Debra's New Head Shot.png

Debra Watkins

Founder & Executive Director

ABEN: A Black Education Network

City

San Jose, California

 

A Bit About Me

As Dr. Asa Hilliard reminded us throughout his illustrious career, all Black children are geniuses so I am passionate about ABEN's work because we exist to elevate their genius in all that we do!

 

I studied in France for one year right after high school graduation.

Bio

Debra Watkins spent 37 years in the East Side Union High School District in San Jose,
CA, as a teacher, counselor, and project manager before retiring in 2012. During that
same time period, she was a founding member of the Santa Clara County Alliance of
Black Educators (SCCABE) and served as president from 1994 to 2001.

In 2001, she founded the California Alliance of African American Educators (CAAAE)
and the Dr. Frank S. Greene Scholars Program (GSP). Named after an African American scientist who helped pave the way for today’s computers, the GSP sends 100% of its students to college, 90% graduate in 4 years with BA or BS degrees, and 60% of those are in STEM which is about 8 times the national average for Black students.

In 2015, she was one of the founders of Black Students of California United (BSCU).

In 2017, Debra officially changed the name of the CAAAE to A Black Education
Network (ABEN). She currently serves as Executive Director.