Lauren Williams-Batiste is a proud native Memphian. Her unrelenting passion for social justice and educational equity is grounded in the city’s collective history of social action and organizing social movements, which have deeply impacted the trajectory of our country and diffused across many parts of the world. Lauren most recently was an English Language Arts enrichment teacher at a middle school within the Achievement School District. Before relocating back to Memphis, she taught English Language Arts and Social Studies at an elementary school in Baton Rouge, LA. Throughout her tenure in East Baton Rouge Parish, Lauren strived to ensure that historically marginalized parents and students were active participants in local and state debates, dialogue, and decisions that directly impacted their lives and sometimes threatened their futures.
Her role as an advocate began in Baton Rouge through her relationships with her former parents and students. “The most rewarding and critical aspect of my career, Lauren adds, has been the beautiful relationships that I have helped to foster through providing safe spaces for voice, authority, perspective and authenticity within the walls of my classroom as well as within the communities I have served.” Lauren began her work with Stand for Children in 2013 as a member of Stand’s Louisiana Educator All-Star Committee, after being prompted by her mentor whom was also an active and dedicated teacher- leader within Stand. The committee was comprised of exceptional educators committed to monitoring and driving policy changes locally as well as across the state of Louisiana. Through her work with Stand Lauren has crafted testimony in support of Common Core State Standards during Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meetings and organized Community Dialogue Focus groups. Her experience reflects her dedication to increase youth power and foster positive social and educational shifts within under-resourced and underserved communities.
Lauren is thoroughly excited about her new role as an Organizer at Stand for Children. Lauren asserts, “I have been charged with the responsibility to carry my students’ voices and testimonies with me throughout my journey as an advocate everywhere I go.” She hopes to add value to the role by elevating and augmenting the voices of parents within the Memphis community by continuing to provide safe spaces for voice, authority, perspective and authenticity within the ever changing and growing educational landscape in Memphis.