As this month ends, I have to be mindful that this may be my last Black History Month as a school board member. I am not promised today, tomorrow, next week or next year. I am even more mindful of the fact, I could not have been a part of Black History without all of the different ethnicities and races that live in Milpitas — a true “Culture of We” in spirit. Thank you ALL of MUSD for being a part of my Black History and the village that educated me to recognize it.
In 2014, I was elected to the MUSD Board of Trustees. When I informed my mom, she said to me, "You have made Black History." I paused for a moment, smiled at her and said, "And you made me."
Shortly after the 2014 election, in January 2015, I asked the Superintendent to share with the teachers and principals I would be willing to support their efforts for Black History Month by reading, volunteering, participating in assemblies, etc. It would be one of my many ways of thanking the community that raised me, preserving its Black History, and embracing the evolving demographics. The several who took me up on the offer watched me tell a little bit about growing up in Milpitas. The feedback I received was that I was fun; interactive and inspiring to their students and, in return, I learned even more about the curiosity, concerns and hopes of kids from different age groups.
Lillian Katz, an international leader in early childhood education wrote, "Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize the well-being of our children and grandchildren is ultimately linked to the well-being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. If one of our children is threatened or harmed by violence, someone else's child will be responsible for the violent act. A good life for our own children can be secured only if a good life is secured for all other people's children."
Growing up in the diversity of Milpitas, it is easy to believe the words of Lillian Katz. WE are ALL the keepers, protectors, encouragers, and role models for our own and others’ children in our community.
Thank you MUSD staff of African descent, past and present including; Chuck Gary, Mr. Travelers, Mrs. Simpson, Henry Robinson, Annie Handy, Cheryl Rivera, Herman Wilson, Damon James, Sean Anglon, James Carter Jr., Diallo Sims, Champ Wrencher, Deanna Sainten, Dr. Latisha Roberts, Hanna Asrat, Jonathan Payne, Kenneth Lewis, Stacy Lillard, Naomi Agraz, Grashan Austin, Marcus Boone, Raymond Dillard, Coral Dunn-Morley, Reynard Elzey, Mitslal Gebregiorgis, Marvel Guglielmelli, Richard Hart, Margaret Jackson, David Lewis Jr., Kimberly Marion, Cyd Mathias, Kevin Muhammad, Ndeye Ndiaye, Tiberius Nyantika, Paul Okoye, Derrick Orr, Tana Rainer, Randle Redic, Tamara Robertson, Stacey Ryan, Alfrieda Scott, Nicole Stewart, and Carmen Thrower. You are part of the Black History in Milpitas. Your presence and perspective has tremendous value.
Special thanks to The “Sunnyhills Soul Fathers”. These Black men helped raise me, supported my friends, and provided 30+ years of service and leadership to the African American community of Milpitas and beyond.
Mr. Kennon, Mr. Dixon, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Eiland, Mr. McGee, Mr. Watts, Mr. Brown, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Wyatt, Mr. Tony Thompson, Mr. Henry, Mr. Gray, Mr. Shelton, Mr. Goode, Mr. Ward, Mr. Smith, Mr. Benjamin, Mr. Levine, Mr Peco, Mr. Norwood, Mr. Ellison, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Scott, Mr. Levine, Mr. Wilkinson, Mr. Dunbar, Mr. Crane, Mr. Davis, Mr. Augustine, Mr. Goode, Mr. Davis, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Mcgee, Mr. Shelton, Mr. Nichols and their friends.
2020 CSBA State Board Member of Year