7th Grade Social Studies Teacher, Springfield Public Schools (City of Springfield, MA)
Lezlie Braxton Campbell is a native of Springfield, MA, and a graduate of Springfield Public Schools, where he is now a third-year educator and a proud advocate for his students. As a history teacher, Lezlie frequently incorporates social justice topics in his curriculum and connects historical themes to the present day. During his second year of teaching, Lezlie developed and taught a social justice elective for his middle school students. Before becoming an educator, Lezlie worked in aviation for different major U.S. airlines. One of his proudest accomplishments related to diversity comes from his time at JetBlue being the co-founder of JADE (JetBlue’s African Diaspora Experience) employee resource group. He continues his commitment to diversity and equity work as an educator as a member of his school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. Lezlie began doing advocacy work in high school and continued throughout college in environmental justice, school to prison pipeline reform, conflict resolution and non-violence training for youth, and youth empowerment initiatives. He received his bachelor’s degree from Westfield State University. Lezlie is passionate about different topics that impact youth, including juvenile justice, LGBTQ advocacy, restorative justice practices, and education. Lezlie transitioned into teaching with a plan to work in education policy. Before attempting to do policy, he wants to gain first-hand experience of urban education’s systemic issues. One of his goals is to start an organization that focuses on improving youth literacy skills and targets at-risk students. Lezlie is also very passionate about politics and community change. He most recently served as Deputy Campaign Manager to newly elected State Senator Adam Gomez. Lezlie is currently serving as the first Black President of the Young Democrats of Massachusetts. He continually states that activism brought him to politics and not the other way around. Lezlie found his home for community work at Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) and has been a member for a couple of years. Through N2N, he has been able to work on housing and environmental justice issues and lead a police accountability campaign. Having been a board member for the past year, he was recently elected President of N2N Education Fund. When Lezlie isn’t working on lessons for his students, working to progress the political landscape of Massachusetts, or improving his community, he spends his time reading, traveling, flying, or thinking of some random social justice project to develop.