Dia L. Jones has worked to build culture rich schools and organizations for the past 20 plus years. For the past 13 years, she has been a teacher, Dean of Students and an Assistant Principal in traditional and charter schools in Philadelphia. In 2016, she was chosen by Educators Rising to help create a national curriculum to cultivate high school students from around the country to become highly qualified teachers. She was a 2017 Ryan Fellowship Finalist. She’s an avid reader, traveler, a photographer, newshound, sports watcher, foodie specialist and awesome auntie extraordinaire—ask her multitude of nieces and nephews. She is launching her blog (Ashe Jones, Educateher
) where she will share her thoughts and ideas on how to achieve 21st-century education equity for all and how to destroy the school-to-prison pipeline.
Favorite MLK quote:
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Why is this your favorite quote?
This quote speaks life to me. When I feel I can’t do anymore in service to others, I hear MLK telling my true character to stand up. I must break barriers of injustice and oppression, especially for children in education. If MLK and my ancestors died for me, then I must rise up and push through it.
When did this quote come to life for you?
I first heard of this quote when I was working in a residential facility in Dallas for adjudicated youth. My good friend, Delonda, was gifting this message to her dorm of young men. She let the attentive juveniles know that this was not the time for them to sit down and cower under the pressure of being locked up. She dared them to stand up and fight for their lives as young men. That meant getting off drugs, staying off the streets, graduating from high school and pursuing careers—ultimately using their time behind bars to grow up. I was amazed by how many of the young men made instant changes in their current circumstances. I also delivered the same message to my unit that week with positive results. Ultimately, we were able to have several of those youth graduate from high school early and enroll in the local community college.