Highlights from the Economics and Education Panel at the Charleston Forum on June 16, 2017.
Paula Boggs, Former General Counsel for Starbucks
Godfrey Gibbison, College of Charleston
Malcolm Graham, Former N.C. State Senator and brother of Cynthia Graham Hurd
Lindsay Leonard, Director of Government Affairs at Boeing
Reverend Nelson Rivers
Moderator: Brian Hicks, Post and Courier
Godfrey Gibbison: “There’s a significant role for the school system and we know the school system has failed significantly in its portion of its job over last 50 years and it’s not getting much better. We also know that the most significant thing in terms of your economic outcome, education is the number one factor.
Lindsay Leonard: “Some of the numbers are incredibly staggering, 9 out of 10 African American students who come out of Charleston school district have to retake remedial math. Its unacceptable from our perspective. Where we look at where we make change…we look for ways to disrupt the status quo.”
Nelson Rivers: “If this is going to change, white males in power must decide this is acceptable. When it’s not, they’ll help change it. As long as it is acceptable, it won’t change. You can dance with it and dress it up all you want. The bottom line is the people in power, both economic power, political power and deciding who goes where, when they decide it’s unacceptable—and maybe it took Clementa’s death and the eight, I am not sure. Until you’re able to engage white male leadership in power, in Charleston, it won’t happen.”
Malcolm Graham: “If the system is not producing the results is that all men should have a fair opportunity to reach the American Dream. If you don’t have a quality education, you can’t get a job. If you don’t have a quality education, you can’t go to school to try to perform if the child goes to school ill prepared to succeed.”