Encouraging civil dialogue across our differences is at the heart of Wildacres Leadership Initiative's work. To model much needed civil dialogue, WLI has introduced the William C. Friday Dialogues for the Expansion of Democracy.
This conversation between former North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson and WLI Executive Director Abdul Rasheed is a part of the Friday Dialogues programming. Note how Abdul and June take the time to get to know each other's past and perspective before discussing some of the hot-button issues of the day in education.
During the first half of their conversation, June and Abdul share their personal stories and discover that they both had grandmothers who put a premium on education and teachers who held them to high expectations. At the19:00minute mark, they reflect on how they experienced the integration of their schools and find out they share something else in common - both were co-captains of their basketball teams! At 28:15, the conversation moves into reflecting on what is currently happening in public education, and they touch on the resegregation of our urban schools and the debate about sacrificing arts education for smaller class size. At 42:10, June shares what she is most excited about highlighting our improved graduation rate, the increased use of technology, career technical education, and the critical importance of the teacher pipeline. At 51:08, they offer their thoughts on the leadership that is needed to move NC forward on the issue of education.