50,000 Coaches and Community Resilience

Last week, at the very end of our between semester break, my family and I watched Akeelah and the Bee. I had seen it before, several years ago, but loved it just as much this time around. If you haven’t seen it, the basic plotline is that Akeelah, a middle school student, is enrolled atContinue reading “50,000 Coaches and Community Resilience”

Teaching with the “Do No Harm” podcast

I finished listening to the last episode of the Do No Harm podcast today. It was a hard podcast to listen to, emotionally speaking, and I am no stranger to working in child welfare. I listened while walking around the neighborhood over the last couple of weeks, and there were a couple of portions ofContinue reading “Teaching with the “Do No Harm” podcast”

Honesty

Today has been unsettling. Simultaneously surprising (can this really be happening here? In the US?) and yet…not surprising at all. The past 4 years and then some have been building to this moment. I am thankful I have a few days to think before seeing a group of students. Between teaching a class on trauma,Continue reading “Honesty”

Reflections on Dr. King’s Drum Major Instinct: Looking into 2021 and beyond

I came across Dr. King’s sermon “The Drum Major Instinct” about 4 years ago. He preached this sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church on February 4th, 1968. This is two months before he was assassinated in Memphis. In this sermon he references what he would like people to say about his life during his eulogy, whichContinue reading “Reflections on Dr. King’s Drum Major Instinct: Looking into 2021 and beyond”

Book review: Hidden Valley Road

One of my goals over the break between semesters is to read as much as possible! I have made good on that progress so far, and one book in particular has given me a number of ideas for how to use it in teaching. The book is Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of anContinue reading “Book review: Hidden Valley Road”

“We who believe in freedom cannot rest”: That’s what I’m professing

Between the pandemic, and the election cycle, and the general exhaustion level of…everyone…there were classes this semester that felt long and complex. Like every semester, I wanted to end this one with integrity, and to give something for students to think about as they leave (or “leave the meeting”). For one course in particular, thisContinue reading ““We who believe in freedom cannot rest”: That’s what I’m professing”

Roots and wings and (social justice) dreams

The picture of Vice President Elect Kamala Harris walking alongside the shadow of 6 year old Ruby Bridges has been giving me life the past few days. I have taught three classes this week and shown the picture in 2 of them. In one of the classes (a freshman seminar focused on social change), noContinue reading “Roots and wings and (social justice) dreams”

“Putting my hope in Nevada” and other student reflections on election

This semester I teach a policy class on Tues/Thurs. I have a few “in person” students but mostly they are on Zoom, and so I have been challenged all semester with how to find ways for people to participate that doesn’t depend on a camera or their willingness to unmute themselves. I knew that todayContinue reading ““Putting my hope in Nevada” and other student reflections on election”

“…Crosses and diseases, whiskey and guns…” my journey toward Indigenous Peoples Day

A few years ago I had the opportunity to travel with a colleague and some students and my family on a Maymester trip out west. We spent a week on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, where we were able to learn from elders and other leaders about the land and some of theContinue reading ““…Crosses and diseases, whiskey and guns…” my journey toward Indigenous Peoples Day”

Towards Collective Liberation

I have been teaching in a higher education setting full time for a little over 15 years and have on occasion (on frequent occasion) struggled with getting students to do their assigned reading and speak up/dialogue about what they read. There are two exceptions to this struggle that I have found. This book, Towards CollectiveContinue reading “Towards Collective Liberation”