2008 Award: Sharman Davis Barrett

CADRE is pleased to announce Sharman Davis Barrett, Co-Director of the Technical Assistance ALLIANCE for Parent Centers as recipient of the 2007 "Keys to Access" Award. The Award was presented at the ALLIANCE National Conference in Washington, DC by CADRE Director, Marshall Peter.

Photo: Sharman Davis Barrett, Marshall PeterMarshall's presentation remarks:

"For the past nine years, CADRE has been concerned that dispute resolution processes are far more likely to be effectively used by well-educated, affluent parents and that poorer families and those not from the dominant culture are often unaware of the options that are available to them. In those cases where families do attempt to use available processes they are often not well prepared and inequities continue. CADRE, partnering with The ALLIANCE and NICHCY, has developed resources aimed at elevating parent awareness and capacity, but our concern about these issues remains very high.

"In order to further CADRE’s objective of encouraging the broadest possible access to the full range of conflict resolution options, and, to honor individuals and organizations that build schools and communities that are respectful of cultural, linguistic and class differences, CADRE presents the "Keys to Access" Award. The award is given to an individual or entity that has supported special education programs, early intervention services, and persons with disabilities and has:

  • Promoted the welfare of society and supported peaceful and welcoming communities
  • Demonstrated the value of diversity in policy, practice and perspective
  • Encouraged cooperative processes among institutions in our society
  • Supported collaborative relationships between individuals with the goal of achieving an inclusive society
  • Promoted justice, equity and respect for all individuals
  • Embodied in professional and personal relationships those qualities that foster and support full participation and self-determination

"Past recipients of the award, often unsung heroes, include:

  • Myrta Cuadra and Richard M. Lash, Sinergia
  • Mobility International, U.S.A.
  • Prof. John Paul Lederach
  • National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University
  • Prof. Floyd D. Weatherspoon, Capital Law School
  • Hon. Robert M. Bell, Chief Judge, Maryland Court of Appeals

"This year, CADRE is pleased to present the Keys to Access Award to Sharman Davis Barrett and the Technical Assistance ALLIANCE for Parent Centers. Sharman Davis Barrett has worked at PACER Center for the last 21 years. In her capacity at PACER and than as Co-Director of The ALLIANCE where she has coordinated Multicultural Outreach, Sharman has repeatedly demonstrated her absolute and fundamental commitment to the well being of underserved children and their families. CADRE particularly wants to acknowledge Sharman’s leadership in making dispute resolution processes and their effective utilization more easily understood by parents, especially her co-authorship of Parent Guides and a video related to Mediation, IEP Facilitation, and Resolution Meetings. We are very grateful for the advice and consultation Sharman has provided CADRE as a member of our National Advisory Board as we’re sure are other Advisory Boards she’s served on including the IRIS Project at Vanderbilt, Family Voices, Howard University’s Research and Training Center and the Heath Resource Center.

"Phil Moses, my friend and colleague at CADRE who initially proposed that CADRE create the Keys to Access Award, had this to say about Sharman: “In the 9 years I have known her, my admiration for all that Sharman does increases every time I interact with her. And all that she does is done without any need for recognition. Sharman does it because it’s the right thing to do. She isn’t just a soldier for social justice. Sharman’s a captain, an admiral, a commander-in-chief for social justice. There isn’t any individual or organization that has done more to encourage the use of collaborative approaches for resolving special education disputes about children who live in underserved communities, than Sharman. If only they hadn’t broken the mold”