CEDAR RAPIDS — Maurice Davis, of the Jane Boyd Community House, will run for an at-large seat on the Cedar Rapids school board.
Davis, 28, is the third candidate to announce for one of the two at-large seats on the board, making the contest competitive.
Davis is the entrepreneurship program coordinator at Jane Boyd, a nonprofit in Cedar Rapids. He also serves on the City Council’s ADA Commission and the boards of the African American Museum of Iowa and the African American Professionals of Cedar Rapids.
Long interested in running for public office, Davis said he decided to run for school board, which governs the 16,000-student Cedar Rapids Community School District, because of its potential to affect young people and “issues of the future.”
He also highlighted the perspective, as a young man of color, he would bring to the board. His first priority would be addressing achievement gaps between white students and students of color, he said.
“These are children I can relate to, and some of the struggles you go through being a person of color,” Davis said.
“We continue in Cedar Rapids to see an increase in violence and concern as far was what kids are doing,” he said. “Part of it has to do with graduation rates aren’t what they should be for our youth of color, and the interactions they have with leadership is not what it should be.”
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According to 2018 state data, 87 percent of white students and 74 percent of black students graduated from Cedar Rapids high schools in four years.
Davis said he would encourage more parent engagement as a school board member. He also would promote pathways other than four-year college for students after high school.
He recently started collecting cans and recycled glass to transform into home decor for sale, which he hopes will generate enough funds for a scholarship for “unconventional” students.
The deadline to file for school and municipal elections — combined this year for the first time — is 5 p.m. today.
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