ornfree, LLC is excited to partner with Brightbeam, a nonprofit network of education activists demanding a better education and a brighter future for every child. Using the power of communications, we shine a light on communities that challenge decision-makers to provide the learning opportunities all children need to thrive. Our founder, Chioma Oruh, a DC lead activist of the Brightbeam Network, will work closely with the Parent Advocacy Action Team (PAAT) fellows, listed below. PAAT leaders are passionate about ensuring a quality education for every child, regardless of race, family income, geography, or special needs. They believe families should have access to a wide array of educational opportunities, resources, and information that are tailored to their children’s needs. Together, they will forward the mission to help strong voices tell powerful stories that unite and move their communities to action. Brightbeam amplifies these stories through a variety of digital platforms, including Education Post, Citizen Ed, Project Forever Free, and more than 20 local and regional sites that spotlight education issues nationally. We also sponsor on-the-ground initiatives, projects or organizations that align with our mission. To learn more, visit brightbeamnetwork.org.
I am a native Washingtonian. I have three children, one having been diagnosed at age 4 with Autism. I have been an advocate of families that have children with disabilities for three or more years and work with several organizations constantly seeking more parents to join the battle to ensure that our children have access to an equitable and sustainable education. I am currently a parent organizer with PAVE (Parents Amplifying Voices in Education). I also have participated in several training’s for organizing through organizations such as Innovate and UPLAN.
I am a home-based childcare educator, advocate for children with special needs, a certified trainer for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Entrepreneur, and a mother of a daughter with multiple disabilities. I also contracts at Health Services for Children with Special Needs, Inc. where I have analyzed, developed, and implemented policies and programs to improve educational activities and social-emotional skills of the children they serve during community events, meetings, and programs. I have over 30 years’ experience dealing with children with special needs. I am a member of Spaces in Action where we organize group to support different human right issues. I am also one of the board members.
Fari Ghamina Tumpe (Gladys Mathis)
I am the proud custodial grandmother of two children living with learning deficit and mental health disorders. I’m also, the mother of a daughter who experiences periodic bouta of psychiatric distress. As a dedicated caregiver, I was propelled on a journey of navigating local community support resources and networks available to families dealing with mental illness. I have helped many others avoid many of the pitfalls that bedeviled me. I currently serve on several advisory boards as the voice of the experienced consumer in issues pertaining to delivery of mental health services and support for families. I believe cultural sensitivity and an inspiration mindset is important to resilience. I galvanized Family Leaders to participate in studies that helped the Pritzker Children’s Initiative understand the needs of families with children from birth to 3 with the Community Fellow with Spaces in Action.
I became involved in parent advocacy as a Parent Representative for Head Start in Burlington County, NJ in 2016. I have since moved on to working with the Youth and Family Subcommittee of the Council for School Behavioral Health. I have a passion for peer education and parent support. I have a mediator sort of personality where I can help people stay focused and on task. I try to gauge my team, remind them of why our work is important and encourage them to take breaks when necessary. I am a hands on person so I’m not afraid to do grunt work, talking to people on the street, listening to their stories, and helping voice their concerns. Sometime people don’t have the vocabulary to express what they’re feeling, I would like to think that I am good at being a translator in those situations.
I am a native Washingtonian and mother of 2 exceptional children ages 5 and 7. I have been in public service for 27 years serving at the General Services Administration in the Public Buildings Service. I am currently a Senior Advisor and Program Manager in the Office of Portfolio Management and Real Estate. I have a BA in English Language from the University of Maryland at College Park (1994) and a MS in Contracts and Procurement Management (1999) from the University of Maryland University College. In addition to my work in Federal sector real estate, I also work as Chef serving community based programming as well as private interests. I am a Certified Master Gardener in the District of Columbia currently serving the Langdon Park Community Garden. In my spare time, I enjoy writing, painting, and reading culinary material. I am currently a Parent Ambassador for Advocates for Justice in Education where I will be organizing Parent Cafes to share about Early Intervention and advocacy. I am a Parent Member of the Thrive by Five Coordinating Council where we develop outreach strategies so that communities may best access local resources. I am currently working alongside a group of parents organizing outreach and conversation to support families of special needs students known as, “We, the motherhood.”