Tonight I had the honor of speaking to the education community of the W.E.B. DuBois Charter Schools Consortium in Memphis, Tennessee. Headed by Director Ruby Payne, this is a cohort of parents, grandparents, school leaders, and community members with a single focus like a laser: prepare our children for the future. This community gets it right. They have found the secret sauce to create a collaborative force to build a hedge around students who could have a different future if these adults had not steeped up to the plate.
I spoke about the Effective Use of Self: Focusing on the 4 Cs of Compassion. Our students, no matter where they live and no matter the socio-economic make-up of the neighborhoods, are all at risk to an uncertain future. These adults are building citizens–young people who know how live and thrive in a civil society.
They are doing it the old school way: not security guards at the entrance but grandparents. These grandparents, my good friend Lennell Terrell being one of them, meet the students at the door and ensure they are appropriately dressed in full uniforms. Those out of compliance are soon in compliance after being sent home enough times. Did parents get angry? Of course, they did. It was an inconvenience for Tyrone or Tonya to come back home for socks or a belt. They have zero tolerance for sagging pants and skirts too short.
They have reached back into the wisdom of the community and given then significant roles to play because they get it: it takes a village to raise a child.
I look forward to more interaction with the people in Memphis. I am energized by positivity and the W.E.B. DuBois Charter School Consortium has got it going on! Now this should be Breaking News, CNN.