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Jaqueline Tucker: Committed to Equity

Jaqueline (Jackie) Tucker’s first act of community engagement came at the young age of six, when she canvassed neighborhoods for local elections and registered voters with her father in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Since then she has gone on to make political awareness and educational equity her life’s mission.

Growing up, Jackie attended every type of academic institution available in her community — a Spanish immersion school, a charter school, public schools and a private high school — which gave her a unique perspective on education and access. Jackie’s mother, a college professor at Grand Valley State University, and her father, a retired principal of an alternative high school in Grand Rapids, also fueled her love and appreciation for education.

After graduating from Butler University, Jackie taught with Teach For America in Houston. Seeing the injustices her students faced and determined to do more to change the policies that perpetuated them, she earned her law degree from Howard University and then joined the staff of Families Empowered back in Houston. There, she developed a comprehensive community organizing campaign that brought together parents around improving local middle schools.

Ready to find her place in public policy, Jackie applied to LEE’s Public Policy Fellowship and is now serving as the equity fellow with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) in Washington, D.C. The CCSSO is a nonprofit that supports the highest education officers in each state by providing services and counsel on implementing education policies.

Jackie’s primary objective as a fellow is to get every state to commit to standing up for equity. She recently co-authored Leading for Equity: Opportunities for State Education Chiefs, a document that will be adopted and implemented in state education agencies across the nation.