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Unspoken Truths: Being Black in Education

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

I was invited by Chantée L. Christian , the CEO & Founder of Perspectro, LLC, to participate on a panel about what is like to be African American and work in education amid two pandemics--COVID-19 and institutional racism. She moderated a conversation with the panel that included: Dr. Gerald L. R. Weatherspoon, Chair, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at George Mason University; JD Johnson, Director, Teacher Leadership Development at Teach For America; and Douglass McCuiston, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Indian Creek School.

We covered questions ranging from:

  • How are educators positioned to provide a safe and affirming online learning experience for minority students, including members of the LGBTQ community?

  • How have you navigated your own biases and prejudgments?

  • What advancement in social justice for Black people would you like to see our country and in the education system in the next 1-3 years?

    • What action do you believe is needed to achieve success?

My contribution to the discussion focused mostly on the personal. What was it like to grow up black and queer in the Deep South in the 1980s and how did that shape the goals I set for myself? What is it like now for black and queer students? Why is it important to me that my students now receive mentoring comparable to what I had and also develop skin thicker than I had?

Chantée L. Christian , the CEO & Founder of Perspectro, LLC, brought together a group of people who were equally passionate about creating more space for change in our respective fields through teaching and mentoring. I am deeply grateful for the invite and look forward to the opportunity to work with this phenomenal team in the near future.

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