Lawrence Parham is the Upstate Campaigns Manager for Citizen Action of New York and NYS Southern Tier Organizer for the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE). These two grassroots organizations fights for racial, social, environmental and economic Justice and to ensure a high quality public education to all NYS children regardless of their zip code. Lawrence has focused the past year on developing/mentoring community leaders. These leaders in turn created a community based parent education committee – its mission being to empower parents to become “education champions” and educate them on how to speak to power. He came to statewide community organizing after years in the field of HIV/AIDS services as Assistant Director of Prevention Services for Southern Tier AIDS.