Presidential Elections Don’t Erase The Work

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This text first appeared in the EduColor Newsletter. To subscribe, click here.

Because this is the last newsletter of the year, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention all the hard work and dedication that people within the movement put in this year. It’s a personal privilege to witness so many of our members pushing a new framework in the hopes of organizing for agency. Our Twitter chats trended monthly. Our December 1st edition on the election went to #7 in the world. Our newsletter almost doubled in audience. Our principles have been shared across the country and internationally with other folks doing this work. We’re branching our into unions, school districts, media, and other established organizations. Our members have met with the Secretary of Education John King and other policymakers to help forge a path forward on issues of equity, social justice, and policy. We’ve pushed colleges of education to have critical dialogue, and prompted ed-tech leaders to be more inclusive and responsive to their members.

A presidential election does not erase this work.

With the angst that this election cycle created, and the ensuing rifts, we must also recognize that this America has never been truly hospitable to its people of color. Nowhere is that more evident than in our schools. The Southern Law Poverty Center has reported over 1000 bias-related incidents since November 9th, 2016. On one level, that signals how President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign has forged a path for overt white supremacy as a mainstream movement.

But to the victims of these hate-related instances and those who can relate, our institutions solidify and perpetuate this wave of hate. This is not new.

We must remain vigilant in our inclusion, love, and empathy in our schools. We must develop critical thinkers and doers in our most marginalized spaces. We just disavow policies that literally create a school-to-prison pipeline when we know who will be disproportionally criminalized under said policies. We must do this with and for white students as well as students of color across lines of gender, ability, and sexual orientation. We must develop curricula and pedagogy that doesn’t seek to just change the faces of the sailors and captains, but also the direction of the boat.

Yes, we’re all on this together.

Let’s get activated. Have a happy and restful holiday if you’re celebrating this week. If not, I still send well wishes. We’re energizing and organizing for the new year. In perpetuity.

Best,

José Vilson

p.s. – The first four articles below came from the Edutopia / EduColor collaboration from this year. For more, check here.

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