DonCARES Executive Director Gives Keynote for TU BLSA and The Progressive NAACP'S Gala

On Friday, April 16, 2021, DonCARES Executive Director Donovan Forrest gave the keynote speech for Temple University Black Law Students Association Pre-Law Division and The Progressive NAACP's 5th Annual Black Excellence Gala.

The theme for the night was Black Excellence. During his speech, Forrest highlighted several key points about the presence of joy with freedom. By quoting Toni Morrison, Forrest shared two incidents in his classroom at Simon Gratz where he advocated for students using their voice to obtain justice.

The first incident was when one of his students spoke out against an assignment they felt was unfair. Forrest shared that he gave a summative quiz on grammar and his students felt he didn't prepare them well enough. After careful analysis of performance trends, Forrest deleted the assignment from students' grade books and used the assignment for data to drive instruction instead. Forrest explained that this incident was one of many examples in his classroom when his students used their voices to promote equity and justice in school.

All in all, Forrest explained that joy is abundant in North Philadelphia. He explained that while there are a lot of challenges, joy can exist when the masses come together to promote and maintain common good "justice." Forrest also encouraged attendees to continue advocating for each other, investing in each other, and protecting one another. He explained that with investment comes joy and ultimately good because we are living in peace and success.

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