As a person of color, Dever would bring crucially important perspectives to WSESD board

BRATTLEBORO — Lana Dever or Peter “Fish” Case for WSESD school board? Over the years, both have contributed much to our community, volunteering their time, energy, and expertise to a variety of social causes.

Peter has served, for example, on the boards of Boys and Girls Club of Brattleboro, Groundworks Collaborative, Girls on the Run, and Black Mountain Residential Family Living. Anyone who follows his columns in the Brattleboro Reformer knows that he is a champion of Black Lives Matter, Everyone Eats, and a fairer and more equitable system of state funding for education. I believe our community is better because of Peter's contributions.

Lana has also served on a number of boards and agencies. Currently, she is homeless coordinator and case worker for Youth Services. She has also served on the boards for the Brattleboro Youth Shelter, the Root Social Justice Center, and Big Brothers Big Sisters, and was co-founder of the Southern Vermont chapter of Black Lives Matter. She has also volunteered for Meals on Wheels and United Way of Brattleboro. I believe our community is better, too, because of Lana's contributions.

So who would serve our communities better on the WSESD school board?

As a current member who embraces the board's commitment to diversifying the district's workforce, it would be disingenuous of me not to advocate for more gender and racial diversity on the board itself.

A more diverse board would send a powerful message to marginalized communities, but it would be far more than symbolic. The insights of a board member with lived experiences of homelessness and marginalization in a largely white community would be invaluable for planning, supporting, and driving sustained and positive change in our district.

People like Lana with lived experiences as a person of color in southern Vermont would bring wisdom and perspectives that are crucially important for the board to make the kind of informed educational decisions that can benefit all of our students.

Even though Peter Case would be a worthy addition to the board, this year I urge voters to cast their votes for Lana Dever.

Note: While I am a director on the WSESD school board, the opinions expressed in this letter are entirely my own.

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