Cultural Competence

Time to Take a Look at Your Dress Code – Education Article

Listen to my interview with Coshandra Dillard and Marcus Campbell (transcript): Sponsored by Listenwise and OneNote Class Notebook   A couple months ago, I saw two different news stories that broke my heart. Both were about dreadlocks. The first story was about Andrew Johnson, a high school wrestler in New Jersey who wore his hair in cheekbone-length dreadlocks. Moments before Johnson was about to go to the mat for a match, the referee told him he wouldn’t be allowed to…

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2nd Amendment, Slavery & Creating Critical Readers & Thinkers – Urban Education Mixtape – Education Article

One of the most important jobs that a history teacher has is threefold: learn the truth, know the truth and teach the truth. When teaching children of color, understand that traditionally, the “canon” has withheld the whole truth of American history. Whether Black or White, if you’re a history teacher, it is your obligation to unearth the withheld truths – for students of all backgrounds. Knowledge absent of truth is not power; it is to be inhibited. In light of…

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From Wakanda With Love – Urban Education Mixtape – Education Article

There has been much fanfare surrounding the latest Marvel comic, turned movie Black Panther. Black people across the diaspora are excited about this movie, what it means and what it represents. Black Panther proves that an all-Black cast with a Black director can put together a quality film from head to toe, that can be a major winner at the box office – the movie is staring down $1 billion at the box office worldwide. This movie has something for…

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Teaching Slavery Properly – Urban Education Mixtape – Education Article

American public schools do a poor job teaching the history of American slavery to children. That is probably true of private schools too. I would also say that the majority of history teachers and administrators, the majority of whom are White, lack a comprehensive knowledge of American slavery. They may have read an article here and watch a movie there, but their comprehensive knowledge is limited. If that weren’t true, the case for slave reparations for Black people would be discussed…

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‘Inspiring Children to Walk in Their Own Dreams’ – Education Article

It’s about 4 p.m. in Room 228 at Skyview High School in Billings, Montana, and resource teacher Deb Roesler is explaining her “action plan.” In the coming days, when she returns to her middle school across town, this white, middle-aged, rural Montanan will invite a student who doesn’t look like her to eat lunch together. “I’ve been in the biggest groups all day. I’ve never been in a small group,” she says, referring to the “identity groups” that have formed…

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The African-American Vernacular – Urban Education Mixtape – Education Article

“If we are to believe that majority of writers of Negro dialect and burnt-cork artists, Negro speech is a weird thing, full of ‘ams’ and ‘Ises.’ Fortunately, we don’t have to believe them. We may go directly to the Negro and let him speak for himself.” -Zora Neale Hurston, “Characteristics of Negro Expression” One of the unintended consequences of Brown v. BOE was how the court’s decision was implemented. Namely, Black schools were closed. Some Black administrators became teachers in…

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How To Address Failing Grades – Urban Education Mixtape – Education Article

Are you curious about how to address students who are failing classes? I have a few suggestions. There is a catch: you must (1) have an open mind, (2) err on the side of common sense, and (3) have the capacity for human decency. If you can check all of those boxes, you’re ready. If not, figure out how to check those boxes before reading further… In my district, the administration is running rampant trying to figure out how to…

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Woke School – Urban Education Mixtape – Education Article

To be “woke” means aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice) Everyone wants to be “woke.” This is a trend that is happening amongst educators. Don’t get me wrong… woke principals and teachers is a good thing. However, one could do too much or focus on only doing one thing. Some may be unaware of how to be “woke” in schools. It may feel like that to implement “wokeness” is too…

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Walk On By – Urban Education Mixtape – Education Article

Many of us can recall a time when they walked into unfamiliar territory; whether it was a party, a new school or a new job. One of the first things we do when in that circumstance is scan for the familiar. Maybe there is a familiar conversation that you interject yourself in. Maybe there is a familiar look you share with someone else. Maybe there is another who like you, walked into an unfamiliar space. Finding the familiar when an…

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