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Over the course of her career, Bailey has worked to destroy systemic injustice and disparity that pervade systems of education in the US and other parts of the world.


Community Trust, where she directed the educational grant-making program. “During my tenure at Chicago Community Trust, I think we opened new

doors to philanthropy,” Bailey says. “We offered workshops to demystify the grant-awarding process. We designed a minority internship program and expanded the trust’s grant-making to give major operating grants to more than historically privileged universities. We provided greater access so the community could benefit from the generosity of donors to the trust.” In the 1970s, the drive to end segregated education remained a critical

aspect of the civil rights movement. “We spent many late nights debating options to force resistant local

school districts to desegregate,” Bailey says. “We were pressuring them, cajoling them into doing what was within our legal power to force action without cutting off funding. The principle of this work, which has influ- enced much of my career, is the right of all students to have access to high- quality education.” In 1981, Bailey became the first African American vice president of

academic affairs for the College Board of New York, which administers stan- dardized tests and determines high school curricula. Bailey considers her accomplishments at the College Board among some of her most important. “My mantra was to use the College Board’s influence to leverage issues of

equity and justice in academic affairs,” Bailey says. “I’ve done this through- out all the places I’ve been in my career. For one thing, the set of academic

advisors did not include much diversity. So we increased the pool of higher education faculty and high school teachers of color who served as advisors to the College Board.” Bailey also worked to establish quality and equity in terms of teaching

practices and include more diverse perspectives in high school curricula. “These are things people don’t think about in terms of the civil rights

struggle,” Bailey says. “What inequitable structures exist? We need to blame the systems, not the students.” Bailey has served in many positions over the course of her career, includ-

ing senior liaison at Stanford University’s Center for Opportunity Policy in Education; study director for the Standards and Assessment Partnership at the Consortium for School Research, University of Chicago; deputy superin- tendent for instruction at the Chicago Public Schools; and others. Bailey now serves as a consultant to the US Department of Education

and as senior consultant at the Panasonic Foundation, where she provides strategic coaching and equity solutions to urban school districts. In addition to her US work over the last 20 years, she pursues her passion

for supporting vulnerable children by leading international work directed toward primary and secondary schools throughout South Africa. “I first went to South Africa in the early ‘90s, and I couldn’t help but be re-

minded of Selma,” Bailey says. Through the Windy City chapter of nonprofit organization the Links, Incorporated, Bailey has helped provide students at Mofu Primary School with musical instruments, soccer uniforms, cultural


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