“What a difference a day makes and the best is yet to come,” Ernie Horn
FORT WORTH, TEXAS - You could feel there was something special about to happen as you entered the doors at the Villas of Eastwood Terrace as red, white and blue balloons were hanging everywhere. The media, ministers and members of the community gathered on this special day to hear from the Fort Worth Independent School District’s new yet familiar face of Superintendent Walter Dansby. Growing up in the historic Stop 6 community, this son of an African Methodist Episcopal Church minister did not disappoint the crowd in the community center at the senior retirement complex located in the East Fort Worth neighborhood where he grew up.
Members of the World of Wisdom Ministry, a “seasoned” saints outreach ministry of the Friendship Rock Baptist Church, the Black, Brown and Tan Caucus, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Score a Goal in the Classroom and the United Educators Association of Texas (UEA) came together to host the Independence Day of Jubilee celebration to honor and support Dansby in his new role.
“What a difference a day makes and the best is yet to come,” said Ernie Horn, with Score a Goal in the Classroom as he opened the event with a powerful prayer.
The sweet spirit in the Villas was filled with prayers, praise and promise as people of all ages came together to congratulate Mr. Dansby on his historic appointment. Mr. Dansby is the first native son of Fort Worth and African American to be appointed to the top education leadership position at the Fort Worth school district.
“I have known Walter Dansby since our days together in high school and he has always been a great leader,” said Dr. Frank Lawson, pastor of the Harmony Missionary Baptist Church in East Fort Worth. “I worked with him and he has taught my children. He is the right man to lead our school system today,” Pastor Lawson said.
Larry Shaw president of the United Educators Association of Texas (UEA) shared a stirring story about his days as a teacher at an all black high school when Texas first integrated in Beaumont.
“Children do not care how much you know until they know how much you care,” Shaw said. He then went on to challenge the community to “re-dedicate to educate” all children within the district.
“Teachers have to sign a re-dedication commitment letter and I believe parents, students and the community should sign re-dedication commitment letters as well,” Shaw said to the affirming crowd.
Justice of the Peace Lisa Woodward encouraged the community to rally behind Mr. Dansby and supports his agenda to improve the academic performance of our children.
“We all have to do our part to help our children succeed,” Judge Woodward said.
Mr. Dansby gave an impassionate challenge to the entire community to come together to help educate all of the children within the Fort Worth Independent School District.
“No one person can do this alone. We need everyone involved. If it takes more to educate some of our children then we will give those children more,” Dansby said.
The crowd received his inspiring message with a standing ovation after he finished and most believe he deserves the permanent job.
Ms. Carmelita Pope Freeman with the US Department of Justice Community Relations Services leads the community in an exercise in how to turn C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T. into Commitment, Opportunity, to Negotiation, with Fairness, Love, Integrity, Compassion and Trust. Everyone enjoyed the exercise and Ms. Freeman has agreed to continue to work with the Fort Worth community to help foster greater peace and tranquility.
“Let me be clear. Mr. Walter Dansby deserves to be superintendent,” say Rev. Kyev Tatum, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
“We believe he deserves the job, not because he is a black man, not because he has spent 37 years in the district as a teacher, coach and an administrator. Walter Dansby deserves the job as Superintendent because he is the right man at the right time to help FWISD turn its academic failures into academic achievement and success. It only takes five votes from the School Board and I believe we have the five votes we need to give him the permanent job,” Rev. Tatum said.
The group has agreed to begin a movement to bring the entire community together to help improve the quality of life for everyone in Fort Worth.
“We are One Fort Worth and now is the time for us to come together and make sure everyone is treated with equality and dignity, that everyone can gain access to economic prosperity and be allowed to peacefully participate in the political process,” Rev. Tatum said.
For more information on how you can join this One Fort Worth effort contact the SCLC at 817-966-7625 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org