One Oakland United is dedicated to lifting up voices of parents, teachers, students, and community members who want to rise above the culture of complaint and support the drive for better schools. We believe Oakland has everything needed to prepare our kids to do well in school and life.
Meet our bloggers:
Charles Cole, III
Charles is an educator focused on the advancement of all youth of color but more specifically black males. The passion comes from his own experiences growing up without proper support. His life’s goal is to better the communities he grew up in through his work. He has has served as a social worker, a Director for Teach for America, the Vice Chair of the California Young Democrats, Black Caucus and at a Director’s level at various youth-focused nonprofits. Charles is a national speaker, a writer and can be found in Oakland and around the country working with youth on how to equip themselves appropriately to lay the ground work for a bright future. He is currently finishing his first book aimed at Black males titled Stop Hustling Backwards. After meeting the Superintendent of OUSD and really admiring his passion for the work, Charles decided to return to the district he grew up in as a Community Engagement Specialist. There, he works closely with the community to help drive policies that lead to educational transformation. Charles speaks only on his behalf and his words are not representative of any entity.
Dirk has worked for over 25 years with underserved students and communities expanding educational opportunities, and simultaneously striving for equity and excellence. He is the founder of the not for profit, Great School Choices, an organization committed to helping communities incubate better schools, push for quality improvements in existing ones, and underserved families accessing the range of quality choices available. Over the last several years he has incubated 19 independent charter schools dedicated to students and families often left behind, including the first college preparatory public school in NYS to deliberately target students with emerging mental health challenges, the first autism inclusion charter, the first Montessori charter in NY, the first charter to provide an admissions preference to English language learners, alongside a host of other innovative models targeted to the most disadvantaged students, in NY’s most challenging neighborhoods.