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Jean Yonemura Wing, Oakland ‘warrior’ for education equity, dies at 70

Jean Yonemura Wing, Oakland ‘warrior’ for education equity, dies at 70

Jean Yonemura Wing, a champion of fairness in education, and a retired Oakland Unified University District administrator, died March 29. She was 70.



a man that is standing in the dark: The Arts and Humanities Academy’s class of 2012 honored Jean Yonemura Wing, whose image is shown on a decorated utility box in 2017. The academy is located at Berkeley High School.


© Leah Millis / The Chronicle 2017

The Arts and Humanities Academy’s course of 2012 honored Jean Yonemura Wing, whose image is shown on a adorned utility box in 2017. The academy is positioned at Berkeley Higher University.


A Berkeley Substantial College graduate, Wing attained her master’s degree in schooling at UC Berkeley. She dedicated her job to reducing the education and learning hole, District Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell explained, commencing as a parent of a Berkeley Significant School college student, in which she served on the school’s variety venture, an effort and hard work involving lecturers, moms and dads, students and researchers to minimize dissimilarities in educational accomplishment from 1996 to 2002.

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She afterwards was associated as an Oakland Unified administrator on equity projects, “a tireless advocate for the pupils of OUSD,” Johnson-Trammell wrote in a letter to the community. The superintendent lauded Wing for her struggle to attain fairness.

Wing was co-creator of “Unfinished Business: Closing the Racial Achievement Gap in Our Universities,” with Pedro Noguera. The e-book looked at the outcome of the variety undertaking and the work that remained to be completed.

Right up until her retirement in June, Wing labored with Oakland Unified’s Exploration, Assessment and Knowledge Department for 16 many years. She was accountable for the district’s fairness dashboard, and utilized info to thrust for fairness in the universities. She was also included in the African American Male Accomplishment System, which aims to boost the accomplishment of Oakland’s Black male learners in the classroom and lifestyle.

The method has due to the fact been dubbed the Kingmakers of Oakland, and Wing volunteered as a mentor and leader for the firm. She aided develop the district’s Guys of Color Challenge, which debuted this calendar year, using young males who graduated from Oakland faculties to help tutor kindergarten pupils.

“I was unfortunate when she left the district mainly because she was these kinds of a pleasure to perform with, and I realized how substantially she intended to the firm,” Johnson-Trammell wrote. “But of study course, following spending a long time in help of students listed here in Oakland and in Berkeley, a tranquil retirement was perfectly-deserved. Now, fewer than a year later on, I am devastated. We all are.”

Rep. Barbara Lee lauded Wing in a Twitter put up as “a woman warrior for justice, dignity of all folks & the properly-staying of youngsters. Relaxation in peace & rest in power Jean.”

Previous presidential applicant and civil legal rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson remembered her in a lengthy essay on his Facebook page.

“Today is a dark hour,” he wrote. “With Jean’s departure, there is a gap in our soul. We missing a single who touched our hearts and minds. Jean had all of our notice without the need of currently being loud or boisterous.

“We glance back on these moments with pride. When blacks ended up attacked, Jean stood with us. When the young children of Oakland were underserved and marginalized, Jean shown non-negotiable dignity.

“When Jean talked, she manufactured the youngsters cozy. And she liked training another person else’s youngsters beside her have.”

She is survived by her husband, Butch Wing, and daughter, Teri Wing.

Memorial donations might be manufactured to Kingmakers of Oakland.

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