Bexley Minority Parent Alliance (BMPA) continued to have a very productive 2022 academic year, with several firsts and continued collaborations in the school district and community-at-large. We are looking forward to more opportunities to connect in person and hosting additional events in 2023.
BMPA partnered with Bexley City Schools (BCS) to host an informational and networking event to talk with teachers, and staff of color about potential work opportunities in the district. In March 2022, we kicked off our inaugural Art Auction. Led by Alex Silverman, Derrick Coles, Erica Drewry, Leslie Hermann, Amy Nolan and Kris Butler, the Auction was able to raise $3K which went directly to the high school scholarship fund. Our annual Circle of Excellence(COE) event in the spring was virtual, and our guest speaker was business owner and former OSU player, Bryant Browning. He donated Pit BBQ Grille gift cards to the high school seniors. Congratulations to our 2022 scholarship winners: Eli Dresbach, Sophia Guzman, and Lou Cariello. BMPA has awarded 14 scholarship winners since the inaugural event in 2019.
BMPA’s informational events and support also helped facilitate in the hiring of BCS District’s Leader of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I), Marcelius Braxton. We have also been involved in the hiring of several new minority teachers, coaches, and staff to the district.
BMPA assisted the district in obtaining the Diversifying the Education Profession (DEP) in Ohio grant from the Ohio Department of Education. Bexley was one of only 24 schools in the state to receive this grant. This grant allows the district to provide mentoring, professional development, and ongoing support to diverse faculty that are hired, as well as ongoing professional development for all staff that is focused on sustaining a culture of equity and inclusion.
BMPA and the BCS Youth Mentorship Program continues to expand under the leadership and guidance of Steve Shapiro and Lisa Carter Kelley, with 60 students currently in the program. We want to thank BMPA members Alissha Mitchell, Dr. Jonathan Baker, and friend of BMPA, Margarethe Jaede, for their tireless work on the Bexley Board of Education.
City endeavors included regular meetings with the City of Bexley/City Council, other city committees/boards, and DE&I collaboration with other Central Ohio communities. We would like to recognize Lisa Carter Kelley and Tiffany Hunt for their work on the Citizen Review Advisory Board, which was formed in 2020, as board member and chair, respectively. We would also like to thank Cecil Gouke, Spencer Cahoon, Larry Deatley and Tim Hoppman for their work with the Bexley Coalition for Equitable Policing. Through their long-time effort, we were able to hire the new Police Chief, Gary Lewis. Also, BMPA liaison (and BMPA Alumni of the Year winner), Sam Marcellino, for his work on City Council.
We would also like to thank Monique Lampke for her work in planning Bexley’s Hispanic Heritage Festival in September 2022 as this was part of the Main Event this year. In May 2022, BMPA hosted Bexley’s Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage event, featuring food trucks, a Japanese Taiko Drum Concert, fashion show and more. A special thank you to Akisa Fukuzawa, Betty Brown, and Christine Overway for leading this event.
We also want to thank Manika Williams, Courtney Baker, Tiasha Letostak, Paige Bilotta, Jen Robinson, and the rest of the Juneteenth committee for organizing a community-wide event. We appreciate our partnership with the Bexley Public Library, which allowed us to have this wonderful outdoor event.
BMPA also sponsored a booth at the 2022 African American Male Wellness Walk in August with the assistance of the Bexley Chamber of Commerce. BMPA’s cooking team finished fifth in the inaugural Bexley Smoke and Fire Festival. Thanks to Carl Lewis, Isaiah Drewry, Zach Willis, and the rest of their team for their hard work. And special thanks to our board member, Alex Silverman, for putting this great event together.
We closed out the school year with the BMPA float in the Bexley 4thof July Parade. Then we kicked off the 2022-2023 school year with our back-to-school picnic at the Jeffrey Park Memorial Shelter on August 21. We appreciate the commitment of the city, BCS, and community members to furthering our mission of empowering minority students to achieve their full potential.
BMPA Executive Board.