I'm more than disappointed with College Board, but I'm not surprised either.

Hey Advocates,

I'm at the airport, headed home from doing an Equity Audit with the Lansing School District in Illinois. I was honored to work with some dedicated educators seeking the best ways to serve their students and family. 

Let's chat if you need an equity audit for your school/district! I'm also available for instructional coaching, keynotes, training, and online coursesCheck out all of the Leading Equity Center's services.

I'm still wrestling with the murder of Tyree Nichols. Time and time again, we are shown the violence of Black and brown bodies at the hands of police, and it does not get any easier to see. The body cam footage may trigger you and stir up trauma. I cannot say this enough. Please take care of yourselves. Do something that brings you joy. Maybe catch the sunset like Tyre used to take photographs of. 

Last week we talked about how Florida's Governor was against the A.P. African American Studies course. Elijah Edwards, one of the...

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Lacks educational value!? Are you freaking kidding me!

Hey Advocates,

This week has been struck with much tragedy, especially in the Asian community surrounding Lunar New Year in California; I hope you are still finding ways to find hope and light as we process the violence. Take care of yourselves. 

This week my newsfeed was bombarded with Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis' policy decisions to remove conversations about race and gender from Floridian schools. This is not the first of DeSantis' ways of limiting race discussion. As Abené Clayton, a columnist from The Guardian, reports in "Ron DeSantis bans African American studies class from Florida high schools." Previously last April, "he signed the Stop Woke Act, which severely limits 'race-based' discussions at schools." He argues that "the [Advanced Placement African American Studies] course violates state law and 'lacks educational value." Lacks educational value!? Are you freaking kidding me!

The AP course was announced last summer by the College Board as...

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It's about time

Hey Advocates,

It's been a busy week. A special shoutout goes to EnCorps STEM Teachers Program, Ames School District, and North Beach Elementary School. Looking for a keynote, webinar, or training? Let's chat.

I was perusing the news like I always do and stumbled on this article by Adam Shaw of Fox News, "California bill would allow Mexican students near border to pay in-state community college tuition."

The legislation proposed by David Alvarez, San Diego Assemblymember, "would allow low-income students who live within 45 miles of the state's border with Mexico to be exempt from the nonresident tuition fee if they have 'demonstrated a financial need for the exemption.'"

Alvarez points out how living by the border; there is a "need to educate more students to fill the jobs required for growth." In a press release, Alvarez's office stated that to meet the 2030 demands of San Diego's economy, the number of people with post-secondary education needs to double.

Currently,...

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Sneakers are more than just shoes; they are a form of Black cultural expression.

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Practice what you preach

Hey Advocates,

I hope you all had a great ending to 2022 and are looking forward to what the new year has in store for us. Here’s to 2023 bringing us an abundance of blessings and joy! 

With that being said, I don’t know about you. But, I found myself being on social media a lot, distracting myself with TikToks and Instagram, and I couldn’t help but wonder how much my kids and other young teenagers get caught up in social media. 

A recent research article published by the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina(UNC) - Chapel Hill, “Study shows habitual checking of social media may impact young adolescents’ brain development,” shows there are differences in how adolescents’ brains respond to what is happening around them. The study first asked participants (169 middle school students from rural North Carolina) how often they checked Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat and also had participants undergo brain...

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How is arresting a Black student for yelling at their professor acceptable?

Hey Advocates, 

We are getting closer to 2023, and I hope you all take the time to rest and be surrounded by loved ones. Happy Holidays! 

As I look at my calendar for the next couple of months, I look forward to working with schools and organizations in various capacities. I'm also excited about the upcoming events hosted by the Leading Equity Center.


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Last week another disturbing video went viral. The video shows a Black Winston-Salem State student being arrested by university police over an argument with her professor about an assignment. Leila Hamoud, the student, was arrested and charged with disorderly contact. According to this Insider Higher Ed article by Scott Jaschik, “Arrest of Student in Class Roils Winston-Salem State,” professor Cynthia Villagomez gave Hamoud a choice. “Either apologize to her or leave the classroom. Hamoud said she refused and was soon arrested.” 

Jaschik also...

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I'm mad y'all. I watched this video one time and can't watch it again.

Hey Advocates, 

This week the world was impacted by the sudden passing of Stephen "tWitch" Boss. As we remember his legacy through the laughter and joy he brought us with his charm and dance moves on "So You Think You Can Dance" and "The Ellen Show," please ensure you check in with yourselves. His death reminds us that we never know what folks are battling with and what help they may need. We cannot continue to pour into our communities and loved ones without also pouring into ourselves. If you are looking for resources in the US, here are some mental health resources from Mental Health First Aid.

Now let's get into this week's topic.

A TikTok of Muslim students interrupted during their prayer by their teacher in Florida has gone viral. I hadn't even had a chance to see the video before my text messages and Instagram DMs were full of friends circulating this People article, "Florida Teacher Fired for Allegedly Disrupting Muslim Students...

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School Principal's thoughts on culture wars

Hey Advocates, 

I was excited to learn that Brittney Griner arrived back in the US a few hours ago. Brittney is a WNBA star who was held for months in Russian prisons on drug charges. 

I worked with EnCorps STEM Teachers Program and Worchester Public Schools this week. I'd love to work with you and your organization. Book a FREE 30-minute consultation with me, and let's chat! You can find all of the Leading Equity Center's services here.

Let's get to this week's topic.

A teacher from my kid's school sent me this NPR Education article, "School principals say culture wars made last year' rough as hell" by Corey Turner. Over this past summer, researchers from the Institute for Democracy, Education and Access at UCLA and the Civic Engagement Research Group at UC Riverside surveyed almost 700 high school principals about their 2021-2022 academic school year. What came up in the survey will for sure grab your attention. 

"Something needs to change or we...

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In what ways are we prioritizing and elevating students' voices first?

Hey Advocates, 

I hope you all could rest and spend time with loved ones last week. Though we focus on being thankful in November for Thanksgiving, every day is a moment to express gratitude for each other. 

This week, I was honored to speak to the Cal State University - East Bay EduCorps Group. My topic was "How Do I Make STEM..."

I'd love to work with you and your organization. Here's a list of the Leading Equity Center's services.

Last week we spoke about how New York City students viewed school newspapers, whether it was for a career or activism. As Bronx Teacher David Fulco said, "They [students] see a newspaper as an agent of change, even more so than a student council."

This week, I found an interesting Motherboard Tech by Vice article, "It Only Takes One Parent to Get All The Graphic Novels Removed From a School Library," written by Claire Woodcock. The report takes a closer look into the Owasso school district in Oklahoma, where Tim Reiland, a parent,...

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We must listen to our students and support them in advocating for themselves.

 

Hey Advocates,

Let me start by recognizing Native American Heritage Day in the US; here's an article that you may find interesting regarding Thanksgiving.

I'm also sad, and my heart goes out to the families impacted by the senseless shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, CO.

This week, I was in Anaheim, CA, speaking at the NCTE Conference of English Leadership. What a great audience!

You can catch a snippet of my #CEL22 journey on my Instagram.

I'd love to come to your school/organization's next event; let's chat!

What folks are saying about my keynotes


Let's get to today's topic.

As I was reading the news today, I came across this Chalkboard New York Article, “73% of NYC high schools don’t have a newspaper. Efforts are growing to fill in the gaps” by Alex Zimmerman. Zimmerman highlights how school newspapers in NYC are unequally distributed throughout the five boroughs. High schools in boroughs like Queens and Staten...

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