Dever: unwavering ability and commitment to speak to complex, challenging, and vulnerable issues

BRATTLEBORO — I am grateful and excited that Lana Dever has decided to run for the Brattleboro seat on the Windham Southeast School District school board.

I am a parent of a child who will be entering kindergarten next year, and I am passionate about strong and wise leadership for our public schools. I wholeheartedly support Lana in this endeavor, and I believe that she is an excellent person for this position.

I had the privilege of working closely with Lana on the Community Safety Review process for the town of Brattleboro in 2020. I was a co-facilitator of the project, and Lana was a member of the Community Safety Review Committee.

I experienced Lana to be deeply compassionate and empathic in both her ability to hold space for the community members who shared their experiences of harm and for her fellow committee members. She was particularly skilled at building respectful relationships with other members with whom she had dissenting perspectives, all over Zoom!

I was most impressed by Lana's unwavering ability and commitment to speak to complex, challenging, and vulnerable issues of racism, white supremacy, classism, and marginalization with care and accountability and without alienation or disrespect.

We must face the reality that our modern-day leaders need to possess the desire and ability to discuss the conditions of oppression that many (and, to some degree, all) Brattleboro area students face as they interact with each other and with the educational system.

Lana brings experience as a parent, as a community member and leader, as a Black woman, and as a person with lived experience of the conditions and systems of oppression that Brattleboro area students face.

I believe that she has the experience, enthusiasm, expertise and empathy that we desperately need from our leaders as we work together as a community to address complex issues and center the needs and voices of those most impacted by oppression.

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