Maxine Mimms Academies
MMA Guidepost

January 2017

Tribune Reprises Mimms' Achievements
- News
The Tacoma News Tribune recently published a summary of the career of our founder Maxine Mimms. The article describes her initial efforts to promote college attendance through the founding of the Tacoma branch of Evergreen State College and the Maxine Mimms Academies.

Tribune Article

Dr. Maxine B. Mimms to Receive MLK, Jr., Community Service Award
- News

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Maxine Mimms Academy is a certified 501(c)(3) organization. Donations may be tax-deductible; consult your accountant for details. Donations are coordinated by our web host, Clark Internet Publishing, whose name and logo may appear on payment processing pages.
On Monday, January 16 the Tacoma City Events and Recognitions Committee will honor Dr. Maxine B. Mimms with the 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award during the 29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration. The event will begin at 11 AM in the Convention & Trade Center.

"Dr. Mimms embodies the mission of Dr. King through her extraordinary dedication to opening doors of higher education to the diverse community in Tacoma," said Committee Chairwoman Erin Lee. "Our event theme is ‘Beloved Community’ and we gave special consideration to nominees whose work focused on understanding our community and its needs, and delivering solutions."

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award strives not only to recognize and encourage excellence in community service activities carried out by an individual, organization or group, but also seeks to encourage similar efforts by others who may want to serve in the community. It is presented each year during the City’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration before an average crowd of approximately 2,000 attendees.

The Convention and Trade Center is at 1500 Broadway.

Donations to the Academy are gratefully received here.

July 2015

Special Event: Love and Miracles in Action
- Community
Date: Saturday 8/29/15 Location: Pacific Lutheran University Tacoma, Washington EntryFee: $50 until 7/1 -7/31; $65 after 8/1.

Donate & Attend

December 2014

Lettuce make salad!
- News
The first seedlings at our Tacoma hydroponics project are growing vigorously. We could perhaps be taking reservations for a sampling, time and place to be announced. Sadly, you will find that time and place to be rather inconvenient, so please wait for our next public event.

June 2014

Community Welcome And Fundraiser June 5
- News
AN EVENING OF EXQUISITE CUISINE, LIVE ENTERTAINMENT ---- Please join us for a splendid occasion honoring the legacy of Dr. Maxine Mimms and the Grand-Reopening of the Maxine Mimms Academies Youth Enhancement Initiative.

We will acknowledge the contributions of our sponsors and inform friends and supporters about our new urban farming initiative.

COME AND HEAR ABOUT The Garden of Eden Hydroponic Certification, Employment and Training Program.

Donation: $ 40.00. All donations are tax deductible. Donations will provide scholarships and for general operations. Go to the URL below to make your tax deductible donation.
Time 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: Williams Factory, 1423 E 29th, Tacoma, WA 98405.
Sponsor: Friends Of Maxine Mimms Academy
Contact: Isa Nichols.

More info and donations

January 2013

Social Media Features Enhance MMA Site
- News
New programs and activities are currently being added. Personal profiles, messaging and updates, will further enhance communication among teachers, students and community stakeholders of MMA.

Each enrolled student, teacher, administrator and community mentor may become members of the site. Membership comes with a personal profile, through which each member can update others on current activities.

Member profiles include links to the member's other networks, e.g., Facebook, Twitter and others, along with the member's personal website if available.

Users can look up members' profiles and send messages. They can also post "Updates" to their profile, which will echo as appropriate elsewhere on the site. Enrolled members can also comment on news articles and other content of the site, including this article (you must normally be signed in to comment, but we've opened comments on this article to the public).

Ask your teacher or an administrator about how you can participate.

A Special Thank You
- News Lead
Greetings, and a Special Thank You to the Honorable Mayor Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma for hosting the recent fundraiser in support of the Maxine Mimms Academies Garden of Eden Demonstration Project - an innovative approach to gardening that can provide year-round access to fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables for children and their families in our community.

Garden of Eden

The Garden of Eden is a Community Agricultural Initiative. It features the collaboration of the Maxine Mimms Academies - a 501(c)(3) non-profit, The Evergreen State College Tacoma, and the City of Tacoma. The Garden of Eden is designed to grow healthy, safe, affordable, organic vegetables, herbs, plants and flowers all year long. In addition to supplying abundant quality food, this initiative creates many long term, good paying, local jobs and a new sustainable economic institution.

There’s a growing body of evidence that urban farming not only strengthens community bonds, but it also reduces violence and stress. Research has shown that if you diminish violence, people will be less stressed, and less–stressed people eat healthier.

By embracing indoor urban farming, we are not deluding ourselves that we're solving the food desert problem. What we’re doing is using food as a tool to change individual lives and to change our community for the better.

The bigger win is jobs – and jobs nurture a whole community, with pride, self esteem, good health and a true sense of community. Thanks for your support.

Michael Twiggs

Garden of Eden Project Director
Maxine Mimms Academies

Plant a seed. Grow a child.

June 2012

Mayor Marilyn Strickland to Host Community Fundraiser
- News
Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland has graciously agreed to serve as host for this community fundraiser to benefit the Maxine Mimms Academy's new community food growing project, Garden of Eden of Tacoma.

When : July 25, 2012
Time: 11:00am to 1:00pm
Where : Hotel Murano, 1320 Broadway Plaza, Downtown Tacoma, WA

The Maxine Mimms Academies' local community food growing project is called the Garden of Eden. An indoor farming demonstration pilot program designed to grow affordable, organic herbs, fruits and vegetables all year round. This fundraiser is the first in a series of events that will highlight the importance of our communities access to fresh affordable organic fruits and vegetables.

The Garden of Eden is an innovative new approach to urban farming, and offers a holistic approach to food access and community nutrition policy; to better community health, ecological integrity, food education, skills training, local job creation and the development of complete communities.

A short presentation will discuss the advantages of year-round growing cycles as a sustainable business model, new technologies for growing organic foods at much lower cost, new work opportunities for local residents and the impact on our communities needed economic revitalization. A fabulous silent auction will also be held, so come prepared and enjoy the company - all are welcome.

Refreshments - Entertainment - Silent Auction and more !

December 2009

Inter-Generational Technology Fair
- News
The Inter-Generational Mentoring Model is designed to bring seniors and youth in our communities together - deliberately, intentionally, and on purpose. They have much to learn from each other. The seniors are the glue that's missing in our attempts to mentor our youth and young adults. Instead of a steady hand and the wisdom of age at life's many decision points, we see our kids making decisions without choices. They simply don't understand that without choices, there's no decision to be made. They are simply reacting, and that's always a bad idea. How would they know?

Our beloved President Obama and Michelle were wise enough to bring the grandmother along to the White House to care for and keep the kids grounded. She's the glue that connects the kids to reality, while mom and dad try to solve the world's problems. All kids want and need the grounding rooted in the love, nurturing and acceptance that come from older and wiser adults. The seniors have one foot in the past and one foot in the present. The youth have one foot in the present and one foot in the future.

Together they meet the challenges of the present, and share the benefits of the past and future.

September 2009

President Obama to Students:
- News

President Obama's message to Students - Stay in School. "This isn't just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you're learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future."

April 2009

Girl Talk Workshop
- News
GIRL TALK - Our goal is to provide an outlet for the women in the community that is Empowering, Educational, Entertaining & Fun!

GIRL TALK WORKSHOP is partnering with other organizations in Tacoma to provide workshops for girls/young women between the ages of 12-18. The workshops will provide training and information on various topics or issues such as:

CPR Training & Certification - AIDS Awareness & Education - Domestic Violence - Skin, Hair & Nail Care - Nutrition, Health & Wellness - Education - Employment Opportunities and much more!

Girl Talk Workshop

February 2009

MMA Students in Olympia
- News
Maxine Mimms Academies (MMA) students at the Senate rostrum with Lt. Governor Owen. They were at the Capitol to testify before the House Education Committee in support of Washington State Mentors. The lieutenant governor was among those who testified. Listen to the testimony in mp3 format

From left are Tanya Marceau; Whitney Satcher; Lt. Governor Owen; Isa Nichols, MMA executive director; Kayleanna Escalante and Keith James, community resource development administrator with DSHS.

Lt. Governor's Website

October 2008

Critical Conversations #3: School-to-Prison Pipeline
- News
The "School-to-Prison Pipeline" is a reflection of America's current fixation with punishing children rather than educating them. The School-to-Prison Pipeline describes the cumulative effect of various federal, state, and local policies that are leading students away from high school completion towards criminal justice involvement. Many of these policies center around the enforcement of punishment and creating a safe school environment, but the actual implementation of these policies have created greater education disparities under the guise of keeping schools safer.

A major philosophy that has contributed to the negative impact of these policies is "Zero Tolerance". Under this idea, School administrators who use Zero Tolerance - and not all of them do - use suspension or expulsion for certain behaviors after asking few to no questions about the incident.

The School-to-Prison Pipeline in Washington State

Critical Conversations #2: Zero Tolerance
- News
The impact of "Zero Tolerance" in our public schools has been devastating to African American youth and their families. When a child is suspended or expelled - the whole family pays the price. Routine activities are disrupted, schedules shift, and responsibilities often need to be re-negotiated. The whole family is suspended.

Until recently, concerned parents have been preoccupied with correcting the behavior of their children; getting them the help they need to adapt and excel in the public school environment. The focus of our collective efforts has been to bind the wounds and stop the bleeding. Continued hemorrhaging has been the most visible outcome of our efforts.

Unwittingly, we as a society have declared war on our kids. At Maxine Mimms Academies, we have come to realize that the real need is to "Stop the Bullets" - and the bleeding and hemorrhaging will go away.

The steps we take to accomplish this goal must start with the Tacoma School District and lead to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in Olympia. Daily operating procedures in our schools stem from the policies adopted and implemented by the Tacoma School District and OSPI.

Disproportionate impact of the current "Zero Tolerance" policies on African American males and children of color in general, is truly cause for alarm. It is time to declare a "State of Emergency"! A whole generation of our children are at risk of being excluded from public education and the benefits a high school diploma can provide. You cannot afford to sit this one out!

There's A War On Kids...

May 2008

Critical Conversations
- Community
In a candid conversation, Dr. Maxine Mimms shares the story of Evergreen State College's early beginnings. She describes how the school became an institution of higher learning, and how the model has been used to educate and prepare a new generation of urban youth in our society. Its mission and its students are far from traditional and its graduates have become leaders in industry throughout the world.

Critical Conversation - 052108 - 1

March 2008

A Gathering of Angels
- News
Folks from near and far gathered to pay tribute to Dr. Maxine Mimms on her 80th Birthday. The lives she's touched testify to her ability to change us all - together and yet personally as well.

The photos share the faces of people from all walks of life who share a common bond with our beloved Dr. Mimms. Good food, good fun, and good company, too. What a wonderful time to be alive!

Birthday Photos

NABCJ's MLK Day of Service
- News
On January 19, 2008 the Washington State Chapter of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ), and Evergreen College Tacoma Alumni Chapter held a Multi-Faith Prayer Breakfast honoring Dr. Maxine B. Mimms, Tacoma educator, mentor, and leader whose career spans over four decades. The event celebration was a part of NABCJ's MLK Day of Service used to recognize the contributions of those leaders in the community whose works transform the lives of others and who are making a lasting legacy for the work through the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Mimms' legacy was evident from those who came out to pay tribute to a pioneer that is paving the way for children to obtain meaningful and quality education. Dr. Mimms has long fought for advocates for children in the Community of Tacoma. Dr. Mimms' Academy is a community based and community focused institute which offers a variety of educational programs for youth and adults who need a new direction. They service primarily those children who are under-served, expelled or suspended from the traditional educational system. The academy assists children with continuing their education while in the above status through earning the needed educational requirements, life skills and mentoring needed for success.

For this event more than two-hundred tickets were given out to family, friends, community leaders, community members and the public at large who wanted to join and share in this honoring celebration. Among the most notable appreciations Dr. Mimms received was a proclamation from the Governor's office delivered by Washington State General Counsel Richard Mitchell, one from the city of Tacoma delivered by former Mayor Harold Moss and one from Dr. Les Purce, president of The Evergreen State College. Dr. Artee Young, Executive Director of The Evergreen State College-Tacoma was Master of Ceremony. The themes of these proclamations differed in their respects but centered on thanking Dr. Mimms for her work in the areas of education, mentoring and social advocacy work that has benefited the lives of all Washingtonians. A plaque from National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice was given to Dr. Mimms . The Pledge to Save Our Youth, a poem by Dr. Maya Angelou, led by Beverly Farris; Vice President of Washington State Chapter NABCJ was affirmed with raised hands.

Of the many other highlights during the day two were prolific and memorable. One was a video that chronicled the significant events of Dr. Mimms' life which brought perspective to the video as she indicated she will reach eighty years old this month. Dr. Mimms spoke of being a fan of the theater, particularly opera, but it has been life experiences she has had that have been scenes which have played themselves out for others to see. More importantly, her work with people and the youth has been a dessert of the main course meal that we all need to get involved with to assure our children receive a quality education as those individuals will be responsible for caring for the older generations and we cannot afford not to get involved. The other was remarks from her son Dr. Ted Mimms, who spoke lovingly of his mother and a tragic experience as a child that he and a childhood friend had in the home. He said that such an experience normally leaves one brain damaged; however, in this case he was not and further said that his mother, Dr. Mimms, never let him forget as to what she thought of him and his intelligence by telling him as he lay asleep that he was a genius. In his remarks, Dr. Ted Mimms said that his mother sees the genius in everyone and it is this that we celebrate.

The Black History Project
- News
The Black History Project is the brainchild of Brave New World's CEO, Shyan Selah. A simple idea of wanting to publicly honor those that have most influenced him in life and music quickly spawned into a need to engage the community as a whole. What started out as a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Sarah Vaughn, John Coltrane, Isaac Hayes, and other musicians has also turned into a personal honoring of those he's known to have affected people in such a way that changes lives forever.

The Scanner article...

December 2007

MMA Strategic Plan: 2007 - 2012
- News
Three years after its inception in 2004, MMA launches a Strategic Plan to transform public education in this country. By working with students temporarily displaced from public education, their families, community leaders, teachers and school districts, MMA develops a best practices model for public education. The plan includes action research on innovative educational approaches, establishing powerful public and private partnerships, convening collaboratoriums for community stakeholders, providing education, prevention of displacement and intervention for students and families, and building MMA’s capacity to perform and help others replicate the model.

MMA Strategic Plan

July 2007

April 2007

February 2007

Marian Wright Edelman Sounds a Familiar Theme
- Community
Marian Wright Edelman has written on a theme dear to our hearts. Her analysis and prescriptions overlap our approach to supplementary education. She writes...

"The increasing criminalization of children has become a major crisis. Children are being suspended and expelled from school and incarcerated in the juvenile and adult justice systems at alarming rates and at younger and younger ages. This increased incarceration is not due to an increase in serious delinquent or violent criminal behavior by young people. Juvenile arrests for violent crimes grew rapidly in the late 1980s and peaked in 1994, but then began falling. Between 1994 and 2003, the juvenile arrest rate for Violent Crime Index offenses__-murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault_-fell 48 percent to its lowest level since 1980. So if actual crime is not the cause for the rise in incarceration rates, what is?

"One piece of the puzzle is the rise of "zero tolerance" policies in schools. Schools began adopting these policies in the late 1980s, taking the term from the war on drugs. Amidst debate in Congress over "super predators" and predictions of a coming and dramatic surge in juvenile crime which never materialized, these policies hit the national level when President Clinton signed the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994, requiring a one-calendar year expulsion for possession of a firearm and referral of law-violating students to the juvenile or criminal justice systems. Most states and local school districts responded to the new law by broadening the mandate of zero tolerance beyond the federal mandate of weapons to include drugs, alcohol, fighting, threats, or swearing.

"Many school boards continue to toughen their policies, experimenting with permanent expulsion for certain offenses. Others have begun to apply school suspensions and expulsions to behavior that occurs outside of school. While zero tolerance once applied to serious offenses involving safety, it is now an overarching and catch-all disciplinary approach for real, perceived, and imaginary weapons and "misbehavior" that is defined by highly subjective terms like "disruption" and "disrespect." Aspirin, Certs, and Midol are considered drugs. Paper clips, nail files, scissors, and spitballs are considered weapons. Punishment through exclusion is the overwhelming response. From 1974 to 2000, the number of students suspended out of school increased from 1.7 to 3.1 million. While zero tolerance has a place as a response to truly dangerous behavior, it has become a danger to children and a potential way to exclude any student who may need individualized help. Children should not be put out of school for any reason other than posing a real threat to themselves or others. Child behaviors that used to be handled at school are now being handled by police. Five, eight, and nine-year-olds are being arrested with stains on their records that blot their future.

"Another disturbing piece of the increased criminalization of children is the growing numbers of children sent into the adult criminal justice system. Approximately 250,000 teens under 18 enter the adult criminal justice system every year. More than half have been charged with nonviolent drug or property offenses. The idea of youth serving "adult time for adult crime" grew in popularity in response to a sharp increase in drug and firearms violations. But the vast majority of teens tried and sentenced in adult court are not the serious, violent, chronic offenders who might have been subject to the juvenile death penalty, which the U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down in the Simmons case involving a juvenile from Missouri.

"In many states, laws now require prosecutors to file certain cases in adult court--even if it is against their better judgment--simply because of the nature of the offense or the age of the youth. Nearly 90 percent of youth who are transferred to the adult system fall under a lowered age of adulthood in 13 states. In these states any youth accused of an offense who is 17 years old (or 16 years old in three of the 13 states) will be sent into the adult criminal justice system for any offense, whether serious or not.

"Another huge factor in the increased criminalization of children stems from untreated mental health problems among children. Seventy-five percent of children in the juvenile justice system have mental health problems. Children as young as seven are incarcerated in juvenile facilities around the country not because of pending charges for a crime but because of untreated mental health needs for which no treatment is available in their communities.

"Finally, a key piece of the increase stems from the disparate treatment of Black and Brown children in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Minority youths make up 34 percent of the adolescent population and 62 percent of juveniles confined to public facilities. In 1999, Blacks outnumbered Whites nearly two to one in the number of youth under 18 admitted to adult state prisons. For drug charges, the ratio was more than 8 to 1. A Black youth is 48 times more likely than a White youth to be incarcerated for comparable drug offenses. Data from 18 of the largest court jurisdictions showed that 82% of juvenile cases filed in adult court involved youth of color. School suspensions are similarly imbalanced: in 2000, Black students were suspended at a rate almost three times higher than White students.

"The road that has been taking more and more of our children to prison and away from their homes and schools and communities and off the path to college and productive futures is long and twisted. But we don't have to keep allowing our children to be led astray. It's time for caring adults to stand up and demand we change course.

Marian Wright Edelman is President and Founder of the Children's Defense Fund and its Action Council whose mission is to Leave No Child Behind and to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities."

November 2006

Podcasting Support for MMA Programs
- Technology
The Academy's web provider, Clark Internet Publishing, has announced support for podcasting beginning in December 2006. The academy's technology program is examining ways to incorporate podcasting into outreach and program activities.

More about podcasting

October 2006

'Inner City Excursion' Draws a Crowd
- News

The Summer Inner-City Excursion Program is designed to reduce isolation for children living in the inner city. In collaboration with the Maxine Mimms Academies, T.E.A.C.H., Wells Fargo Bank, Columbia Bank, Pierce County Transit, National Youth Congress, Bembry Consulting Services, students are exposed to a variety of community activities and resources.
More pictures of the I.C.E. are in the Gallery.

Triage Program Gets News Section
- Triage
The Academy's Triage program's principles have been stated before, but in our new Guidepost section we thought it appropriate to repeat them.

  • Parent understanding of how to advocate for their child’s education is the answer to a system that is unable to cope with cultural differences
  • Self-efficacy is the answer to a system of suspension and expulsion over which the child has no control.
  • The development of self-efficacy can only occur in a place of safety, an oasis of hope, where students can reflect and begin to tell new stories.
  • Self-efficacy is developed by a shift in language: “I do not go to a failing school; my school is the greatest school.” “Maxine Mimms Academies is the only solution for me because I am the solution for the world.” “I return to my school as a success because I am the solution for my school.”
  • The reality of the hip-hop culture must meet the demands of a future; the absence of hope must transcend into the ability to forgive, dream, and tell new stories.
  • Community institutions must speak a new language: the language of WASL, of standardized tests. Business owners must preach it from behind the cash register; Pastors must preach it from the pulpit; Doctors and nurses must preach it in offices and emergency rooms; police officers must preach it from squad cars.
    Parents must speak a new language: the language of zero tolerance, why my child, and WASL
  • Parents, children, community institutions must cross the cultural barriers to welcome each other, to have a conversation, to take in, to love, to forgive, to become healthy.
  • The child, the parent, the pastor, the business owner, doctor, lawyer, and governor must know that each child is valuable. Each child is good.

This new Triage section in the MMA Guidepost concentrates news about our Triage program here on the Triage overview page and simultaneously displays it in the Guidepost. Click any title to read more on the subject in the Guidepost, which in turn connects you to other information inside and outside our site.

Dr. Angelou Poem Speaks to MMA Objectives
- Community
Dr. Maya Angelou is a well known American poet and a long-time friend of academy founder Dr. Maxine Mimms. Ms. Angelou recently gave Dr. Mimms permission to use her poem, A Pledge to Rescue Our Youth, as a call to action for the academy.
A Pledge to Rescue Our Youth
A Poem by Dr. Maya Angelou

Young women, young men of color, we add our voices to the voices of your ancestors who speak to you over ancient seas and across impossible mountain tops.

Come up from the gloom and national neglect, you have already been paid for.

Come out of the shadow of irrational prejudice, you owe no racial debt to history.

The blood of our bodies and the prayers of our souls have bought you a future free from shame and bright beyond the telling of it.

We pledge ourselves and our resources to seek for you clean and well-furnished schools, safe and non-threatening streets, employment that makes use of your talents, but does not degrade your dignity.

You are the best we have.
You are all we have.
You are what we have become.

We pledge you our whole hearts from this day forward.

January 2006

MMA in the News
- News
What they're saying: Maxine Mimms Academy is getting noticed. As we find press coverage we'll pass it along here.

Press links 2004-05

Tech Notes December 2005
- Technology
Hello and Happy Holidays! I hope this holiday season finds you and family members well. We all have a great deal to be thankful for as parents, teachers and leaders in our community.

As you know, technology is both a passion and an occupation for me. It’s what I do. What you may not know is that I also work as Director of Technology for the Maxine Mimms Academy - a team of educators, ministers, parents and professionals committed to the education of students that have been suspended or expelled from public middle schools.

Dr. Maxine Mimms is the Founder and Executive Director of the Maxine Mimms Academy. Three (3) locations are currently operating in Tacoma (2) and Seattle (1) with plans to expand to other school districts along the Interstate – 5 corridor. Each site is equipped with state-of-the-art computers, Internet service, and staff that include certified teachers, counselors, interns from local colleges and universities, corporate professionals and community leaders.

The mission of the Maxine Mimms Academies is to reach and teach suspended and expelled students - throwaway children, and those requiring special education. The academies are an extension of the school; another room in the school house with a collaboratorium of resources to develop, nurture and enhance the educational experience of the student.

The Maxine Mimms Academy curriculum is a proven model for academic achievement and educational success for middle-school students that emphasizes:

(1) Wellness,
(2) Reducing Isolation,
(3) Critical thinking,
(4) Creative thinking and doing,
(5) Project-based learning,
(6) Development of self-efficacy,
(7) Entrepreneurship, and
(8) Advocacy

During 2004, a total of 36 students attended the Maxine Mimms Academies from various middle schools in the Tacoma and Seattle Public School Districts. The total number of students for 2005 is on pace to exceed 2004 and the numbers are expected to increase thru 2008 as WASL requirements are instituted.

Contributions from corporations, state agencies and private citizens make it possible for the Maxine Mimms Academy to continue to be responsive to student needs. Your donation is needed to continue the work that we do on behalf of students and families in our community. As a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization all donations received are tax deductible. We need your support at the following levels:


I hope you’ll take the time to visit our website – take a look at what we have to offer in greater detail – and follow up with your contribution to this important school initiative by donating online or contacting our administrative offices direct at 253-627-5506 to make other payment arrangements.

Thank you,

Michael E. Twiggs
Director of Technology
Maxine Mimms Academies

Accompanying photo, clockwise, Michael Twiggs, Rev. Robert Penton, Minister Isa Nichols, Dr. Maxine Mimms.

December 2004

It’s Hip-Hop and Hope at Academy
- Community
Eleven-year-old Booker Beaver has been suspended from school more than once, a punishment that in the past meant staying home and playing video games.
This time is different.

He's attending class five days a week at the Maxine Mimms Academy, a new community program for students suspended or expelled from Tacoma middle schools.

Booker says he prefers the academy over McIlvaigh Middle School.

"But we don't want to stay forever," said Booker, who was suspended for fighting. "This is just to calm us down."

Original article

September 2004

A Need for Action
- Community
The story is all too familiar: Middle School: Hormones kick in. Girls can get pregnant. Boys can become fathers. Mobility becomes part of the classroom experience. The proving stage. Emergency expulsions increase by a factor of 1500% over elementary school; short term expulsions triple. Juvenile arrest rates in lower income neighborhoods are double and triple those in higher income neighborhoods.

  • 7% of students nationally suspended or expelled
  • 25% of African-American male students suspended or expelled
  • In inner-city schools, more than 65% of all students suspended or expelled.
  • Drop-out rates exceed 50% in inner-city neighborhoods.
  • Almost 100% of incarcerated youth have been suspended or expelled Over 80% of all incarcerated adults have dropped out of school.
  • Suspension is used disproportionately with students who are male, of color, poor, and of low educational achievement
  • There is no evidence that African American students act out more than others. Studies show that the disproportionality in school discipline is not due to characteristics of African American students, but to bias and discrimination in the system. School characteristics are differentially related to suspension rates, rather than student behavior.
  • Suspended students in 26 states have no form of education.

Over one million African-American students are being suspended each school year. More than 100,000 are suspended in the I-5 corridor.