“Not only do I organize as a parent leader, I volunteer in the classroom for my 2nd grader, and participate in resident civic engagement within the housing authority. I partake because I know these things will instantly affect my children’s education and future. So, if I can create change and help them thrive, then why not?”
At GO we are fortunate to work with a great network of Oakland people from all walks of life, including families, educators, community leaders, elected officials, and concerned citizens.
In what will be a monthly series, we decided to introduce you to some of those fantastic people that care just as deeply about public education as we do.
In the first installment, we meet Danielle Mackey, a mother of a seventh and second grader and founding member of United Families Building Community.
Danielle Mackey’s first experience with citywide civic engagement began on a bus. Now, close to two decades after helping increase public safety with cameras on San Francisco’s Muni buses, Mackey’s passion for community activism and engagement has spread to the east side of the Bay Bridge.
For the past year, Mackey has worked to improve public education for all of Oakland’s kids.
“Not only do I organize as a parent leader, I volunteer in the classroom for my 2nd grader, and participate in resident civic engagement within the housing authority,” Mackey said. “I partake because I know these things will instantly effect my children’s education and future. So, if I can create change and help them thrive, then why not?”
As an Oakland resident, Mackey is a founding member of United Families Building Communities (UFBC). UFBC helps build strong family leaders that are informed, active and advocate for their child’s education.
“I was taught to serve others,” Mackey said. “A lot of under-served families don’t have the resources and don’t feel motivated. We need to find ways to get families involved. The community needs to solicit involvement, and we need to be unconventional about it.”
Mackey and UFBC have spent the past year getting to know the community of West Oakland through individual meetings with other families, educators, and community members. “We want to offer families knowledge of the way things work in the school district and in charter schools so they have the resources and they have ability to do something about the situations that they have,” she said. “I want them to know that I care about you and I am in the same situation.”