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Fighting for equity with students and families

  • Hoang Murphy

I went to school for the very first time when I was eight, and it quite literally saved my life. All because a third-grade teacher saw that I was in danger, and triggered the systems in place to protect children like me. That moment changed my trajectory. I went on to graduate from high school and was the first in my family to go to college. It is the reason I became a teacher.

As a result, I am passionate about education — and about improving education systems — because every student deserves to have the opportunities I went on to have. It shouldn’t come down to just one teacher saving a child; we need all adults and systems working together to make sure that every kid gets what they need and deserve.

When I started teaching, I knew I wanted to impact the education system in a more holistic way, but I didn’t quite know how or in what capacity. LEE helped me clarify my role in the movement and developed the skills to grow in my career. I also know that LEE will be there to help me if I see a need to further define my role or change my path altogether.

I recently finished a Community Organizing Fellowship (COF) with EdAlliies. The best part of that position was that I got to meet with other folks in the work, as well as families and students.

As much as I care about and am personally invested in ending educational inequity, I know that I can never care more than the parents and students themselves. Their educational barriers are real and urgent, so talking with them reminds me of why we do this work —  and we must do it with, not to or for, them.

I also really enjoyed meeting with other advocates and learning what or who brought them into education. Any chance I can get to be in a school building, or meet with a parent, student or community member is time well spent, and I am grateful for opportunities that allow me to do that.

If you are ready to advance educational equity, apply today for the Community Organizing Fellowship today.