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Resigning District 1 school-board rep Jeff Smith will be joining a local nonprofit:

Dear Friends, Colleagues, Supporters and Citizens:

Allow me to first thank the many of you who have forwarded encouraging words and well wishes to my family and I following my recent resignation announcement. Forgive my inability to answer them each individually. I write to provide my new contact information and to assure each of you that even following my departure tomorrow from the D.C. Board of Education, you will still have an equal partner in the ongoing struggle for our children’s right to self-determination. Despite various and attractive offers to apply my advocacy and educational experience to more traditional, yet socially less rewarding settings, I shall remain with the many of you who have chosen to leave the line to purchase a ticket on the bandwagon of complacency and indifference and instead pursue my continued path of service and agitation in an new venue.

Effective, Monday April 23rd, I will be assuming the post of Executive Director for another local bastion of educational advocacy with whose work many of you are probably already familiar – DC VOICE. The experience, contacts and community friends I have gained during my time on the Board of Education have assured me that the movement to improve public schools within the District of Columbia is an undertaking which I must commit my full time and energies. As Executive Director for DC VOICE, I will look to work with other community advocates and educational scholars to take this city to another level of educational organizing and provide the community with the information and tools it needs to continually hold the city accountable for educating its children.

The distance between the platform where I now sit and the slave plantation from which my ancestors escaped, is considerable, yet the difficulties to be overcome in reaching the next plateau are, even by comparison, not slight. In doing, we must remind ourselves to continually pay tribute to our children’s struggle. Our language of correction must be lead by language of compassion. And while we shall never accept it, we must work, at least to understand the atrocities being committed upon our youth by their communities, their society and even themselves.

Beginning Monday, I can be reached by emailing jsmith@dcvoice.org, by telephone at (202) 986-8548 or by visiting www.dcvoice.org .

I look forward to writing the next chapter of this city’s life alongside all of you.

Thankfully,

Jeff Smith