‘Stanford was a most remarkable place to see great minds and scholars dedicated to the mission of quality public education for all.’
I have served for more than 25 years as an elected official in various capacities: school board member, county supervisor and state legislator. I have been politically engaged because I believe that all children should have the opportunity to thrive, grow their particular talents and become successful and happy. Good public policy can help accomplish this goal when it becomes a priority supported by communities and dedicated leaders. This is my passion.
I always felt marginalized as a young girl and daughter of immigrants growing up in the 1950s in Boston, but I was fortunate to have had a wonderful public education that opened my mind, heart and fighting spirit to many possibilities.
Stanford was a most remarkable place to see great minds and scholars dedicated to the mission of quality public education for all. I will always remember watching tapes of the civil rights movement in one of my classes and seeing my younger classmates who had not lived through it, as I did, marvel at the battles that took place against the segregation of schools in the South. Our History of Education class reminded us of the constant struggle of new immigrants trying to make their way in an America that was not always welcoming. I will continue to be inspired by my time at Stanford as we battle income inequality, poverty, racism and extremism.
Wilma Chan received her MA in 1994 in Administration and Policy Analysis. She served in the California State Assembly from 2000 to 2006, including two years as Assembly Majority Leader. Currently, she is president of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.