we engaged in an Interrupting Racism training facilitated by NCCJ. We shared with each other why we joined the academy. Power-builders connected with one question in particular: Who in your life has driven you to work for educational equity? This work is deeply personal, and we love having the chance to build roots with our new crew!  

After a weekend of intense learning, growing, and community building together, we are beyond thrilled to celebrate that as a result of April’s Academy experiences:

  • 100% of the power-builders communicated that they have an increased desire to build power, lead, and organize to improve our EDUCATION SYSTEM.

  • 80% have an increased understanding of policy & systems change and educational equity.

  • 100% communicated that they learned more about our region’s history and how power, race, and policy have contributed to our city’s current reality.

Here are a few snapshots from the kick-off.