Online Forum 9/16/2020


Event Outline

On Wednesday, September 16th, we will begin at 7pm with a welcome and introductions. Each speaker will have 10 minutes to share, and then we will respond to questions from the audience. Questions will be sent through the Zoom Q&A Feature during the event. We will wrap up at 8:30pm.

The video will be available afterward and will be linked here as well.

We are people of faith who value the lives of children as Jesus did. We hope in this time of listening and learning that we will be inspired, informed, educated, and motivated to become advocates for our children through support of public education.

We will:

  • Learn about the Leandro Case and public school critical issues through a historical overview
  • Explain why the church should care about equity in public schools
  • Discuss steps being taken to fulfill the Leandro Case
  • Consider actions to accomplish the vision of every child in North Carolina having a sound basic education through public education
  • Pray for each of us as we make decisions for the future of public education in North Carolina
  • Close with a blessing for public schools, teachers and students in the midst of our current health crisis 


Share this event on social media, newsletters, online calendars, websites, and more! Social media graphics and Flyer are available here.


We hope everyone who joins us will take these 3 actions today:

  1. Share this event on Social Media using #LeadWithLeandro.
  2. Take the Pledge to Vote for Pro-Public Education Candidates on November 3rd and share!
  3. Ask The NC General Assembly to #LeadWithLeandro! NC Kids are counting on us!


Our Moderators for the Forum are Tom and Rev. Lib Campbell.

(Photo by Fran Dickenson Photography)


Rev. Paul Robinson Ford

Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Highland Ave, Winston-Salem, NC

The Reverend Paul Robeson Ford is the 11th Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church (Highland Avenue) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Rev. Ford was born and raised in New York City and grew up at the Riverside Church under the leadership of Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr. He answered the call to ministry in 1997 and was licensed to preach the Gospel at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, Iowa in 2002. He holds standing as an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Grinnell College and a Master of Divinity Degree from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. Rev. Ford is a Candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Theology at the University of Chicago, where his research interests focus on developing a theology of liberation for the situation of mass incarceration in the United States. 

Lynn Edmonds

Outreach Director, Public Schools First NC

Lynn Edmonds is Outreach Director for Public Schools First NC and Great Schools In Wake. She has worked in public education advocacy for 10 years, first as a volunteer and then with Public Schools First NC beginning in 2013. Lynn graduated with an associate’s degree from Peace College, what is now William Peace University in Raleigh. She has served on multiple PTA and civic boards, including her current at-large position on the Wake County Board of Library Commissioners. A native North Carolinian, Lynn and her husband attended and graduated from Durham Public Schools. They have two children who both graduated from Wake County public schools.

Kris Nordstrom

Senior Policy Analyst, NC Justice Center’s Education & Law Project

Kris Nordstrom is a Senior Policy Analyst with the North Carolina Justice Center’s Education & Law Project. Kris has been the lead researcher and author of numerous research reports, policy briefs, and commentaries focused on education policy and its impact on advancing economic and social justice.  Prior to starting work with the Justice Center in April 2016, Kris spent nine years with the North Carolina General Assembly’s nonpartisan Fiscal Research Division, where he provided budget analysis and information to members of the General Assembly on public education issues. Kris holds a Master of Public Policy from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University and BA in Economics from Wake Forest University.

Forum Planning Team

Forum Cosponsors

We are grateful to each of these Co-Sponsors for their help in promoting this event to communities across NC.

Resources To Learn More

This event is designed to be an introduction to a conversation about the church’s roll in supporting public education in NC. We hope you will take the time to explore more and become an informed voter and community supporter for Public Schools in our state.

West Ed Action Plan

Effective and Equitable: Creating a Shared Vision for NC Schools

Every Child NC: Communities for the Education of Every Child NC

Public Schools First NC offers Fact Sheets, an email Newsletter, and updates on the latest in Education News for NC.

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