Here at LiveMom, we love meeting new moms (and dads) doing interesting things around town. Our monthly Feature series give us an excuse to learn more about these hardworking Austinites. Our September feature is Angela Ward, and she is one dynamic, active, passionate mama. I haven’t had the chance to meet Angela in person yet, but we have spoken on the phone and online, and she is someone I want to know better. Her drive to help children is inspiring and contagious.
Learn more about Angela:
LiveMom: How long have you lived in Austin, and what brought you here?
Angela Ward: I’ve lived in Austin since August 1991. (I moved away for about a year in 1995 after college.)
LiveMom: What is your job, what is your title, and what do you love about your job?
Angela: I am an advocate for children. I advocate for their right to a free, public education that allows them to learn in a school environment that is safe, welcoming, and inclusive. Coordinator of Cultural Proficiency & Inclusiveness. I love the dialogue, interactions and opportunities to collaborate and learn with staff, students and community members.
LiveMom: How many kids do you have, and what are their ages?
Angela: I am raising two Black boys, age 15 and 10
LiveMom: What is your idea of a perfect day with the family in Austin?
Angela: Any day with my family in Austin is a perfect day! With my busy schedule and the boys’ busy schedules, it is rare that we are home and can sit and watch a silly movie or a basketball game and eat junk food. Most days are spent in a gym watching and supporting the boys play basketball.
LiveMom: If you had 24 hours to yourself in Austin (without kids), how would you spend it?
Angela: I would read a book and sleep after a great massage! (I’m a Ph.D. student at UT Austin, most time without the boys is spent reading research)
LiveMom: What do you like best about Austin? What would you change, if you could?
Angela: I love the food options! Austin is a great place to try new foods and indulge in any of your favorite meals. I would change this idea that Austin is the best place for all to live simply because it is so liberal.
LiveMom: What’s one piece of unsolicited advice you’d give to a new mom?
Angela: Help your child develop their own sense of the world, share your values and your knowledge, but don’t stifle their minds (A delicate balance; I struggle myself). Children need critical thinking skills to understand what hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter #MyBlackMales #StayWoke mean when they encounter them in social media. They come to this world with compassion, empathy and a sense of connectedness and something in our society creates in them a competitive, individualistic spirit.
LiveMom: What is the best thing one mom can do for another?
Angela: #TeachTheBabies that my children deserve the same freedom as yours. #MyBlackMales do not walk in society with the same acceptance of children from different races.
LiveMom: What kind of music do you like? Any local musicians? Kids musicians?
Angela: Gospel, HipHop, R&B, Jazz. My schedule doesn’t allow me to explore the local music scene. My children are fans of HipHop and Gospel.
LiveMom: What’s the best way to keep up with what you are up to next?
Angela: My calendar and my phone. I make lists and set reminders.
LiveMom: What might we be surprised to learn about you?
Angela: I performed in the musical Hair at Saint Edwards University.
LiveMom: Do you have any charitable organizations you like to work with/ donate to/ volunteer for locally?
Angela: Ray Jackson’s Rising Stars, Academic & Athletic Program and The Excellence in Advancement Foundation: http://breakthepipeline.com
LiveMom: What is your secret talent?
Angela: I am a classically trained soprano