On September 26, the Oakland Unified School District Office of Equity (OoE) recently hosted a reception at E14 Gallery in downtown Oakland. Led by Deputy Chief, Office of Equity, Chris Chatmon the event included announcements of new members and targeted initiatives: African American Female Excellence (AAFE), African American Male Achievement (AAMA), Asian Pacific Islander Student Achievement (APISA), and Latino Student Achievement (LSA).
“Tonight, we’re celebrating our growth and development and our excitement for the future,” said Chatmon, who also founded African American Male Achievement.
In 2016, Oakland Unified School District launched the Office of Equity to focus on improving systemic culture, conditions, and competencies across the district to better serve children and families.
“By providing each student with the academic, social and emotional supports we can better prepare them for college, a profession and overall success in the community,” said Chatmon.
This year, the OoE launched listening campaigns for Asian Pacific Islander and Latino/a Student Achievement.
“Our expanded Office of Equity energizes and empowers staff at all levels of the district as well as students, parents, and community to join in interrupting inequity, examining biases, and creating solutions for underserved students,” he added.
By taking the lessons learned from the African American Male Achievement initiative, Chatmon says the OoE will expand African American Female Excellence (formerly African American Girls & Young Women Achievement) and embark on an African American Family Engagement Initiative in West Oakland.
According to Chatmon the office of equity will eliminate barriers to success and examine biases in the system and allow every student within the system to discover their unique talents.”To better serve our African American, Asian Pacific Islander, and Latino youth and families we have located the Student, Family and Community Engagement Team into our Office of Equity, ” said Chatmon.
Chatmon also introduced new program directors; Nzingha Dugas, Director of African American Female Excellence; Jerome Gourdine, Director of African American Male Achievement; Lailan Huen, Director of Asian Pacific Islander Student Achievement; Raquel Jimenez, Director of Latino/a Student Achievement. Each director provided a power point presentation of their plans and goals to improve the lives of OUSD students.
Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and entertainment by Native American, Chinese and African American performers.
“We want every child to have an opportunity and shot at success and we went cultivate their unique talents so that we can eliminate the disparities when the system,” said Chatmon.
On November 2-4, the office of equity will host its fall forum at the Waterfront Hotel in Oakland. Educators and administrators will participate and classroom observations, staff led seminars and the AAMAs biannual ManUp! youth conference.