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Meet MAEC Staff – Vo Ram Yoon

At MAEC, collaboration and shared learning are key as we work towards education equity. It is our privilege to nurture a team of innovative, dynamic leaders and rising leaders in this field. In this blog series featuring members of MAEC staff, meet Data and Evaluation Consultant, Vo Ram Yoon! 

Who is an advocate or activist that you admire, and why?
Organizer and educator Mariame Kaba. She fostered my interest in abolitionist feminism through her incisive writing on the prison-industrial complex and how conflating safety with policing has perpetuated violence. I strive to live in a way that is consistent with her radical imagination for a more just world, especially in how she emphasizes that hope is a discipline and that collective struggle is rooted in healing interpersonal relationships.

What does education equity mean to you?
At this point in time, I think that promoting equity in education entails developing systems where parents are equally invested in the education of their own children and that of other children and where policymakers confront the ways that neoliberal logics and anti-Blackness have incentivized opportunity hoarding across and within schools. I believe that equitable education should attend to the socioemotional, physical, and moral development of youths instead of being limited to quantitative measures of achievement.

Tell us about a book in your office you think everyone should read.
Ghosts in the Schoolyard by Eve L. Ewing is a beautiful, ethnographic work that delineates the impact that the widespread school closures of 2013 in Chicago had on Black communities. She illuminates the historical and personal significance that schools have for people, and the extent that Black communities will go to fight for the survival of their neighborhood schools, even when politicians and the media might portray them as “failing” schools.

Tell us about a book on your bedside table you think everyone should read.
I recently finished Ruha Benjamin’s Viral Justice and I found it to be an inspiring text that demonstrates how, even in the absence of systemic changes, our personal actions can transform the world to become more just and nurturing. Balancing the personal and sociological, Viral Justice is a welcome reminder that seemingly insignificant good deeds can ripple across space and time.

What is one thing that brings you joy?
Reading and sharing poetry always brings me joy! Poets like Chen Chen, Audre Lorde, Safia Elhillo, José Olivarez, and many others sustain my optimism in the power of unbridled love, queerness, and nostalgia to bring our wildest imaginations for a better world into reality.

MAEC's blog is designed to engage hearts and minds of school and district leaders across the country to engage in issues that you have identified as being essential in education. Opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.

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