Arizona Alliance of Black

School Educators

Dawn Demps, mother, crusader, organizer, speaker, artist and life student, is a Flint, MI native that has been involved with community advocacy since 12 years old. She utilizes her own lived experiences as a young girl in the projects, high school dropout and single mother to connect with students and parents to promote tools for self-advocacy and champion the concerns of these populations. Dawn has worked with nationally renowned scholars and innovators such as: Educational sociologist, Dr. Pedro Noguera, environmental justice crusader, Majora Carter, Dr. Tyrone Howard, UCLA educator and author and non-violence advocate and Hip-Hop legend KRS-One. She has received several educational and community based awards and recognitions. She formerly served as the Executive Director of the Urban Center for Post-Secondary Access and Success (UPASS) which helped students successfully navigate high school and tackle postsecondary challenges and opportunities. She is currently a PhD student at Arizona State University in Education Policy and Evaluation studying the School to Prison Pipeline in the contextual history of African-American student exclusion and the resulting community responses to these policies and practices. Dawn believes the difficulties that presently face oppressed communities are more complex than the band-aid policies of current and past leadership. “We need too fully understand how issues of agency, race, gender, and class intertwine underneath a tarp of economic and governmental policies that effectually promote or prohibit the life chances of all groups to succeed.”

Parenting in Battle Boots

​As the “achievement gap” continues largely unabated, exacerbated by trends in student suspension disparities, resource inequities and decreases in school funding, the relationship between parents and schools are being transformed in unprecedented ways. At times required to collaborate with schools and at others to serve as necessary agitators, how can parents insure their children are best being served by their educational intuitions? Regardless of institutional association- public schools, charter schools or private schools- research shows that Black and Brown children have consistently been inadequately considered in policy decisions, administrative guidance and classroom practices. Thus, how do we speak for them? In this workshop. We will look at successful models of transformative parent engagement and provide suggestions to help parents activate positive change in their child’s schools.

This workshop aims to give parents and their advocates a brief history of parents as change agents in educational contexts, provide examples of successful movements and to suggest concrete tools for advocating on behalf of their children today!