Kendall Qualls, who ran for Congress last year against Rep. Dean Phillips, recently founded TakeCharge Minnesota, an organization focused on school choice and educating the black community.
Qualls’s mission with TakeCharge is to “inspire and educate black and other minority communities of their full rights and privileges granted to them by the Constitution.”
Teaching minorities to not rely on the government and politicians, but instead to take charge of their own lives and families, is one main goal of the group.
Qualls, a former U.S. army officer and vice president of several health care companies, founded the organization in February of this year.
In a report on TakeCharge, Breitbart noted that the group “explicitly rejects” the idea that the U.S. is a racist country. In describing its purpose, TakeCharge acknowledges that “racist people exist in the country” but “explicitly rejects the notion that the United States of America is a racist country.”
“This is a subtle, but significant difference,” TakeCharge’s website points out. The organization also rebukes the idea that the U.S. was built on systemic racism and white privilege.
With the group, Qualls is advocating for the restoration of two-parent families in the black community and for the right to school choice for every family.
“Government agencies should not hinder impoverished parents of their choice of schools when local public schools fail students academically,” reads one core principle of the organization.
TakeCharge is big on school choice, citing data from Minneapolis Public Schools that show 50% of black students perform below state and national averages. Black students who attend private Christian schools in Minneapolis perform above state and national averages.
A Mother’s Day advertisement from TakeCharge in the Star Tribune brought attention to the fact that mothers want the ability to give their children the best education, and this includes having the freedom of school choice.
The ad reads, in part: “For many of you it is a happy Mother’s Day, but for us, it is not — because our children are being held in bondage. It is the bondage in Minneapolis Public Schools that, for five consecutive years, rank at the bottom of the country in test scores and graduation rates for students of color.”
“We want a Mother’s Day gift of freedom — freedom of choice,” the ad continues.
Breitbart reported that polls have shown Democrats and black families widely support school choice. The American Federation for Children found in 2019 that 67% of black respondents support school choice. An Education Next poll from 2019 showed that 70% of black Democrats approved of targeted vouchers for school choice.
Center of the American Experiment policy fellow Catrin Wigfall explained in a recent report that achievement gaps between white and black students in reading and math still remain. However, she wrote, “inadequate school spending is not among the causes of achievement gaps by race, class, and zip code.”
“Clear and concise options should be given to parents and students on the routes to prosperity through college education as well as certification via trade schools,” TakeCharge asserts.
An omnibus bill currently making its way through the Minnesota Legislature includes Education Savings Accounts, which would give money to parents for private school tuition or private tutors in place of public school education for their children. School choice is a “racial justice” issue, Liberty Classical Academy founder Rebekah Hagstrom said in an interview with Alpha News.
In an interview with the Minnesota Reformer, Qualls said using systemic racism as the reason “black people can’t get ahead” is “insulting.”
“While forces attempt to divide the country by race, class, and gender and assign people into groups, TakeCharge Minnesota forges a different path by empowering people to take charge of their own lives and not depend on a group, agency, or government for their well-being,” TakeCharge upholds.