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Advocates for Parents Promoting Learning and Equity (A.P.P.L.E.)


Melanie McQueen - Parent

Our parent organization, A.P.P.L.E. is deeply rooted in the Oak Park community and driven by the passion and dedication of Melanie McQueen, a mother of four. Melanie's journey began 23 years ago when she arrived in Oak Park as a working single mom, initially unaware of the community's prestigious reputation. However, her perspective quickly shifted when her eldest daughter, a Harvard graduate, faced extreme challenges in the local school system.


In 2010, Melanie's daughter endured bullying, racism, and harassment within Oak Park and River Forest High School, compounded by harassment from D200 residency officers. Determined to advocate for her child and others, Melanie delved into the intricacies of education law, parental rights, and the politics of the community. Her experiences ignited a commitment to actively address issues of race, equity, and inclusivity.

Over the years, Melanie has been deeply involved in various community organizations, serving as Vice President of Community with Longfellow PTO, collaborating with the Collaboration for Early Childhood, and contributing to initiatives at Julian Middle School. Her initiatives, including JayHawk Talks and Diversity Night, aimed to amplify Black voices and foster diversity among youth.


Melanie's involvement extended to cultural and educational programs, serving as Set Designer and Parent Coordinator for the Kuumba Kids and Longfellow. In 2013, she assumed the role of President of A.P.P.L.E., mentored by Mrs. Wyanetta Johnson and Mrs. Burcy Hines. Under her leadership, A.P.P.L.E. renewed its 501c3 status, reinstated its scholarship under the A.P.P.L.E. S.E.E.D. program, and instituted the Aim High Night, exposing students to the Divine Nine and Ivy League schools, and recently instituted the A.P.P.L.E. S.E.E.D. Cultivating African American Student Leadership and Global Citizenship program.


Melanie's advocacy has led to significant milestones, including the awarding of 11 scholarships in the past eleven years and active participation in critical community initiatives. She played a pivotal role in shaping the Racial Equity Policy, ensuring it prioritizes the protection and support of African-American students, resisting any attempts to dilute its impact.


Through Melanie's vision and tireless efforts, A.P.P.L.E. continues to advocate for educational equity, empower parents, and champion the rights of African-American students in Oak Park and beyond.


Telicia Moore-Walker - Parent

Telicia Moore-Walker, Co-President of A.P.P.L.E. and a notable participant in the "America to Me" documentary brings a wealth of experience and dedication to our organization. As a devoted mother to Terrence & Talib Moore, stepmother to Janiyah, Jeremiah, and Terrence Walker, Jr., and wife of Terrence Walker, she understands the importance of advocating for children's education and well-being.


Having resided in Oak Park for over a decade, Telicia has been deeply involved in the community. Her sons, Terrence and Talib Moore, are both alumni of Oak Park and River Forest High School, with Talib currently excelling as a junior honor student. Telicia herself is a proud graduate of Howard University, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology, and later obtained her Master’s degree in Health Administration from Strayer University in Washington, D.C.


During her time at Howard University, Telicia served as the President of the Student Parent Support Group, demonstrating her commitment to supporting fellow students who were also parents. Her background in activism began during her employment at the Center for Urban Progress in Washington, D.C., where she advocated for social change and community empowerment.


Telicia's dedication to education and community involvement continued as she served as Vice-President of the PTO at Meridian Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Upon relocating to Oak Park, she became the Parent-liaison to the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County (CEDA), furthering her impact on local initiatives.

Her contributions to the Longfellow and Julian PTO further exemplify her commitment to supporting educational excellence and parental engagement. Currently employed at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine on the Chicago campus, Telicia's IEP expertise adds valuable insight to A.P.P.L.E.'s initiatives and advocacy efforts.


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