The Baltimore Education Coalition (BEC), powered in large part by Shannen Coleman Siciliano and lifelong Baltimorean Yasmene Mumby, is one of the most influential groups in Baltimore fighting on behalf of the city’s students. Beginning in 2009, Coleman helped transform the BEC from a struggling, fragmented educational advocacy organization into the powerful and effective group it is today. In 2012, with Siciliano’s support, Mumby was elected unanimously as the group’s co-chair to succeed Siciliano. Working together in 2012, the women rallied more than 1,500 teachers, students, parents and stakeholders successfully to protest more than $100 million in education cuts in the fiscal 2013 state budget. They were also instrumental in garnering statewide support for the 21st Century School Facilities Initiative – a 10-year, $1 billion bill passed by Maryland’s legislature and signed by its governor to revitalize Baltimore’s crumbling educational infrastructure.
Both women maintain fulltime jobs outside of the BEC as well. As the director of community engagement for KIPP Baltimore, Mumby created Team ORGANIZE, a network of KIPP parents, teachers, staff, and students who act together in support of issues that positively benefit KIPP and Baltimore. Siciliano manages high-quality in-and after-school programs in Baltimore City Public Schools. Siciliano remains active with the BEC as a supervisor of its community organizing efforts and mentor to its current co-chairs.