KIPP Nashville Goes to Washington, DC - KIPP Nashville

KIPP Nashville Goes to Washington, DC

This week, KIPP Nashville joined dozens of other KIPP regions from around the country in Washington, DC to advocate lawmakers to invest in education through strategic charter start up grants, support student mental health, and keep students safe from gun violence.

Jennifer Douglas, a founding parent of KIPP Antioch Global High School, was a part of the KIPP Nashville team who attended. 

Douglas’s son, Michael, is in ninth grade, and began his journey with KIPP in fifth grade at KIPP Antioch College Prep Middle School. 

“What drew me to KIPP initially was the student to teacher ratio and class size,” says Douglas. “I also love that they guaranteed they could walk with my child for at least two years after high school to college or career. KIPP is giving our children the tools they need to succeed, so that they can eventually come back and pay it forward in their community.” 

Douglas says going to Washington, DC and advocating lawmakers was a life changing opportunity. 

“This unlocked a path toward my voice being amplified.”

In D.C. Douglas and other KIPP parents and teammates heard from Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, the former Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, about the importance of high-quality charter schools.

Douglas met with staffers from Tennessee legislators, including Sen. Hagerty and Sen. Blackburn. 

“We can only do so much here in Nashville,” says Douglas, “I was glad to be brought here to see how I can help.”

Douglas says she was struck by the intimate, one-on-one conversations she was able to have with lawmakers, where she was able to tell her story. 

“I honestly didn’t think I would be heard necessarily, but we were able to have those real conversations and speak our truth,” says Douglas. “ I really hope that our conversations make a difference and they can spread our stories around with their colleagues.”

After her visit to the Capitol, Douglas says she has a renewed sense of purpose around advocacy.

“I’m the type of person who has a voice, but I didn’t know where it needed to be used other than directly here with my son’s school. I think it’s important for everyone to have a chance. Every student deserves different options for education, no matter where you live, and Michael is my inspiration to continue to advocate for others.”

Meeting with staffers from Tennessee Senator Bill Hagerty’s office.