Our Partners


The Ohio NAACP Taskforce started from a request from the National NAACP to Mrs. Sybil Edwards-McNabb, former NAACP Ohio Conference State President, to have Ohio represented in a nineteen (19) state conference on Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA) to be held in Chicago and Houston. 

Upon completion of the Conference, the Ohio Task Force was requested to participate in the Washington, D.C. ESSA Conference hosted by the President and CEO, Thomas J. Donohue of the United States Chamber of Commerce and the President and CEO, Cornell Brooks of the National NAACP.

Upon the election of the current NAACP President, Tom Roberts (2017 to present), the Task Force was asked to continue the work and to help engage the Ohio Department of Education, State Superintendent Paulo DeMaria, State Board of Education President, Laura Kohler, and Ohio State Board of Education Vice President, Charlotte McGuire.

The State of Ohio Collective (ohcollective.org), a 501c3 Think Tank, joined the work in 2021 adding statewide support, research, scope, and analysis to the project.


The taskforce was created to address, correct, and improve outcomes for Black children. Evidence and research read the foundation of strategies that are effective in improving outcomes for children who are Black. The work of the task force focused on the following key areas:

  • Understanding and identifying best academic and non-academic practice models, strategies and actions that are successful in schools and districts that have closed the achievement gap for Black students in Ohio schools.
  • Recognizing that implementing change is the greatest challenge, identify schools that are demonstrating high-quality change and improvement management, and the practice models being used by these schools that result in overcoming barriers and closing the achievement gap.
  • Creating a template and self-assessment tools that schools and districts or others can voluntarily use to gauge the level of implementation of best practice models, and to guide improvement planning and implementation.
  • Identifying key strategies and actions that will serve to disseminate and promote the voluntary use and implementation of the identified best practice models.
  • Defining a system of measurement and monitoring to gauge Ohio’s progress. Clarifying the expectations for academic achievement for each child, including each Black child.

Lead Members & Ohio State Taskforce

Jimma McWilson

Campaign for African American Achievement, Director
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WilliAnn Moore

Ohio NAACP State Conference Assistant Treasurer
NAACP Toledo Unit 3rd Vice President
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James Brown

Youngstown/Mahoning County Unit President
Ohio State Conference Task Force on ESSA Co-Chair
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Dr. Geraldine Hayes Nelson

Portage County NAACP, President
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George Freeman

Ohio State Conference Task Force on ESSA Co-Chair 
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Tiffany Edwards, CFRE

Ohio State Conference Freedom Fund Chair
State of Ohio Collective - Chief Strategy Officer
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Dr. Adora Obi Nweze

National Board of Directors’ Education Committee Chair
Florida State Conference NAACP President
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Lauretta Williams

Dayton Unit NAACP Education Chair
Ohio State Conference Task Force on ESSA Technical Assistant