National Teacher Of Year To Keynote Urban League Equal Opportunity Day

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga presents its annual Equal Opportunity Day breakfast on Friday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 a.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center with keynote speaker Jahana Hayes, the 2016 National Teacher of the Year named by the Council of Chief State School Officers. Ms. Hayes is the first member of her family to graduate college and now serves as a history teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Ct. 

Despite a challenging upbringing, Ms. Hayes was inspired and encouraged by her teachers to dream big and attend college. A lifelong student, she earned an associate degree from Naugatuck Valley Community College, a Bachelor of Science from Southern Connecticut State University, a Master of Arts from Saint Joseph University and a certification from the University of Bridgeport. Ms. Hayes has been teaching for the past 12 years and says she feels privileged to have the opportunity to transform lives and foster a sense of social responsibility in the next generation. As the 2016 National Teacher of the Year and a frequent spokesperson for education, Ms. Hayes says she hopes to motivate more people to become educators and play a part in shaping the citizens of tomorrow. 

"As a teacher, I strive to facilitate learning in a way that engages students by connecting on a personal level and stimulating academic growth, while simultaneously producing contentious and productive members of society," said Ms. Hayes. 

Each year, the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga-as part of the National Urban League movement-celebrates Equal Opportunity Day as a community-wide celebration of inclusion. This year's event theme is "Equity in Education," focusing on the role that educators and the community play in progressing education for all students. To recognize corporate and individual leadership in the region, the Urban League will give out three awards at the event: Inclusion by Design Award, Community Impact Award and the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award. 

"The Urban League desires to raise awareness of the importance of teacher leadership and community engagement in addressing educational inequities for low-income and minority youth who face significant barriers to academic and career success," said Warren E. Logan, Jr., president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga. "We believe Jahana Hayes' exceptional record as an educator and her passion for engaging youth in their communities will resonate with educators and leaders across the community who attend this year's EOD event." 

The Urban League's education programs include an afterschool program, STEM Academy, summer coding camp, National Achievers Society and the Infinite Scholars Scholarship Fair. The Urban League fosters economic empowerment through the Entrepreneurship Center, NextLevel Chattanooga, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, Employment Center and homeownership counseling. In addition, the Urban League offers health and wellness initiatives focused on improving health outcomes for underserved populations. 

The Urban League is offering several sponsorship levels or individual tickets for the event. All proceeds from the event will support the Urban League's empowerment programs. For more information, visit www.ulchatt.net. or call Lily Sanchez at 756-1762 or lsanchez@ulchatt.net.




First Things First Celebrates 20 Years With A Birthday BASH

First Things First will commemorate two decades of strong families and healthy relationships in Chattanooga on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the Chattanooga Convention Center with a Birthday BASH. The Birthday BASH will host a variety of surprise special guests as First Things First gives a glimpse into what the future holds for the families of Chattanooga.   There will be a ... (click for more)

Stay Safe Amid Eclipse Excitement

As the Tennessee Valley gears up for the solar eclipse on Monday, it’s important to stay safe amid all the excitement. If you are planning to view the eclipse from TVA public lands, keep the following safety points in mind.  Expect traffic jams. The Valley is expecting thousands of tourists, so roads will be crowded.  Plan to get to your viewing location a few hours ... (click for more)

City Seeks To Be Removed As Trustee Of Confederate Cemetery

Mayor Andy Berke on Friday said he has asked City Attorney Wade Hinton, on behalf of the city of Chattanooga, to file the necessary paperwork "to confirm the city is no longer listed as a trustee of a Confederate Cemetery on East Third Street." Mayor Berke said, “Our action today makes it clear that the city of Chattanooga condemns white supremacy in every way, shape and ... (click for more)

New Superintendent Johnson To Set Up Opportunity Zone For Low Performing Schools

New County School Supt. Dr. Bryan Johnson said he plans to set up an Opportunity Zone for low performing schools. He said in a memo: In our ongoing efforts to improve student achievement I would like to establish an Opportunity Zone that would specifically focus on our Priority schools and schools on the cusp. The initial schools that would receive support through this structure ... (click for more)

Mayor Invites Civil War II

I just received an email from the Mayor stating that he filed paperwork to remove the city of Chattanooga as the trustee for the Confederate Cemetery on Third Street. I understand the Mayor's intent was to distance the city from it's racist past and subsequent hate, but I feel like this is an interesting move without much thought of the consequences. The Mayor prefaced his ... (click for more)

Confronting Racism In Public Education

Like most Americans, we have been bothered by the news in recent days. And as we have struggled to understand the racial issues that continue to confront our nation, we are left to ponder the issue even more within the context of public education.  The vast majority of Americans know that racism is wrong. It is one of the few issues on which almost everyone can agree. We ... (click for more)