Dora Wilson a Latina Candidate for the School Board
by ITZEL ZAGAL
The representation of the Latino community in the School Board is important because its board members decide what resources are assigned or taken away from our students in the schools of Anchorage, Girdwood, Eagle River and Chugiak (ASD). There, the specific needs of the students in our community are considered (or ignored).
Two years ago, I was present at one of the School Board meetings where a policy was proposed that included the concept of “assimilation” of students from other cultures referring to the children of migrants and refugees. Cultural assimilation involves erasing cultural roots in students rather than welcoming cultural diversity as a positive and valuable aspect. On that occasion, thanks to the testimonial participation of the community, this concept was not implemented. This is one of many examples of why the Latino community needs to have a voice and vote on the Anchorage School District (ASD).
Dora is the daughter of migrant worker parents and knows first-hand the challenges many Latin American students face when navigating the school system. During an interview, Dora told us that one of her priorities is for students to have access to real experiences and graduate with useful skills to obtain a decent job or to continue their studies at the university. For Wilson it is essential that students are exposed to various opportunities at an early stage so that they benefit from internships in vocational and technical careers (as only 30% of graduates pursue a college degree).
Another of Dora’s proposals is that the ASD implements policies that are appropriate, equitable, and inclusive of the specific needs of students, especially communities of color. In Dora’s words “I want to make sure the children are represented and advocated” by having the School Board go to the community and look at the specific problems and experiences in the community. On the other hand, she says that children have to “See it to Be it”, referring to the fact that Latino children have to see Latino people in leadership positions so that they are future leaders as well. Dora wants to work together with the School Board to fix the low graduation issues and disadvantages that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, and which has hit students of color the most. The vote to elect the School Board will be on April 6, 2021 and will be conducted by mail, those registered to vote will receive their ballot by postal mail. Having Dora as a candidate represents an opportunity for the Latino community to have a presence with a voice and a vote. Remember that the School Board decides on the quality of teaching and the opportunities that our children receive.
PROUDLY POWERED BY SOL DE MEDIANOCHE NEWS, LLC. Sol de Medianoche is a monthly publication of the Latino community in Anchorage, Alaska