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Collection by
Paul Allison
Published
Feb 10 2015

Resources in this collection

8 Resources in this collection
"This made me think about all the chatter on Twitter and Facebook about the #Ferguson verdict. I have to say that I feel really badly that my friends of color feel hurt and angry about the white reaction to this verdict. I wish I could do more. ..." Molly Robbins
On Teachers Teaching Teachers (TTT) we have been thinking about how Ferguson and the movements around Black Lives Matter impact on our classrooms and our interactions with students.
Christopher Rodgers shares the recorded experience of self-identified Black male educators: "Through impassioned dialogue, we landed on what we all felt to be a generative inquiry into our motivations to become educators, recognizing the overwhelming number of educators who leave the classroom in their first five years. We investigated the interrelatedness between what brought us into teaching and why we continue to stay in teaching."
"In response to the State of Emergency, I would like to call for a State of Immediate Urgency to meet the grieving, mourning, and righteous rage within the streets of Ferguson with a searching for our collective humanity within all the systems of American so-called authority. As the National Guard of Missouri descends upon the Ferguson streets, I call for every boot on the ground to stop, think, and reflect"
In this mission on Youth Voices students are invited to choose a name from our list of 25 Stories on Wikipedia (Step 2), then read and annotate the story and do further research. Next, write a poem to remember that person, using both your imagination and the facts. Use "Night, for Henry Dumas" and "41 Bullets Off-Broadway" as model texts. Post your poem as a discussion on Youth Voices, and comment on other students' "Black Lives Matter" poems.
"As St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch stepped to the microphone on the evening of Nov. 24 to announce the grand jury’s decision about the fate of Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, I found myself glued simultaneously to my laptop and the television set."
"First of all, I'll reframe the question: how have I been and how will I address the issues around Ferguson in my own media studies classroom?"
Sam Reed's recounting of Dr. James Peterson's presentation includes this: In talking about schools, he noted that many are de facto segregated and lacking a diverse teaching staff. They could be seen as “mini-Fergusons,” he said. At Philadelphia's Bartram High School, for instance, the student population is predominantly Black, but the teaching staff is mostly White. But more important than their race or ethnic backgrounds, he noted, teachers should be culturally competent to teach and serve in challenging school environments.

Teaching in a Movement for Justice

Civil Rights leader, Rep. John Lewis inspires our thinking for this collection. In a Washington Post interview (25 Dec. 2014), he compares the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March with the recent Ferguson and #BlackLivesMatter protests: “What is happening is not like a firecracker where you just come and pop off and make a lot of noise, and you’re gone,” Lewis said. “It’s more like a pilot light that continues to burn.”

This collection asks: What's the pilot light in our curriculum that helps students to connect around important issues of race and justice in our time?  Another way to ask this question: How do we build curriculum, rituals, tools, and skills in modular, open, inspiring ways that will give students the permission to follow their passions, yet also invites them to go deep into important issues as committed and informed citizens? How can we use social reading tools like http://genius.com and http://nowcomment.com to engage students in critical, close reading and collaborative inquiry? How can we use resources such as those in this collection to see if we can move our conversations and our curriculum about race into the kinds of institutional and structural work that is suggested by the researchers at Race Forward?  

One of the resources here hightlights our conversations about #BlackLivesMatter On Teachers Teaching Teachers (TTT). We have been thinking about how Ferguson and the movements for racial justice impact on our classrooms and in our interactions with students and with each other.  On a recent episode, Chris Rogers pointed us to Race Forward's research “because racism has levels” he wrote in a chat.

We have been studying their report Moving the Race Conversation Forward and creating learning experiences for our students in which they can do similar kinds of research and perspective-taking. This institute's work around Preventing Racial Inequity in Schools and Beyond has become an important area of inquiry for the Youth Voices/Teachers Teaching Teachers network of educators. This is what we have been talking about on Teachers Teaching Teachers and building into our missions on Youth Voices: how to introduce Race Forward stances, protocols, and practices into our classrooms.

And further, we are asking how we can use Youth Voices, Hangouts On Air, and other tools such as NowComment and Genius to have conversations across schools. Our segregated school systems too often lead to students having these conversations mainly with peers who are a lot like each other. We seek--mainly through Youth Voices--to break down some of these walls.

I’ve also been working on a Gooru collection of resources around Selma: http://bit.ly/1tBpcJS. And the exciting bevy of resources out there attached to the #fergusonsyllabus is an ongoing inspiration.

We invite you to join us as we make plans for students to exchange their stories, views, poems, and ideas on Youth Voices. We invite your students to connect with the youth using the resourses in this collection and in spaces like these on Youth Voices to connect, talk, and organize: http://youthvoices.net/michaelbrown  | http://youthvoices.net/blacklivesmatter  | http://youthvoices.net/takingastand. And please remember to join our little corner of the movement on Teachers Teaching Teachers every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific at http://edtechtalk.com/ttt.

Image credit: The All-Nite Images on Flickr cc-by-sa-2.0

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