Eastern Michigan University alumna Krystle DuPree is running for Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) Board of Education.
DuPree has a background in social work and plans to use it to amplify and advocate for members of the community and increase attention for special education.
“We need to make sure we are representing minorities within social work and school districts, so we can have our school district become a reflection of what our country looks like,” DuPree said.
Where she came from
One way Dupree sees herself standing out from other candidates running for the Board of Education is that she sees herself as being “the least privileged”.
After graduating high school DuPree enlisted in the United States military in the hopes of pursuing a college education. Dupree is a combat veteran and sees her experience in the military, as well as reintegrating into civilian life, as a quality that set herself apart from other candidates.
After her military service, Dupree earned an associate’s degrees in human services at Washtenaw Community College (WCC).While at WCC she entered into the college’s three-plus-one program, allowing her to transfer to EMU to complete a bachelor’s of social work degree.
Dr. Jennifer Farley, a professor of social work at EMU inspired DuPree to further her studies in social work in the field childhood trauma. DuPree continued on to the University of Michigan (U-M), where she earned a masters degree in social work. While at U-M, Dupree became involved in the political lobbying, and discovered her passion for community involvement.
Three points for her platform
If elected Dupree has three main goals as a Board of Education member: make the Board more accessible and accountable for the community; hire a more culturally responsive and representative staff; and increase the districts focus on Special Education.
“One of things that will be changing if elected, will be the way [board members] will be communicating with the community,“ Dupree said. Dupree wants to open up time to community members to speak with board members one-on-one. Board meetings often run until midnight on the weekdays that they are held. Dupree views this as being inaccessible to “working class folks”.
In terms of representing students, Dupree sees a need to better improve the voices of the student population and student voices. She sees this being achievable through a better equipped student senate, or even a student board. Through a student board, student representation will be seen at the Board of Education level, alongside elected board members.
Lastly, Dupree sees a need to better represent and protect black, indigenous, and students of color. Dupree has been an activist and member of multiple political organizations over the course of six years, one of two candidates with experience in political activism. Having worked with the Poor People’s Campaign and now a chapter liaison of Black Lives Matter–Matter, Dupree will do whatever she can do “to make students feel safe and welcome.”
For more information on DuPree, visit her campaign website, here.