Deseré Mayo, a local artist and mother of three boys was waiting outside after school with dozens of other César Chávez Elementary parents, eager to greet her two young sons. When she noticed another Black mother standing nearby, she was intrigued; seizing the opportunity to connect with another Black parent like herself.
Deseré introduced herself to April Kigeya, a West High and UW-Madison graduate and mother of four. The two of them shared a friendly conversation that day and kept in touch.
Soon after meeting, Deseré discussed an idea with April. She wanted to bring Black families together in an effort to make Chávez Elementary a more welcoming environment for her children and other students of color facing challenges relating to race and diversity.
It turns out, April shared Deseré’s desire to unite Black families.
Together, the two women worked closely with Chávez Elementary’s principal, Kelly Lawler, to organize a parent group dedicated to celebrating Black culture and uplifting Black scholars.
They’re called, ‘Parents of Black Excellence,’ the first ever Black parent affinity group at César Chávez Elementary School.
This is their story.
- Marlita Bevenue, MMSD Communications