Sherman, who worked at the primarily low-income Bruns Academy in Charlotte, phoned Sawyer because she was already an outspoken advocate for students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). With a student population of more than 140,000, CMS is second only to Wake County Schools among the largest districts in North Carolina.
Sherman complained that someone, somewhere, needed desperately to remedy the inequity in the system’s poorest schools, which have, for years, struggled with high teacher turnover, poor test scores and little public attention.
Sawyer agreed, and immediately began reaching out through social media networks for others who felt the same. “Next thing I knew, I had 20 people I didn’t know in my living room,” says Sawyer, now a member of the steering committee for the grassroots group, which calls itself OneMeck.
Today, OneMeck, is clearly gaining traction. A feature in the Jan. 2 edition of The Charlotte Observer named steering committee co-chair Justin Perry one of seven people to watch in 2016. Even before that, the group was garnering public attention, taking its pleas for help to the CMS Board of Education and penning an op-ed for the paper.