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Join us for this discussion on the nonpartisan origin of the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap, how to use the EAD Roadmap in our classrooms, and its inquiry-based design that bridges divides during this divisive time. Dr. Lynn Jennings will talk about inequities in our educational system, and how civics and the EAD Roadmap can help close those gaps. Dr. Jennings, of the Education Trust, engages a diverse group of advocates at the national, state, and local levels who are working to forever close gaps in opportunity and achievement. Ace Parsi of iCivics is the Outreach Lead for the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap.
As the Education Trust’s senior director of national and state partnerships, Lynn leads the organization’s initiatives to engage and mobilize a diverse group of advocates at the national, state, and local levels who are working to forever close gaps in opportunity and achievement. The Education Trust’s national and state partnerships is especially focused on state-based engagement around implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, passed in 2015, and working to improve access to and success in college for historically underserved students.
Lynn previously served as the Senior Legislative Affairs Associate at the Ed Trust where she designed and implemented federal and state legislative campaigns around the organization’s K-12 and higher education equity work. In this position, she worked with several federal and state decision makers to inform and further policies that will increase the academic performance of low-income students and students of color.
Before joining Ed Trust, Lynn worked for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, where she directed the foundation’s professional fellowship programs for young professionals working on Capitol Hill. She was responsible for the strategic management of all of the foundation’s education programs.
Lynn has a rich history in education. She taught English, African American studies, and women’s studies courses at varied institutions of higher education including Spelman College, Columbia College Chicago, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a B.A. in English from Spelman College and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Her grandfather was the principal of one of two all-black high schools in Bessemer, Alabama, from the 1950s through the 1970s. Watching her grandparents' experiences and growing up in the segregated South showed her that often the system doesn’t work as it should and isn’t fair. Lynn has designed and implemented K-12 and higher education equity work.
Ace Parsi is the Outreach and Dissemination Lead for Educating for American Democracy, a project to reimagine the role of history and civics education in American Schools. Prior to this role, Mr. Parsi held a number of policy, research, and school-based positions at the National Center for Learning Disabilities, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the Alliance for Excellent Education, the National Service-Learning Partnership, Policy Analysis for California Education, and Fair Oaks Community School in Redwood City, California.
Mr. Parsi and his family immigrated to the US when he was eight. His own experience as an English language learner and free and reduced price lunch student led him towards a passion for utilizing education as a driver for greater equity. Mr. Parsi holds a Masters in Public Policy Degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He currently resides in Morgantown, West Virginia with his wife, Clare, and daughter, Ella.
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