Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Education is a Vital Sign (Oakland, CA)
As a proud product of New York City public schools and a teenage idealist, Maureen Benson moved to Atlanta in 1992 with the intention of pursuing law as a doorway to being a public servant in service of those that had not been served by our society and its systems. However, in her sophomore year of college, she read Jonathan Kozol’s Savage Inequalities and realized for the first time how dramatically different her educational experiences were, as a white person, from those less than 10 miles from her based on race and socio-economic status. While this outraged Maureen, it also fueled her to engage in public service through education. After almost 20 years of work in education and private sector (non-profits and for profits) focused on racial justice and intersectional leadership, she feels even more strongly that we must engage tirelessly in our governmental and educational systems with an emphasis on interrupting our personal and systemic perpetuation of historical disparities.