Offiong Bassey to Join BAEO as the Director of the Bailey-Sullivan Leadership Institute
BSLI will train and support new Black leaders in education reform advocacy
June 13, 2013 – Washington, DC - The Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) is proud to announce that Offiong Bassey will join BAEO as the new Director of theBailey-Sullivan Leadership Institute (BSLI) starting in July. BAEO created BSLIto address the dire need for Black advocates equipped to champion parental choice and transformational education reform initiatives in the Black community.
“The BSLI is near and dear to BAEO. We created the Institute nine years ago to help address the severe deficit of qualified Black leaders in the education reform advocacy sector,” said Kenneth Campbell, President of BAEO. “We know that there are many people in our community who believe that providing a quality education for our children should be our top priority and who have both the passion and the courage to fight to ensure that every child has a real chance to realize their potential. With Offiong as our new BSLI Director, we are confident that we will be able to identify, train, and support these individuals so that they can become effective advocacy leaders when discussions about parental choice and education reform are taking place in our communities.
Through its Weekend Advocacy Leadership Academy fellowship program, BSLI will provide a series of valuable training, knowledge-building, and networking experiences for Black leaders from various sectors who want to make an impact on the direction and pace of the education reform movement. Program participants will include promising men and women who have demonstrated leadership capacity in their current positions; who share BAEO’s commitment to expanding parental choice and other transformational education reforms; and who would benefit from education, training and coaching to become more effective advocates for the programs and policies needed to close the achievement gap in American education.
“I believe that a major hindrance to progress within the Black community lies in a lack of identity and purpose among our youth. To the extent that a generation of leaders can be cultivated – leaders that look like (and have similar experiences to) those that they are leading – leaders that have “walked” through and not only “talked” through the reforms that they champion, the realization of educational equity for Black and working class families will be more prompt and more enduring,” said Bassey. “I look forward to joining BAEO and moving our work forward as we cultivate our next group of Black education reform advocates through BSLI.”
Prior to accepting the position with BAEO, Offiong served as an Analyst with Bellwether Education Partners, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the achievement of low-income students by cultivating, advising, and placing a robust community of innovative, effective, and sustainable change agents in public education reform and improving the policy climate for their work. Before Bellwether, she was a Senior Associate Consultant with Bain & Company, doing corporate strategy and management for Fortune 500 companies.
Offiong’s passion for youth is manifest in many different contexts. She has worked as a home school teacher to 8th grade twins and has done curriculum development and instruction in academic enrichment programs (such as The Ulysses S Grant Foundation and The Steppingstone Foundation, of which she is an alum). In addition to being an ordained minister, Offiong gives motivational speeches and offers artist residencies in schools, encouraging students of all backgrounds to embrace their potential to contribute to the world around them.
Offiong has also been the director of young adult programs in various cultural, faith based, and community organizations. She is a singer, songwriter, and poet. Offiong is a graduate of Yale University where she double majored in Political Science and African American Studies.
“We are excited to continue to honor the legacies of Deidre Bailey and Lisa Sullivan with the Bailey-Sullivan Leadership Institute,” commented Howard Fuller, Founder and Board Chair of BAEO. “I look forward to the leadership Offiong will bring to this part of our work, but even more the incredible passion, commitment, and knowledge she will bring to our entire organization.”
BAEO is a national, nonprofit education advocacy organization, founded in 2000 by prominent Black educators, elected officials and civil rights activists. BAEO’s mission is to increase access to high-quality educational options for Black children by actively supporting transformational education reform initiatives and parental choice policies that empower low-income and working-class Black families. For more information on BAEO visit www.baeo.org.