Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins:

Welcome, advocates, to another episode of the Leading Equity Podcast, a podcast that focuses on supporting educators with the tools and resources necessary to ensure equity at their school. Listen, I have someone who is fired up. I have someone who is a BFF, a best friend forever, a good friend of mine. So Dr., excuse me, Dr. Sawsan Jaber is here with me today. So without further ado, Sawsan, thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. Sawsan Jaber:

Thank you for having me, Sheldon, and for using your platform and your voice to really have these conversations that are super important for educators everywhere.

Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins:

Well, you called me out and I appreciate you calling me out on Twitter. You were like, there's a lot of silence with what's going on with our Palestinian community. And so I have to admit, I haven't done a good job of covering it. I haven't done a lot of work on being vocal and active, the advocacy piece.

               So I wanted to bring you on, but I didn't want you to come onto the show and educate me on everything. So I wanted to do some work ahead of time, because I'm one of those proponents of, it's not my duty, it's not any person of color, their duty to educate others on what's happening in their community. So before we get into today's topic, I'd love for you to share a little bit about yourself and what you currently do.

Dr. Sawsan Jaber:

I am currently a high school English teacher, but I wear a million and one other hats. I'm a consultant with Education Unfiltered Consulting. Unfiltered, I think, says so much about who I am as a person and what my mantra is as an educator. Don't hold back. I speak my truth, whatever the price is going to be, if that's what I believe it's going to be.

               I think that I've lived by that fearlessly in my career. I've been an educator for 21 years. I've worked here and abroad. I've held a variety of different positions and I've worked with students from all different, beautiful backgrounds. And I think that I've seen a lot that's caused me to believe and to really hold on to the idea that we really need to disrupt these systems that exist and really work hard to speak these truths that are purposely hidden, and to just share what we know to be the truth.

               And sometimes people aren't ready for it, but we're going to speak it any way and hope that with time they'll come around and they'll listen. But so that did it in a nutshell. I feel like that what we're going to be talking about is so much more important than anything that I have to say about myself, honestly.

Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins:

Okay. Okay. Well, again, I appreciate you.

Dr. Sawsan Jaber:

Thank you.

Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins:

Let's do this. There's a lot happening in the Middle East, and there's a lot specifically happening between Israel and Palestine. Could you share a little bit of background about why you're so passionate, why you called me out, and again, I appreciate it. Let's start there. What's happening? Why are you so passionate? Why are we calling out folks that are quote unquote equity advocates? And why is there work that needs to be done in this area?

Dr. Sawsan Jaber:

Well, that's a question that needs to be unpacked on a number of levels. I think, first of all, because I feel ... well, my personal background, I am Palestinian. I am a daughter of Palestinian refugees. I'm somebody who grew up attending school from P through 20, whatever, in the United States. As an Arab Palestinian Muslim student and a woman who covers, I've never felt seen, I never felt like my professors or my teachers at any level really understood me beyond what they learned from the general media.

               That said, the second piece of that is the media, and the American and Western intentional creation of the Arabs as this villainizing Arabs. And when you even say the Middle East, in my mind I'm imagining everybody who has never visited the Middle East and knows very little about the Middle East. Whenever they hear the Middle East, the image that they have is these people that blow things up, we're violent, we can't co-exist.

               This is the image that's been created about who we are as a people, which is so far from the truth. Middle Eastern Arabs are so hospitable, so friendly. The Islamic religion is such a peaceful religion that even cautions people to hurt trees in times of war, if they don't have to imagine the human life. There's so much that is unknown and so much that is misrepresented by the West in order for us to normalize things that are happening in the Middle East currently.

               So I feel like as an American, my tax dollars are supporting ethnic cleansing and genocide of my own people in Palestine and my lineage. And that's unacceptable. As an American who is a teacher and an educator, and my whole life's journey is to make sure that kids are seen and heard, and that they are empowered in our classrooms, I have never been seen, heard, or empowered, and that hasn't changed for my own children.

               I have sat down in class after class and with conversation after conversation with educators in my consulting role to talk to them about misrepresentation of Arab students. about feeding Arab students stereotypes of themselves and immersing them in their own stereotypes, and how demoralizing and exclusive that is of students and how that impacts their academic gains, and how that impacts who they are and how they feel about who they are, and how that impacts the sense of double consciousness that's created by Arab American students, because they have this other personality that they have to develop in order for them to survive their contexts.

               And so if we don't start to address these things in our classrooms accurately, and we don't start to address these things as responsible American citizens that are civically engaged, voting people in who are not supporting injustices in different parts of the world through our tax dollars, while we have so many needs in our own country that need to be addressed. Then that money can go to support. Then we're doing a lot of things wrong.

               So it's just so late. There's so many layers of it. I just feel like ... and then the final part of that, I think is I'm so frustrated with people who are doing equity work, constantly omitting the experiences, the stories, the histories of Arab American and Muslim students. It's always missing. I attend conferences for equity and nobody's talking about our kids.

               I listen to podcasts. There's very few people who are even, when we talk about inequities and marginalized groups, we're often not even in that list. Even though post 9/11 and way before 9/11, we are ... Banks calls it failed citizens of the United States, because there's never been an acceptance of who we are. Regardless of how many generations of our families have been here, we are often viewed as perpetual foreigners.

               As a matter of fact, yesterday we were at a protest for Palestine and we're constantly told to go back to our countries. Well, I was born here. My children were born here. My children are second generation American. So this is our country. We have a right to be here, just like everybody else. And we're constantly saying that because in the eyes of many people in America, we are considered foreigners.

               And so that creates this failed citizenship that gives you this feeling of, I don't belong here or there. I don't have a homeland. I can't visit Palestine. I can't go back to Palestine. We have no right to return. My grandfather has the key to his parents' home and his land. He hopes to be able to go back. That's not going to happen in his lifetime. But yet here he's considered a terrorist and a foreigner, and he'll never be accepted as an American, no matter how many years he's lived here, no matter how many generations after him continued to live here, we will continue to be told to go back to our country.

Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins:

I love having you, and you know you and I can talk all day. I love talking to you. So, okay, one of the things is you said was as a Palestinian and I just did a protest and we were constantly being told, go back to your country. And your response to me just now was well, we can't go back to our country. Could you explain that a little bit further, as far as why you cannot go back to your quote unquote country, even though you were born here and your children were. Explain that a little bit more.

Dr. Sawsan Jaber:

Okay. So it's really hard to explain it without going back to 1948. So I guess the land of Palestine has always been coveted. It's a land that's very rich of natural resources. It's a land that has holy significance to Christians, Muslims, and the Jewish population as well.

               For us, for Muslims, there's Al-Aqsa Mosque. That's in the center of Jerusalem, which is one of the reasons why all Muslims feel an attachment to Palestine because of the religious significance of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. We believe that's where prophet Mohammed ascended to the heavens.

               And then you have the Holy Sepulchre Church, also that's there for Christians. And so it's always been a coveted land. Prior to 1948, when the occupation of Israel in Palestine started, Britain was occupying Palestine. So after World War II, we have these refugees of the Holocaust, the Jewish population had nowhere to go, and so Britain decided to give them Palestine.

               And the slogan that came out was "A land for a people, for a people without a land." And the way the media has portrayed and painted this Palestinian conflict, or they call it even a conflict, but conflict is so understated with what this is. It's an aggression, it's genocide, it's ethnic cleansing. It's not a conflict, is that it's so hard to understand. But for anybody who is American, the best way to understand it is to liken it to the Native Americans.

               Colonists came to America, came to the United States. They decided that they were going to start a new country here, that this was a land without a people. There were Native Americans here. We massacred, we killed, we did whatever we needed to. Native Americans today are in reservations with the highest numbers of alcoholism, the highest numbers of suicide with very little quality of life.

               Even though we are colonizing their land, this is their land. We all came from somewhere else. It's the same thing, but magnify it times 10, because now there's also a military rule involved. So Palestinians were living in this land, this was their land for generations, for decades, forever. There was a civilization there, there was development there, there was socioeconomic building there. It was far beyond its time in that time. And they decided to give them this land.

               So I sent you a map. I think I showed you how in 1948, 750 refugees were the result of creating this Israeli state on Palestinian land. And from those 750, my village, my grandfather's village, was the first village. Deir Yassin was the first village to be completely massacred. It didn't happen peacefully. People were killed. People were displaced. Villages were destroyed. 450 villages were completely destroyed.

               And most of those people were massacred. And what happened was we have all of these refugees that are until today, a lot of those villages are still living in refugee camps. My father grew up in a refugee camp. And as a result of that, Israel has created these two states, by international law. But there is no Palestinian state. Gaza is on one end. The West Bank is on another. They're not even close to each other. Israel is in the middle. Israel has complete and total control over who goes in, who goes out, the water, the electricity, COVID shots. Palestinians don't have access to COVID shots.

               Again, violations of international law. Gaza, the third most densely populated strip of land in the world, I think it's, what is it, 30, 36 square miles with 2 million people in it. Tiny little land with people that are living literally on top of each other is completely blockaded by air, sea, and land. They have no freedom of movement whatsoever.

               And every few years [Paran 00:12:05], a 15 year old child living in Gaza, has been through five wars. Five. These are people who are ... They don't have a military. They don't have an army. They don't have weapons. They have no bomb shelters like Israel. They have nothing. There's poverty. There's social ... 95% of kids in Gaza are socially, emotionally, they need support. They need help. And this last aggression, we bombed the COVID center. We killed the only few doctors in Gaza that are there, specialists that are there.

               There's not a lot of doctors there. They can't have people come in. They don't get aid. We killed doctors. We killed ... There's no safe space in Gaza when these aggressions happen. Schools are bombed, hospitals are bombed, churches and mosques are bombed. There's no safe space. There's nowhere for these people to go.

               So even myself as an American citizen, when I use my American passport, there's refugees all over the world now, Palestinian refugees, because this has been going on since 1948. Some people can never go back into Palestine because in order to get into the Palestinian territory, is not even what we call Israel now, but the Palestinian territories, you need permission by the Israeli government. So if you're going through Jordan, there's only two entrances, either you'd go straight to Tel Aviv and you fly into the Israeli capital, or you go into, through the Jordan, there's a bridge that you can drive into.

               Either way, you're intercepted by Israeli soldiers who have to do a full security check. I can go in through my American passport, but they have to decide if they're going to let me in or not. So many Palestinians will never be able to go back to their home countries. And if they do, they go in as visitors and they leave because they have passports from other countries where there's alliances and you can go in through your other passport as a visitor.

               But you're interrogated, you're humiliated. You're only allowed to be there for in certain parts. There's checkpoints every step of the way for the Palestinian people and the West Bank, another small strip of land, there's 500 plus checkpoints for the Palestinian people to go through. So even Palestinians living in Palestinian, there's this Western idea that there's two separate countries, or there is no country.

               Palestinians are living under military rule, even in the Palestinian territories. Illegal settlements by international law, illegal not because I said they're illegal, illegal by the definition of international law. Settlements are being built all around Palestinian villages, settlers, and that's what's happening now in Palestine. So you've got [Shef'tara 00:14:24].

               There's Palestinian homes there. It's a Palestinian village. Settlers come in from different parts of the world. They decide they want this house. Palestinian families have to leave this house and they have to give it up for new Israeli settlers. And if they've resist or fight back, they're terrorists, they're shot, they're killed. They react to them violently. So they have to leave their homes quietly and Shef'tara is resisting, leaving their homes, which is their right. So we hear about Israel having the right to protect itself. Well, we have to call a spade, a spade.

               It's about time the United States calls a spade, a spade. There is an occupier and there's the occupied. There is an oppressor and there is oppressed. Palestine is occupied, the Palestinians are occupied, Israel is the occupier. The first thing that happens is we have this gaslighting. You are anti-Semitic. This is not a religious war. We have nothing against Jewish people.

               Pre 1948, Palestinians, Christians and Muslims live peacefully next to each other. And they co-existed. And the only thing that made Palestinian susceptible to this occupation was their hospitality because they opened their doors to Jews after the Holocaust, because they wanted to welcome them into their country.

               But Jewish people, Zionists had a different idea. They didn't want to come live with the Palestinians under Palestinian rule. They wanted to create their own country and make it Israel and erase the Palestinians and their land and ethnically cleanse them completely. And they were supported and still continued to be supported by countries like the United States of America.

               So here we are, and I was thinking about it this morning when I was thinking about what are the key things? Because there's so much to say that I want to share with you today. But I was thinking about other countries in our own recent history that have violated international law. What have we done? We've sanctioned them. We've waged war on them. We've removed their leadership.

               Why is it that Israel continues to break international law again and again and again, and what we do is we keep funding them to continue breaking international laws. We keep sending them more of our tax dollars to break international laws. President Biden just signed another $738 million. Besides the 3.8 billion that they already sent. We are in an international pandemic.

               We're in the worst financial state ever. People are in need of that money here at home. Why are we still continuing to sign that money over? And that's where I feel like people who are talking about advocacy and education in schools, this is where we're not educating our American students. This is where we're not talking about these things. This is where people don't know how much of a hand ... This all goes back to [inaudible 00:16:57]. if you're not actively fighting against it, then you're part of the problem.

               So either you're with it or you're working against it. But to say I'm not for it, or I don't understand it, I feel like those are all excuses that people use so that they can comfortably sit in their homes and act like this is not happening. How many more images of kids being pulled out of rubble do we have to see before we decided enough is enough? How many people have to die? How many more refugees does the world have to see created that nobody wants to accommodate.

               We don't want them here in America and they don't want them in Europe. And so where are these people supposed to go? We keep funding the creation of more refugees and the displacement of more people, but we don't want to bring them here, and we don't want to support them here before we say okay, we're not going to support this anymore. Let's sanction Israel. Let's put a stop to this in the ways that we know how that we have done with other countries.

               But we have this blind support, and anytime you try to speak up, you're anti-Semitic. This is not about religion, this is about Zionism. We are anti-Zionism, we are not antisemitic. We have nothing against Jewish people. We have nothing against the religion of Judaism. This is about Zionists who are ethnically cleansing people left and right and it's happening on social media.

               People are seeing the images of it, and we're still trying to justify, normalize it as a government trying to protect itself, which is ridiculous. Because if we just look at the disproportionate use of violence, of power, constantly in that region of the world, it'll tell a different story. We just have to look.

Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins:

We have to look, and I appreciate you leading the charge on the importance of if you're doing educational work. If you're doing equity work, if you're doing training, any of those types of things, we cannot pretend, or we can't say oh, I don't know enough to speak on this, but I ... The onus is on us to be able to learn as much as we can so that we can support this movement.

               Let's relate this to here in the United States. So my majority of my audience is United States and Canada as well. We have students that are from Palestine that are in our classrooms. What are some of the things that you would say to educators who have our students that are a part of our Palestine community? What are some thoughts that you have there?

Dr. Sawsan Jaber:

You know, generally Sheldon, I think I've done so much work about the importance of inclusion, of any students of color. The importance of ... We can't talk about academic gains before we talk about the social, emotional health of our kids. We can't talk about academic games before we talk about identity development. Before anything else about teaching them, seeing them as assets, about creating mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors.

               There's all these catchy things that we talk about in education, about making sure that every student is proud of who they are, that they feel like they can bring their linguistic and cultural pluralism to the classroom and own it with pride, that they can use that identity, those intersections of their identity, and build on who they are. And in order for them to be able to do that, there has to be an immersion of yourself as an educator in those spaces that of the students that you teach in order for you to understand those communities better.

               And the worst thing that we can do is immerse kids in stereotypical images of who they are, or deflect on them through stereotypical lenses, which is the problem with that, it's why we're doing implicit bias training. That's why we talk about things like really, that's why there're Senate bills that require schools to do the work on implicit bias so that we're not walking into classrooms with our own understanding that we were taught in school or our own experiences as whatever demographic we come from and deflecting that experience on our own students and making sure that we are holding them up to that assimilation or that standard, that they have to be this thing in order for them to be successful or be valid in our spaces.

               That's what's happening to a lot of Palestinians ... As an Arab in general, they're already feeling like they don't belong. Because Arabs are X, Y and Z, especially after 9/11. Arab kids are being called terrorists all day long. When I did my dissertation, my work on Arab kids, there was girls going on the bus and had paper balls thrown at them. And everybody's screaming Allahu Akbar and hiding every day for months before the school decided to do something about it.

               These are the experiences of Arab kids already. Now add onto that the layer of being Palestinian, a country that's not even recognized by the United States as a country. And I think that even on my post, on social media, that's what some people are, educators are even commenting like, Palestine isn't even a country. It doesn't even access. What are you talking about? Like this imaginary thing.

               And so that idea, and that mentality makes it even more difficult because you're negating where these kids even come from, you're negating their identity altogether. And so you're positioning Palestinian American kids to be perpetual defenders, or you're silencing them altogether, which is ... All the research will tell us. If we're going to apply the same research we apply to our black students, to our LatinX students, to our LGBTQ students, to our Asian American students.

               That is the same research we're applying here. We're not reinventing anything. These kids are like everybody else. They need to have pride in who they are. They have a history. These kid also can benefit from trauma informed practices. I grew up glued to a TV screen with my parents, who were refugees, following Palestine and following these words and watching the traumas and living them, but also on top of that, feeling the sense of guilt that I'm here and not there, that I am living a normal life, that I'm able to. And on top of that, that my tax dollars are funding these images and helping to make that happen.

               That is a trauma that Palestinian kids are living through every single day. What are we doing about it? So the first thing that schools can do is give kids the opportunity to bring their whole selves into the classroom, by understanding who we are, by acknowledging that history, by teaching that history, by teaching the silent side of history, that intentional erasure that we've seen happen with native Americans, that we've seen happen with black history.

               And instead of just teaching that single story to get to the other side of it, this is not two-sided. If we have an oppressor and the oppressed, we cannot teach a balanced curriculum anymore. We need to teach it as what it is. Again, I'm calling a spade a spade. This is an aggression. These kids have been aggressed upon. Many of them have come to the United States.

               Of course, I love my American identity. People have asked me, if you had an option to go back to Palestine ... It's not an either or. Both Palestine and America are a huge part of who I am as a person. They're intersections. It's like saying, do you want to be Arab or Muslim? Do you want to be a woman? Or do you want to be ... These are parts of who I am. They all have equal importance and equal place in who I am as a person on the whole.

               But at the end of the day, I think that it's really important to acknowledge that when people are pushed out of their homes, when they're forcefully expelled out of their homes, they hold on a bit tighter to those cultural identities and people who choose to come here, or who choose to leave their home to go anywhere else.

               So a lot of Palestinian kids grow up in very Palestinian homes in the United States. And again, that failed citizenship, that lack of acceptance of that other identity also keeps them feeling like they don't belong anywhere. And so when I'm sitting in a classroom and I'm learning that Palestinian people are the aggressors, or my daughter in choir last week was practicing the Israeli national anthem in an American school.

               Do we have a shortage of songs in America that we're practicing the Israeli national anthem? What are we trying to normalize? When my son and his high school classroom has a teacher who says Israeli people are living in fear because Palestinians are stabbing them left and right in public. Where did you get this information from? Why does my son have to sit in a classroom and listen to this? And then what is this doing to everybody in the classroom who's not Palestinian?

               What image is it creating to all these other kids who don't know Palestine, but this is all that they're hearing from their teachers who are experts about their content in the classroom. What is in the history books? So when we're thinking about all the layers of how this is presented, it's bad enough we already know the media is not going to represent that other side.

               And like I've told you in the past when we've talked, Sheldon, my biggest thing is if there's going to be a disruption of inequity and injustice, it's not going to happen at the policy state level. It's going to happen in the classrooms. And when these kids are old enough to vote and they understand the importance of their civic engagement and for them to use their voice, the critical race theory, really to change the status quo, using their voice and through self advocacy. It's only then that we're going to see policy and government change.

               Because then the constituents are insisting on that change. Until that happens, it's got to happen at the school level. And until we get our educators to be open to A, making themselves uncomfortable, to do the learning that's required. And that really requires them to undo so much of their own learning as students in the classroom, because we all learn through the same systems. We all learn the same one-sided stories.

               And then making sure that they're uncomfortable enough to rock the boat in many of these communities that don't want their kids to learn these things and know that that's what's necessary in order for us to disrupt the inequities. The system that's happening in Palestine that's being used to oppress Palestinians is the same system that we use here to marginalize black communities, to marginalize LatinX communities, to marginalize oppressed groups here in the United States.

               It's the same system. We understand it. So when we have, when we're struggling to determine whether we want to speak up or against what's happening in Palestine, we have to ask ourselves, how has the systems of oppressions worked on me? Whether I'm black or white, how have they worked to silence me or blind me to the truth, or how have they worked to oppress me?

               And once we answer that question, we realize that it's those same systems that we need to dismantle across the board. It's the same question I'll ask every person who does equity work. If you are silent on Palestine, silent on Palestine today, who's next? Who knows who's next? And then when the world is silent, and if it's you, you want your allies to stand up and speak up. If we spoke up against black marginalization and slavery 400 years ago, we would not be talking about Palestine today.

               There is an interconnectedness between oppression and marginalization that we need to see. And I will say it again and again and again and again, every person of color, groups of color functioning in silos, is the design of the oppressor. It's a way of keeping us divided and a way of them continuously conquering us. We need to dismantle those barriers, and we really need to ally with each other.

               And this is where I'm really struggling, I guess, this time around, because I feel like I've built some really strong connections with other like-minded educators when it comes to equity work. And I waited for the first couple of days for someone to say something, even ask a question, post a tweet, share my tweet if you don't know better, say something. But there was just silence and I'm on Twitter and I'm thinking to myself, this silence says so much about where we are when it comes to advocating for our Arab and Muslim kids and our Palestinian kids in the classroom.

               And it's unacceptable. I am here to say today, this is unacceptable and I am calling those educators out who have not done the work. If you don't know, there are plenty of tools to know. I'm happy to share things with you so that you can learn. There are things out there for us to learn. If you don't know it's because you choose not to know. And if you do know, and you're not speaking up out of fear, that fear is where oppression thrives. And that's what it's feeding off of. And as long as we're afraid, then we have to accept the status quo for everybody.

Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins:

Sawsan, you know how I feel. You speak the truth, and I'm glad that you're the thing that you're saying. I would say this. If I'm a person, including myself, if I'm trying to learn more or if I'm trying to be a better advocate in supporting other communities outside of my own community that I identify with, what type of resources would you recommend to further educate ourselves and further be able to support our communities, our Palestinian communities? What type of resources would you recommend?

Dr. Sawsan Jaber:

There's tons, there's so many out there. You can read Angela Davis's book from Ferguson to Palestine, and she talks about, and likens it to the Black Lives Matter movement here and shows the correlation between Black Lives Matter and Palestine. You can read Rashid Khalidi's A Hundred Year War. You can read ... Jimmy Carter has a book. I can't remember the title off the top of my head that I can recall.

               Marc Lamont Hill recently, who got fired from CNN for speaking his truth about Palestine, also wrote a book and likening it to America and talking about America's role in Palestine and Palestinian oppression. I'll share resources with you that if you can, Sheldon, you can post them on links.

               You can follow Noura Erakat. She's amazing, and she posts stuff all the time about what's happening on the ground now. The truth is there. And I feel like the difference between this aggression and the 2014 aggression and the difference between my generation and your generation, Sheldon, and our kids is that there's so much social media feed coming in from the ground, that people can't hide behind what the media tells them anymore, because the images that are coming from the ground are telling a different story.

               And I feel like people who choose not to be active, this is like the selected activism that really gets under my skin. I'm going to support this cause, but I'm not going to support this cause, and you're not an activist. You're not an anti-racist. You are not just ... You are complicit.

               Already the international community has been complicit with our silence on Palestine. Again, and that has not been the history with other countries that we have that have broken international law. And I feel like as an educator in a classroom, that just becomes so much more damaging because kids come into our classroom like sponges. And they're looking at you like the expert, and they're going to take everything that you feed them.

               And so that is our opportunity to really give them an opportunity to develop those skills, for them to find their own truths first of all, but also for them to really critically question things that, and for us as educators, to critically question things that we were taught that have kept us in the dark for such a long time. And then we continuously re-teach the same things and we don't disrupt these systems, knowing that they hurt people in the past and they continue to hurt.

               And so it's like, where do you draw the line? What is it going to take? And I look at my own kids now, and I'm like, why doesn't my child have the right to sit in a classroom and hear the same things, the truth about himself, or at least read an accurate representation of himself?

               Why does he have to feel like he's an outsider, he's responsible for something he's not responsible for? Why does he have to feel so uncomfortable, because he knows that what his teacher is regurgitating, which is Fox Five News, is not something that actually happened. It's just not right. And I don't know what it's going to take for people to stop blindly supporting Israel the way they do without seeing it for what it really is.

Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins:

Sawsan, you know me, I definitely consider you as providing a voice in leading equity. What is one final word of advice that you can provide to our listeners?

Dr. Sawsan Jaber:

Find your truth. I think that's the last time you asked him the same question. It applies. Whenever you're talking about inequity and oppression, there's so much out there. And I think that we have to really understand, we cannot decide that Black Lives Matter and really do the digging to find the truth there and then turn a blind eye to the oppression that's happening somewhere else.

               It's just not right. We have to understand that once we turn a blind eye somewhere, it's going to happen somewhere else and it's going to keep coming back. And if you're going to be in education, you need to decide whether your [inaudible 00:32:35] You're going to be a anti-racist, or you're going to be complicit in letting these things happen.

               And I feel like the time is so far gone, that we really need to start working towards dismantling these oppressions and marginalization, if nothing else, looking at things from the humanitarian perspective and understanding that we have a role and responsibility to vote people in who are going to do what's best for us here. We have a role and responsibility when we decide to be educators to expose our students and our children to the truth. We have a role of responsibility to learn the truth first and then to do right by what we learn and what we know.

Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins:

We have some folks that want to reach out to you. What's the best way to connect with you online?

Dr. Sawsan Jaber:

@SJEducate on Twitter, I think is the best way. That's where I feel like I'm most active. That's where I'm posting the most and that's where I'm responding quickest.

Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins:

Okay. Sawsan, it's always a pleasure. Thank you so much for your time.

Dr. Sawsan Jaber:

Thank you, Sheldon, for always using your platform to do what's best for kids. I appreciate it.

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