Holmes Scholar Takes on New Role as Campaign Manager After Attending Washington Week
For the first time in three years, AACTE will be hosting its 2022 Washington Week in-person in Washington DC, June 6 – 8. This annual educational policy and advocacy event draws together AACTE’s State Chapter Leadership, Holmes’ Scholars, deans, and faculty for an opportunity to learn and advocate for education and high quality educational preparation programs throughout the country.
This year, AACTE is combining the best programming from three separate events — State Leaders Institute, Holmes Policy Institute, and Day on the Hill — into one reimagined mini-conference for enhanced collaboration and networking. The 2022 Washington Week program includes shared keynotes and strand-based sessions on today’s most critical issues in education and teacher preparation: censorship, educator shortage, and educator diversity. Attendees can choose to align with a particular strand throughout the event or select sessions from among the three strands.
AACTE Holmes Scholar and Hofstra University adjunct instructor, Angeline Dean, successfully defended her dissertation recently. But Dean isn’t just a faculty and scholar, she is also an activist studying at Rowan University, eager to share her enthusiasm for Washington Week and how it served as the catalyst for her new role as campaign manager. “We [Candidate Armstrong and I] are working to dismantle the status quo in our communities, says Dean, “If you believe in all of this, you have to fight back.” Read below for the rest of Dean’s interview with AACTE.
The very first time I could go as a student, I remember meeting the legislators and hearing them speak about the policies, and it really got me. All of it (Washington Week) together—it’s a packaged deal for me.
What types of information from Washington Week did you share with your students?
Being there in person, there’s nothing like it because you are right in the mix of everything, and you become engulfed in it. It’s like “This is where I’m supposed to be; this aligns with my purpose.” When I came back home, [I spoke to to] the next cohort of students and told them, “You have to go to Washington Week because I can tell you about the experience, but it won’t be anything like experiencing it for yourself.” After they came back, they were like, “Gotcha! now I know what you were saying!”
How have you been able to apply what you have learned in Washington Week?
[At the last WW, one of the speaker panels] challenged us to go back home and to be a part of the change. [Back at home,] I was talking to a group of friends and someone I didn’t know looked familiar. I said to her, “Did you run for office?” She replied that she had run for councilwoman a few years ago [but she didn’t win]. Towards the end of the conversation, the woman asked if I would be her campaign manager. I told her I was trying to finish my Ph.D. and the responsibilities that came with it, but she kept asking, and so here I am, the campaign manager for Atalaya Armstrong, Candidate for Trenton, NJ West Ward Council Seat. I think that attending Washington Week was the catalyst.
In spite of budget cuts and expensive airfare, why should someone make the investment and attend the 2023 Washington Week?
Because it is an investment in your work. It is an investment through you and on behalf of the people that you serve. And if this is your purpose and calling, it is an investment that you have [to make] to be able to do what you do in a better way. When you attend (Washington Week), you’ll leave changed.