A.J. joins us after a previous career in teaching, where he witnessed racial inequities in the classroom. At one school in which A.J. taught, he noticed that despite black and brown students only making up a small percentage of the population, those same students were accounting for more than 60% of the suspensions. He witnessed other faculty members with biases and sometimes felt powerless to make a change.
While he will miss his students, A.J. is looking forward to his role as organizer with Stand for Children Indiana. He is most excited about working with parents and providing them with the resources they need to ensure their children receive a quality education. He said he came to Stand for Children Indiana because he “admires Stand’s mission to amplify the voices of parents and community members instead of becoming a voice for them.”
Growing up, A.J.’s parents were activists, though he didn’t know it at the time. According to A.J., taking a stand and being vocal about community injustices was a norm for his family and essential for them to navigate through life. His parents were big proponents of education and believed that it was a key to the many locked doors for marginalized people. His parents even moved A.J. and his four younger brothers from Detroit, Mich. to Anderson, Ind. around the time A.J. was in middle school in order to ensure they had access to better schools.
Because of his family, AJ says being an education advocate and social activist has become a universal truth to him and something he has held close in his career and overall life journey.
When A.J. isn’t working, he is an artist and spends his time writing poetry and creating art based on social justice and reform. His most recent projects include the short film, “Mommy,” which follows the life of a young, black, queer man and an original play called “Dream.” One day, A.J. hopes his artistic work will be witnessed on a global scale and used to shape a better tomorrow.
Please join us in welcoming our newest team member, Aaron “A.J.” Lucky, to the team.