By Dr. Carlene Reid, Ward 8 Representative
My ward has had every negative statistic imaginable thrown at us. The numbers that we are high in are often not viewed positively. Yet, between my experiences growing up in a couple of churches and establishing a home eight years ago, I cannot help but think of the values that make Ward 8 strong in spirit.
My ties to Ward 8 stretch back to my infancy, as my parents were married in a small church on 13th and W Street in Southeast. I was also christened there. When I was not at church with my mom, I was with my “aunt,” a neighbor who supported me between my parents’ work schedules, participating in Sunday school and fashion shows at Matthews Memorial Baptist Church. My connection to Ward 8 is rooted in the community—a community that values neighborly acts, passionate advocacy, and deep commitment to initiatives that improve the outcomes of all individuals who call the ward home regardless of social stature.
I raise the aforementioned characteristics because my goal as the State Board of Education representative is to infuse the Ward 8 community’s strong values into education decision-making. Centering Black and Brown voices in education can no longer equate to an educational system forcing elements that are contradictory to our rich cultures and traditions. Kwame Ture posed a question that we have yet to answer: “When have we had the authority to shape our own destiny and to get our destiny to mesh with who we are culturally?”
As your Ward 8 representative, my goal is to engage the community and identify education initiatives to assert our shared values. I will use my 15 years of experience in various settings, including D.C. Public Schools, the charter sector, city education agencies, and on the national level, to collaborate with Ward 8 residents to identify educational initiatives and strategies that may benefit our children with meaningful outcomes.
I look forward to serving my neighbors throughout Ward 8 by elevating our ideas and concerns around the educational system in D.C. My specific areas of interest are literacy, special education, supplemental learning opportunities, and school funding. I believe that engaging Ward 8 communities around these specific topics is a start. However, I’m interested in discussing other ideas and innovations for education.
I believe the strong spirit of community in Ward 8 often goes unnoticed. This is the ward where my parents were married, the ward where I was christened, and the ward where so many beautiful things have happened in my life. I look to infuse how hard we strive to build a sense of community, the beautiful smiles that greet you at doors, and the warm feeling of unsolicited “good mornings” into how we make and support an educational system reflective of our values.
I want to hear from you! Please reach out to me at email@example.com or (202) 618-0525, @creidsboe.