West Texas Area Alliance of Black School Educators History
In the Spring of 2021, Dr. Tyra Williams was recruited for a leadership position in the Midland-Odessa area of West Texas. Dr. Williams soon found there was not an affiliate of the state entity, Texas Alliance of Black School Educators (TABSE) in the area. TABSE has been an advocacy organization for a long time. In 1987, TABSE received its charter from the national entity, The National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE). NABSE was established in 1973 with Dr. Charles Moody as its driving force. Knowing the history and the achievements of the organizations, Dr. Williams believed establishing an affiliate in the Midland-Odessa area was invaluable and would prove beneficial to the students and the communities in the area.
Staggering statistics concerning the alarming rate of suspensions among the marginalized African- American student population in the area were an active discussion in some area school districts. This issue was also actively discussed during TABSE and various city affiliate conferences because finding a solution to this issue may decrease the school-to-prison pipeline while increasing academic achievement among African- American students. Driven by first-hand observation, data, and a perpetual concern about other issues affecting the academic achievement of African-American students, Dr. Williams believed the formation of a TABSE affiliate in the Midland- Odessa area of West Texas was imperative.
During the Summer of 2021 she, along with other like-minded educators ( secondary and post-secondary) and members of the Big Spring, Midland, and Odessa communities, began to solidify plans for a West Texas affiliate of TABSE to be established in the Midland-Odessa area. Along with Dr. Williams, the collaborative efforts of Angela Love Jackson, Dr. Corey Seymour, Michelle Watkins, and Toyia Zachery catapulted the formation of a West Texas affiliate to another level. As interest increased, the collaborative efforts of the collective resulted in major progress being made. By the Fall of 2021 and Winter of 2022, extensive collaborative efforts resulted in the creation of Bylaws and a Constitution, a meaningful logo (Roots and Wings), and the recruitment of nearly thirty founding members.
Establishing an affiliate in the area was attempted numerous times before. In fact, some people said that it was impossible to establish an affiliate of TABSE in the Midland-Odessa area. However, after a year of arduous grassroots work, connecting with wonderful people, planning, and recruitment, history was made when the West Texas Area Alliance of Black School Educators (WTAABSE) became a reality in May 2022.
Serving as founding officers of The West Texas Area Alliance of Black School Educators (WTAABSE) are; Founding President- Dr. Tyra Williams, President-Elect- Angela Love Jackson, Recording Secretary- Kelly Griffen- DeBouse, Corresponding Secretary- Anitra Jessie, Financial Secretary- Quiana Anders, Historian- Toyia Zachery, Treasurer- Katheryn Davis, and Chaplain- Reverend Woodrow Bailey.
Serving as founding members of The West Texas Area Alliance of Black School Educators are Aundrea Brewster Jacqueline Carrillo, Dr. Zenovia Crier, Sonya Ayers, Kelly DeBouse, Chaunte Flinn, Dr. Paul Fowler, Dr. Louis C. Glover, Valaree T. Hawkins, Shawana Glenn, Mary Henson, Brian T. Jones, Superintendent Angelica Ramsey, Ed.D., Antonio Rosser, Donna Seabrooks, Councilwoman Mari Spivey Willis, Sherry Shorter, Dr. Brandon Thurston, Michelle Watkins, and Yvonne Wood.