Equal Access to Education a Civil Rights Issue

It's March Madness time, and I'm sure that, if any of you are like me, you've been trying to get in as many games as is possible. It's hard to ignore, though, that, while people of color make up the vast majority of NCAA basketball and other sports teams, black and brown people are woefully underrepresented in the classrooms of colleges across the nation. 

I wrote about this topic in the Tampa Bay Times, and I believe that equal access to an optimal education -- from primary school through college -- is one of the major civil rights issues of our time. A lack of a quality education is one of the many reasons that people can get caught up in an unforgiving criminal justice system. And, once there, it is even more difficult to gain that education.

Our communities need to remain involved in this issue and demand that our elected officials, at the local level all the way up to Congress, put forth adequate funding and resources for public education. The quality of a young person's education should not depend on his or her Zip Code. 

Without a higher education, I wouldn't be where I am today; I am living proof of its power. On Tuesday, March 27, I will be speaking on the topic at the annual Black, Brown and College Bound Summit, hosted by Hillsborough Community College, in Tampa Bay.