We were thrilled to see many old and new faces at last Saturday’s BESR Quarterly Meeting! Attendees included students, parents, current and retired teachers, administrators, partner organizations and community activist. Over 20 people were first time attendees to a BESR meeting. There was excellent energy among the members throughout the meeting. The conversations from the morning portion of the meeting filled the hallways of the lobby during the lunch and networking hour. It was beautiful to see old friends catch up and new attendees join in the conversations. Our youngest attendee was only 3 months old; he sat in perfect cadence and absorbed the content with his military parents.
State Representative Eric Pettigrew, D-37th District, started the day with insight, inspiration and encouragement of the work of BESR on behalf of Black students. Pushing legislation requires we work as partners. While he is knowledgeable and skilled in moving bills through the legislative process, he stressed the vital role BESR members must have in the process. Engagement with our legislators to push our agenda must include advocating for key bills and “asking them for their vote”. Asking for their vote is critical and much more impactful than just asking for their support. Rep. Pettigrew offered his support in providing BESR with critical legislative timelines for this session.
Mona Bailey’s spirit covered the room as she was remembered for her 30 years of diligence, strong work ethic and dedicated service as an educator and administrator. Dr. Thelma Jackson provided comments, reflecting on Mona’s legacy and impact on our education system. Two months prior BESR honored Mona as the inaugural recipient of the BESR Lifetime Achievement Award. Little did we know then that she would soon pass with grace and beauty from this life. Mona was also the 17th National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. They recently recognized Mona for her service and leadership.