The CDF Freedom Schools® program is rooted in the history and vision of the Civil Rights Movement, and Black leadership propels the program to this day. Every day at CDF Freedom Schools, young scholars learn about, reflect on, and apply the lessons of real-life Black heroes. In that spirit, we’re celebrating Black History Month by asking the staff of some of our exemplary CDF Freedom Schools sponsor organizations to tell us who inspires them and whose footsteps they seek to walk in as they serve our country’s children.
Inspiring figure in Black history: Sarah Stevenson
The historical figure that inspires me the most is Sarah Stevenson.
What about this person’s story or legacy inspires you today?
Sarah was a leader in Charlotte, North Carolina’s school desegregation effort in the 1970s. She went on to become the first Black woman elected to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board in 1980, and she was a founder of the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum in Charlotte (The Forum is THE place to be to learn “information of importance to the African American community in particular and the rest of Charlotte in general”). Sarah has been an active advocate for parent engagement in their children’s education and professional development opportunities for teachers for decades.
How do you seek to live your life or serve the young people of your community in that person’s honor?
Now 95 years old, Sarah is known as a caring, compassionate, and inclusive person. She is gracious, but firm, and she knows how to bring people to the table to work collaboratively to pursue equity in education. She has dedicated her life to equality, justice, and making things better for all children in our community and she inspires us to do the same.
The views expressed above are those of the individual interviewed.