Preparing Students for “The Real World”

“It’s impossible to know everything. Students need to develop tougher skin. They need to know that the real world isn’t going to cater to their need for “safe spaces.” We need to prepare them for the real world.” Working in higher ed, I often hear statements like these from people who are passively or actively engaged in denying their own complicity; whose need to feel good and self-assured about themselves outweighs the reality that they need to change. I have seen how this mindset can be used to minimize the reality of the impact of microaggressions and other acts of…

Ending Violence Through Radical Love: Notes from the 2017 A Call To Men Conference

I had an opportunity to attend the national A CALL TO MEN Conference in Minnesota this year. These are just a few notes I managed to jot down from the morning keynote talk by Dr. Beth Ritchie Director, Institute of Research on Race & Public Policy, University of Illinois – Chicago Intersectionality has to be the framework we’re using when addressing violence. We need an antiracist, queer positive, class informed community involved vision of what ending gender violence looks like. Shift the discussion about oppression and masculinity in a fuller way. We have to think beyond what we usually talk about….

The Climate

The Climate Although they tell me different, I can see it and feel it. I am telling you… it’s raining over here. I was told “Get Dressed for the party. You’ll have a good time”. There’s no party in here. Someone told me a lie. They’re still lying to others, not telling the truth. I can see it and feel it. In my life lies the proof. Although they tell me different, I can see it and feel it. I am telling you… it’s raining over here. “We’re post-rain now. There’s no reason to hide.  There’s no reason to cry. (out) All is…

Fires of A Different Kind

Earlier today a Dean asked me to share something I appreciate about the work that I do in social justice education. After taking a moment to consider it, I came to a conclusion that; as challenging as it is, one of the things I appreciate the most about my work as a social justice educator is the struggle. I’ve written before about how if I wasn’t using education as a vehicle for liberation, I would probably be a paramedic, or firefighter. Both of those are helping professions, but with social justice education I’ve found that I’m able to fight fires…

On Black Folks and Bringing Our Whole Selves to Work

“Before I leave the house in the morning, I let the dog out, empty the trash, and then neatly fold the other 60 percent of myself into a drawer. Sometimes I pack a to-go bag, and bring it for drinks with a friend after work. But in the office? Nah.   People love being culturally aware until it costs something. What a privilege to ignore someone’s reality and feel justified in it. Most days, it’s a constant battle….   At what level can I remain consistently woke, but also open doors where I am? That’s just on Mondays. My whole self is…