A Message from Dr. Betty Gray:
Dear NC NABSE and NABSE Southeast Regional Family,
Our hearts are extremely heavy in sharing this news released by Generation Ready that Dr. Erick Witherspoon passed away peacefully at his home last Thursday in Rialto, CA. Dr. Witherspoon, NC NABSE Affiliates Partner, Generation Ready National Equity Director, friend, and member served on many local, state and national boards. Through the years, Erick sponsored many Professional Development events for The National Alliance of Black Educators Instructional Commission and NABSE Affiliates. His PD events helped staff become experts in culturally responsive teaching. Dr. Witherspoon was loved, admired and a regular sponsor for the National Alliance of Black School Educators Annual Conferences.
Erick's commitment to service and education earned him numerous awards and public proclamations from the State of California and the National Alliance of Black School Educators. He received his Bachelor's of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Kansas Newman University. A Master's Degree in Educational Administration from Wichita State University and a Doctoral Degree in Leadership for Educational Justice from the University of Redlands.
As Generation Ready National Director of Equity, Dr. Witherspoon made a great impact on school districts across the country by working with superintendents in providing ongoing learning opportunities that were specific to the needs of staff and goals for improvement. He was instrumental in assisting NC NABSE Affiliates with sponsoring its Educational Equity Forum in Durham, NC with a focus on school districts and superintendents receiving positive results in school equity with the 39 percent students of color. Staff leave the sessions as experts in culturally responsive teaching, and change agents for policies in their schools.
Dr. Witherspoon also sponsored a reception, for Council of Great City Schools Annual Conference in CA where Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board received The National Equity Award for advancing Equity in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools with efforts on behalf of School Board Director Dr. Ruby Jones. His legacy as a change agent for equity will live forever in school districts around the country.
Erick is survived by his wife Chantal Witherspoon, a middle school principal. Our prayers and thoughts are with Mrs. Witherspoon and family. You may send her a note of sympathy at firstname.lastname@example.org. The purity of Erick's heart and his love for all reflected the presence of God's grace in him. His work here on earth is done and what good work it was. We know this by all the lives he forever changed and made better, and by the love he shared with all unconditionally. What a blessing it was to have lived our lives for a short time at the same time on Earth with Dr. Erick Witherspoon!
Love & Blessings,
Betty Howell Gray, Ed.D.,
NABSE Southeast Regional Representative
North Carolina Alliance of Black School Educators
CHARLOTTE, NC - Dr. Gray has achieved extraordinary accomplishments in the pursuit of a quality education for all children, especially African American Learners in Charlotte-Mecklenberg Counties and throughout cities in North Carolina. The National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE's) work is very rich and people are taking parts of their program as their own. NC NABSE has received so many awards for NC NABSE's work under the leadership of Dr. Gray during her nine years in Charlotte after relocating from Bellevue, Washington. She is known for her outstanding leadership in implementing NABSE's Males of Color Leadership Program called My Brother's Keeper and many other programs working in partnership with the City of Charlotte and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. NABSE is well and alive in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Cities throughout North Carolina due to Dr. Gray's Leadership.
The McClarrin Group is a proud partner of NC NABSE and we salute Dr. Gray's Leadership for NABSE's Woman in the News and being one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Union and Iredell Counties! Check out their website for many of their projects for students, parents, school leaders and teachers. Please review their Fifth Annual 2019 My Brother's Keeper Males of Color Leadership Summit with voices of the students on line. (ncnabseaffiliates.org). Under the leadership of Dr. Gray, the first Males of Color Program began seven years ago and later received a request from the mayor to partner with the City of Charlotte. My Brother's Keeper first Summit was launched on August 1, 2015 with other 400 in attendance using NABSE's Males of Color Signature Program. In 2019, there were over 550 in attendance . NC NABSE provided five years of successful programs that created the foundation for the second phase of MBKCLT & MECK in Charlotte-Mecklenberg communities. The group will launch a Girls of Color Program in Fall 2020 utilizing NABSE's Girls of Color Signature Program, a requests from parents and community. We encourage other partners to join NABSE, the nation's premier non-profit organization devoted to furthering the academic success for the nation's and children--particularly children of African descent.
Again under Dr. Gray's leadership, NC NABSE Affiliates are planning its Southeast Regional Conference to be held in Charlotte on Thursday, April 29 - May l, 2021. They have chosen
the theme, "Ensuring Educational Equity and Cultural Competency to Close Opportunities Gaps for African American Youth and other Youth of Color." Superintendents, School Leaders, School Staff, Teachers and Parents are invited to attend. Mark your calendar now more information to come! Dr. Gray is so deserving of this special honor while serving as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Mecklenburg, Union and Iredell Counties.
CHARLOTTE, NC - North Carolina NABSE affiliate member Dr. Betty Howell Gray was awarded the 2020 Education Award at the 2020 Black Excellence Gala in Charlotte, NC. The gala was sponsored by the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte Mecklenburg. The award was presented to Dr. Gray (center) by President Attorney Kalif Rhodes (left) and presenter Senator Joyce Waddell (right).
NC NABSE recruitment coordinator Humphrey Truitt will attend the "Access 2 Progress" event sponsored by the M&M Educational Group, LLC in hopes of seeking new membership. The event will occur on November 16, 2019 from 9:00am-12:00pm at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina. During this event, several guest speakers including Mr. Truitt will share a variety of expert advice with parents, students, and community members. On behalf of NC NABSE, Mr. Truitt will share the purpose of the organization and highlight its contributions to the community while encouraging event attendees to join as new NC NABSE members.
2018-2019 My Brother’s Keeper Events
“Empowering Black Males and Males of Color to Meet High Standards of Achievement”
To ensure success in teaching the whole child, academically, socially and emotionally, we offer a series of workshops, forums and conferences throughout the year with a focus on males of color to improve literacy, career/college readiness and economic opportunity. Resources are available for parents, school leaders and educators for black culture and an awareness of black males learning styles. Parents and community stakeholders must become engaged in the education of all children, particularly students who need literacy skills. Workshops and conferences are held in partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools; Friendship Missionary Baptist Church; City of Charlotte; Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Commissioners; Communities In Schools; UNC Charlotte College of Education; Urban Education Collaborative; CMAE; and CM Urban League.
September 8, 2018 - 9 a.m.- 2 p.m.,
MeckPTA Council Back to School Conference, Phillip O. Berry Academy, third of a series of Parent Forums--Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (Awareness of the Law and importance of stakeholders VOICES in the policy-making process) Other forums will be held in CMS schools throughout the year in partnership with Communities In Schools. 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
October20, 2018 –SITE: GRIER ACADEMY
Professional Development for School Leaders & Teachers: Culturally Responsive Teaching; Literacy, and Title I Family Engagement; Classroom Management; -- This work provides best practices & practical tools for the classroom to ensure academic success for students.
December 8, 2018 : Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
Youth Economic Empowerment Forum -- 8:30 – l p.m. – Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Literacy and Resource Fair - Males of color are invited to expand their horizons, learn skills for leadership development, & financial literacy for professional success.
January 31 – February 2, 2019 -Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
Fifth Annual My Brother’s Keeper Leadership Conference for Black Males and Males of Color – January 31 - Middle School Boys of Color & February 1 – High School Boys of Color – Time: 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – February 2, 2019 – Dr. Juwanza Kunjufu - Keynote Speaker. School Leaders & Educators, Instruction & Instructional Support – Culturally Responsive Instruction; Understanding Black Males Learning Styles & much more on culture of Black Children, Time: 8:30 a.m – 2:30 p.m. Friendship Missionary Baptist Conference Center
Invited Speakers for Forums, Workshops & Conferences:
Dr. William “Flip” Clay; Dr. Judy Goins; Dr. Devonya Govan-Hunt; Dawn Hill; Principal Baruti Kafele; Dr.Jawanza Kunjufu, Award Winning Author; Victor Woods, Literacy; Dr. Chance Lewis, UNCC; Jarrod Jones, Restorative Justice; Dr. Alma Adams, l2th District; Tim Dryman, NCDPI; Nicole Jimerson, ARI Advocacy Center; Hotep, Hustle University; Marlon Smith, Success by Choice, and many more! Mark your calendar now to attend these events designed to make a difference in the learning lives of all children and particularly black males and males of color.
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