It’s Time to Tell Joe Biden His Education Task Force Needs Black & Brown Parents

Earlier this year Joe Biden posed in a picture with members of the Powerful Parent Network.

When I saw the picture, I was proud that this coalition of Black and Brown parents from all around the country who’d been traveling to the Democratic presidential debates to protest the candidates’ education plans finally got an opportunity to voice their concerns to someone who could possibly be the next leader of our country. 

It felt like a win for them, and finally a breakthrough for all of us who’d also been traveling to the debates and pushing back on their plans. But in the back of my mind, I knew it was too good to be true because as history has shown and proven, they—politicians—have never cared about us or our needs. 

That’s evident in this newly formed Biden-Sanders Education Unity Task Force. It has not one grassroots, Black or Brown parent at the table.

Am I shocked? No. Am I pissed off? Absolutely!

Words cannot express how tired I am of politicians using us as props and photo ops during election season, finessing Black and Brown voters into believing that they’re different from the rest and that they will actually fight for us. Once again, when it comes time to do the real work, our voices are ignored and we’re abandoned.

And, to add insult to injury, Joe Biden—now the presumptive Democratic nominee for president—titled his plan to support the African American community “Lift Every Voice,” but he clearly has not lifted one damn finger to lift one voice from the community! The absurdity and pandering is maddening!

During one of his debates against Bernie Sanders, Biden said, “People are looking for results, not a revolution.”

To me, that showed just how out of touch he is with the Black and Latinx communities because the only way our needs and demands have ever and will be met is through a revolution. 

Our communities are frontline victims of the COVID-19 pandemic because we’re the longstanding victims of the pervasive pandemic that is racism and injustice. And despite countless movements and efforts to have access to high-quality schools, disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, ensure our kids are college-ready, and overall, make Black and Brown lives matter, we are still struggling because this country does not want to give us our freedom!

So enough ranting. It’s time for action and time for Joe Biden to truly stand with Black and Brown parents just like he did in that picture months ago. 

I am demanding that the Biden-Sanders Education Unity Task Force be expanded to include the voices of parents and community members who have been actively advocating for Black and Brown students in low-income communities. This coalition formed between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden cannot adequately address the needs of people of color without real representation from our communities and if you agree, sign this petition.

We cannot and will not have our advocacy efforts undermined or usurped by teachers union representatives with political agendas to kill school choice, politicians looking to kiss ass for endorsements and preserve the status quo or grasstops organizations in search of more power. And we will no longer stand for being barred from conversations involving our babies and shaping our future.

Join the revolution, Joe—or get run over by it.

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Tanesha Peeples

South Side community leader Tanesha Peeples is a Chicago Public Schools alumna and proud Englewoodian. She currently serves on the board of the Montessori School of Englewood. Formerly, she served the Deputy Director of Outreach for Education Post, for whom she penned the long-running column Hope and Outrage. As an undergraduate student at Northern Illinois University, Tanesha began to develop a passion for and understand the importance of public service. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration, she returned to Chicago with a new perspective on community, politics and civic engagement. Tanesha then attended and graduated from DePaul University with a master’s degree in public service management and urban planning and development. Throughout her professional career, Tanesha has used her education, passion and experience to navigate a number of nonprofit, political and independent ventures, advancing her mission to educate and empower marginalized populations. Prior to joining Education Post, she also managed her own consulting firm specializing in community relations. Tanesha’s vision is one where everyone—regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender or zip code—can have access to a comfortable quality of life and enjoy the freedoms and liberties promised to all Americans. Find her on Twitter at @PeeplesChoice85.