BAEO Senior Advisor Dr. Benjamin Chavis Addresses Mississippi Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials

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Mississippians are facing an educational crisis, as are most other states in the country, and the central question is what can be done about it? Today before more than 100 Black elected officials from throughout the state Dr. Benjamin Chavis, civil rights leader and Senior Advisor to the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), addressed that very issue.

Mississippians are facing an educational crisis, as are most other states in the country, and the central question is what can be done about it? Today before more than 100 Black elected officials from throughout the state Dr. Benjamin Chavis, civil rights leader and Senior Advisor to the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), addressed that very issue.

“As a people we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go,” said Dr. Chavis. “When it comes to our children we cannot tolerate less than that which is good for them, nor can we accept less than what we are entitled to, and that is a quality education for all of our children. Mississippi is a key state and we believe that as Mississippi goes, so will the rest of the nation.”

Also in attendance at today’s meeting was BAEO President Kenneth Campbell, a native of Biloxi. “We believe that increasing public education options in Mississippi will greatly benefit children and families. BAEO is committed to spending time over the next year educating parents, politicians and community leaders about parental choice and how they can have their voices heard. We plan on being a consistent presence here in Mississippi and we look forward to working with the leaders here today and taking this movement forward.”

Dr. Chavis continued, “I am going to spend time here in Mississippi. I come from a family of educators and I believe in public education. However, my stand is for the children and I believe that they should receive the best education no matter the delivery system. As we work to fix our traditional school systems our families urgently need options, so that we don’t continue to live in a society where our school buildings are crumbling while new prisons are being built every year. Our call to action for groups like MBC-LEO is to mobilize local elected officials and local leaders to talk to their state leadership and begin a real grass roots movement where the change is created by those who are most affected by it.”

BAEO’s mission is to increase access to high-quality educational options for Black children by actively supporting parental choice policies and programs that empower low-income and working-class Black families. BAEO has been a part of successful choice efforts in Milwaukee, WI, New Orleans, LA and Washington, D.C. among others. The alliance has been a champion for parental choice for more than 12 years.

BAEO is staunch in its belief that parental choice must be an integral part of any serious effort to reform education in America. BAEO firmly believes parental choice programs, which lead to the creation of quality educational options, not only rescue the children who can take advantage of such opportunities but also create powerful incentives for all schools, public and private, to improve. These twin measures of opportunity and improvement provide broad social and economic benefits for the children and families involved and for the entire community as well.

“Our ultimate goal in Mississippi is to help families get legislation that provides them with real choice for their children”, said Mr. Campbell. “Sometimes it takes a little push to help people do the right thing, and that’s what BAEO provides, that nudge towards a better future for our children and in turn our country.”

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