Social justice and advocacy are at my core, from my formative years growing up in Arkansas. Arkansas was where I first heard civil rights icon Dick Gregory (prayers for his family in their time of bereavement), where I was first called a nigger, and where I first realized that "to whom much is given, much is required."Read More
Isn’t it interesting that the most innocent of things, like children’s books, toys or movies, can send powerful messages of who we are and what we can become? I often wonder how aware parents are of the lack of diversity present in children’s media. Ordinary experiences with my daughter remind me just how important positive images and stories of people of color might be in truly eradicating America’s ugly history of racism.Read More
A few weeks ago, my friend asked/told (in the way your good black girlfriends can do so expertly😂), "I know you haven't stopped helping kids to take pictures of successful women?!"😳😂
The answer, of course, was no. I am happily doing both, and honestly see my photography work as an extension of and support for my education work.
I was saddened by Trayvon, Eric, Sandra, and all the other named victims we have learned about over the past few years. This past week, however, felt different - more personal, more disappointing, more infuriating, more urgent. I honestly thought through whether what I am doing now, education consulting and photography, is "enough" with all of the real, immediate issues plaguing our country (and abroad).
This week, I have the opportunity to sit in on a training started by a very smart white ally, Dr. Katie Gottfred, called Language for Scholars. Today, the guest speaker was a Mexican American first-gen college graduate who would definitely be considered a #CSuiteChick! The 59 diverse 8th graders participating in the weeklong training are learning to code switch between their home dialects and academic business language. These teens are heading to prestigious college prep programs across the country, and I have no question they will be instrumental in changing the world they will inhabit as leaders in a few short years.
What today reminded me is that we all can be allies in the movement for social justice and equality, doing work that takes many forms -- raising children who see, respect and value difference; teaching preschool or graduate school; law enforcement; capturing and documenting history with words, photographs, video, or art...the list of possible contributions is limitless.
My education calling and photography gift aside 😉, the real question is not what we need to be doing to contribute to the movement, but if we are willing to do so. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could co-create a world with slightly better problems to solve by the time these 8th graders become Generation Now? On weeks like last week, that seems an impossible dream.
Today, I'm reminded that good outweighs bad, hope outweighs despair, and the realization of our hopes and dreams for our country and her children looks a lot like the fruits of the labor (physical and introspective) each of us need to be doing every single day. It will not take a miracle to change things, it only takes you and me.
I see education triumphs and struggles everywhere I am. And so when I headed to the movies recently with my family to see Annie, the remake that now featured an illiterate African American girl struck me as the perfect re-imagining of today's struggles to learn and overcome that so many African American and Latino children face.
Read more in my opinion piece, published in Education Week.
My hope is that this space will be one in which we can share our similar and disparate opinions, and editorials, respectfully. Post your questions - if I don't have "the" answer, I will seek out a really good one, or at least a really strong and informed opinion on the matter :-).
Come on in and speak your mind! I want to hear your questions and opinions, and a well-reasoned editorial is always welcome here at eyemaginED!Read More