Tony Tata shakes on it with Monserrat Alvarez and Seth Keel of NC HEAT

Call it Round 2: When Wake Schools Superintendent Tony Tata debuted in Raleigh at the Wake County Taxpayers Association meeting in January, protesting NC HEAT members were there to greet him, as seen above. Since Tata was spending time with the conservative and anti-diversity taxpayers group, they asked him, how about meeting with the members of our progressive, pro-diversity HEAT organization? (HEAT stands for Heroes Emerging Among Teens.)

Sure, Tata said, and the meeting Thursday was born. It’s at Martin Street Baptist Church, 1001 E. Martin St. in Raleigh, at 6:30 p.m., and is co-sponsored by the Parents Advocacy Work Group, affiliated with the YWCA. Everyone interested in Wake school issues — that’s everybody, isn’t it? — is invited to take part.

Here’s the press release from NC HEAT and PAWG —


Students and Parents to Host Forum in Southeast Raleigh with New Superintendent Anthony Tata
Community members will ask Mr. Tata questions about his plans for Wake’s system

On Thursday, March 3 at 6:30 pm at Martin Street Baptist Church, community members and students are invited to attend a forum with new superintendent Anthony Tata. Tata, who took office on January 31, agreed to meet with the student group NC HEAT (Heroes Emerging Among Teens) after they publicly challenged him to meet with them during his visit in early January.

“It was disappointing to us that Mr. Tata decided his first visit with the community would be with the Wake County Taxpayers Association, we felt this sent a very unfortunate and partisan message. We asked Tata to meet with us as well, and he agreed so we are looking forward to hearing his responses to our concerns, not just the concerns of the wealthy members of our community,” said Monserrat Alvarez, co-chair of NC HEAT and graduate of the Wake County Public School System.

NC HEAT is co-sponsoring this forum with PAWG, the Parent Advocacy Work Group housed at the YWCA of the Greater Triangle. Both organizations are members of the Education Justice Alliance.

“This forum is a welcome space for parents, students, and members of the community to come out and ask Mr. Tata questions and share their stories and concerns. This school system has been in regular upheaval over the past few years, we have deep issues with inequity and achievement gaps, and we are in a major budget crisis. We want to know how Mr. Tata intends to address these monumental challenges — and we want him to know that we want to help him be successful in building the kind of system that gives each child what he or she needs to succeed,” said Rukiya Dillhunt, chair of PAWG.

1001 E. Martin Street, Raleigh, NC 27601