I’m Ravi (Sanskrit for ‘sun’). I was raised in a home of educators in Toledo, Ohio. Like my parents, I’m a life-long educator and I proudly live in Ward 7. When I had the opportunity to move to Washington, DC, I wanted to live east of the river.
I believe in the dignity of every person.
I have spent a lifetime in politics, but this is my first run for public office. Admittedly, I have decided to enter this race at the last minute. That’s typical for me to do things in a hurry. In 1982, I came to this world in a hurry – weighing one pound fifteen ounces, born 10 weeks premature. I ran track with precision and speed and I efficiently climbed the college career ladder, after earning a PhD at the age of 26.
I’ve worked on the frontlines of education for my entire life. As a college educator, I know what students need to be prepared to succeed in a college classroom, not just have access to one. As a kid that was a student in public, parochial, and private schools, I know how well prepared a child is in college – begins early.
Teachers are the bedrock of our community. My grandparents were educators. My family has dedicated their lives to educating children, young adults and adults for over 100 years. My Great Aunt Maggie was superintendent of Fulton County Schools in Georgia pre integration. My Aunt Frances, a Howard graduate, taught music education in DC Public Schools for decades. My Grandmother taught music education in Little Rock Public Schools for decades. My mother taught English literature in Toledo Public Schools for decades. My father taught Black and Ethnic Studies at the collegiate level in public institutions for nearly 50 years.
I grew up a block away from a Black public elementary school and today I proudly live in the Mayfair/Parkside near Neville Thomas Elementary, named after another Black man from Ohio that came to DC to join the effort to improve lives.
Whether you support me or not, I will continue to do the work in community. I am not running to build a career in politics or to retire into the sunset with some measure of relevance. I am making this step because I believe every DC student can receive the world’s best education and I know we can achieve that together when we are bold, innovative, and committed.
I’m a pragmatic progressive. I believe we can make real change now even within the constraints of far less than perfect system.
If you think that the DC State School Board of Education needs someone who knows what it is like to be a teacher, a student, and an administrator and that also knows politics and can get results fast, I am your candidate. I invite you to join with me and together we can create and implement the best education system in the country. Every student must thrive, not just survive and get by.