Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Naming the Dallas Independent School District's Administration Bldg. - Kathlyn C. Gilliam

Dallas School Board,

A very important action will take place in June, and that is the opportunity for you to vote on the naming of the administration building. In the process of your consideration, I hope that you will abstain from your usual slam dunk mentality and consider the facts about who deserves such an honor.

I am a DISD graduate and proud of the fact that I not only graduated from the district, but have spent countless hours in volunteer positions since 1981. I have firsthand knowledge that Kathlyn C. Gilliam worked to make a significant difference in the education of all children. While some would like to linger on style, lets recount the numerous accomplishments of Ms. Gilliam:

Without her fight for the court order, such specials schools as Learning Centers, Montessori and Magnet Schools would probably not be in DISD,and if that were the case, would we have the number two (Tag Magnet) in Dallas this year? She was the first African American Woman to be elected to Dallas Independent School District’s board, and a strong advocate for Minority representation in the district. In 1970 Governor Preston Smith appointed Ms. Gilliam to the State PTA Board, and in 1974 Ms Gilliam was elected to the school board without a runoff. She reached the top in 1980, when she was named President of the Dallas School Board with a unanimous vote. In 2006 “No Ways Tired: Kathlyn Gilliam and the De-Segregation of Dallas Public Schools” won first place at the Junteenth Film Festival for Best Documentary. This Documentary chronicled the community-based activism of Ms. Gilliam and the successful grassroots organization strategies that ultimately accomplished the desegregation of Dallas Public Schools.

Ms. Gilliam has been an instrument in development of Dallas Public Schools from Segregation to De-Segregation and should have the honor of naming the administration building after her.

We need the community to come out in large numbers and speak to the Board of DISD about naming the Administration building for Ms. Gilliam. The meetings will be held at 3700 Ross Avenue. Please show your love and support for an icon in our community while she is still with us.

There are two speaking opportunities:

Briefing: Thursday June 12th at 11:00 am. You must call Wed. June 11th before 3:00 pm.

Board Meeting: Thursday June 26th at 5:30 pm. You must call Wed. June 25th before 3:00 pm.

The number to call is 972-925-3700 ask for Board Services.

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