Meet Jacquelin Dang (she/they), an English and history teacher at Stevenson College and Career Preparatory. We spoke recently about their experience at Partnership’s annual Advocacy Days in Sacramento. Read more below. 

On Day One, Jacquelin felt a blend of anticipation and determination, ready to make their voice heard. Being surrounded by other champions for change reminded them of their undergraduate years at Chapman University, where their advocacy helped shape their journey. While in college, she advocated for a robust Africana Studies minor and then went on to lead the fight for an Ethnic Studies minor. These successes solidified their passion for education reform and justice, inspiring them to pursue a teaching career.

“My participation in Partnership’s Advocacy Days was fueled by my belief in equity, particularly in funding and programming that can help my students and other teachers like me be successful,” she said. 

One particular bill that stood out to Jacquelin was Senate Bill 1391—Teachers: Preparation and Retention Data—which aims to enhance California’s educator workforce by improving transparency and support for training programs, ultimately fostering a diverse teaching community. In discussions with legislators, she emphasized the need to address the challenges teachers and students face, and how important initiatives like the Golden State Teacher Grant are in reducing turnover rates among educators in high-need communities. 

A balanced representation of teachers, students, parents, educational leaders, and community partners during our advocacy days is necessary for driving impactful educational policies that benefit entire communities. For Jacquelin, this created a space to engage in collective discussions, share their experiences, and listen to others. By acknowledging the validity of each perspective, she and the other participants created a richer and more inclusive dialogue.

“I would recommend others to participate next year. This was a great experience to enhance my public speaking skills and teamwork. It also showed that advocating as a collective unit will always be stronger than fighting alone,” she said. 

Before next year’s advocacy days, Jacquelin plans to continue their work as a newly elected delegate for the National Education Association and California Teachers Association. In this role, she meets with other teachers across the state and nation to create, amend, and propose equitable policies in the education system.