Vesia Wilson-Hawkins – Nashville, TN

Vesia Wilson-Hawkins, a former Metro Nashville Public Schools student, parent, and staffer has spent nearly 20 years in and around the education landscape in Nashville.  This work began while at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce before moving to Metro Nashville Public Schools to work with families in her role as community outreach coordinator and members of the elected school board as board liaison.  In 2014, Vesia left her comfortable government job to join a mayoral campaign to give back to the city that made her.

A wife and mother of two former MNPS students, Vesia received a B.S. in political science from Austin Peay State University and an M.S. in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Technological University.

She is currently a campaign consultant, blogger, and staunch school choice advocate.

Favorite MLK quote(s):

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Why are these your favorite quotes?

As I evolve as a woman, and as a black woman, my favorite quotes change as well. I’m currently in a season where I reflect on the shame of nearly two decades of silence. From my closed lips, I’ve been a willful participant in doling out inferior education to black and brown children and allowed politicians to move and shake in opposition to the city’s marginalized. I know now, more than ever, that my voice is the most valuable weapon at my disposal.

When did these quotes come to life for you?

In the spring of 2016, I met two mothers of children who attend charter schools in Nashville. Discussing the state of education at different points throughout the evening, I asked each parent about the schools their child(ren) attend. To my shock, both parents were afraid to publicly share the schools, going so far as to whisper the schools’ names. That incident took up residence in my soul and inadvertently formed my mission to ensure Nashville parents have a platform and a partner in the choice landscape.

Vesia also blogs at Volume and Light.

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