Getting that conference paper done. As you can tell, this section clearly deals with the writings of W.E.B. Du Bois. I can honestly say that I have read just about everything written by him and about him.
Getting that conference paper done. As you can tell, this section clearly deals with the writings of W.E.B. Du Bois. I can honestly say that I have read just about everything written by him and about him.
Below is a copy of the conference press release. I am working hard to get this paper as well as another one completed for journal submission.
— FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE —
The Saint James Conference 2013
Friday 14 June through Sunday 16 June
Saint James School, St. James, Maryland
“Revisiting the Problem of the Twentieth Century: Will Evangelical and
Faith-Based Schools Mend the Color Line in the Twenty-First Century?”
Mr. Edward Carson
Instructor, Department of History & Social Science
Houston Christian High School, Texas
“How We Make Christ Present in School Ministry”
The Rev. D. Stuart Dunnan, D.Phil (Oxon)
Rector & Headmaster
Saint James School, Maryland
“Tom Brown’s School Days, Thomas Arnold, and Classical Christian Education Today”
James Freeman, Ph.D
Headmaster, Alpine Classical School
Alpine, West Texas
“Christianity and Honor: A Traditional Concern in 21st-Century Schools”
David Hein, Ph.D, FRHistS
Professor of Religion & Philosophy
Hood College, Maryland
“The Demise of Compulsory Chapel in New England Boarding Schools”
Frederick Jordan, Ph.D
History Department Chair
Woodberry Forest School, Virginia
“Apostles of Education: The Role of the Bishops in Promoting Episcopal Schools, 1783 to 1873”
The Rev. Dr. Charles R. Henery
Formerly Helmuth Professor of Ecclesiastical History and the John Maury Allin Distinguished Professor of Homiletics, Nashotah House Theological Seminary, Wisconsin
Director of Spiritual Life, St.John’s-Northwestern Military Academy
A scholarly response and open Q & A will follow each paper presentation.
The Reverend W. L. “Chip” Prehn, Ph.D (Charlottesville)
Headmaster, Trinity School
Midland, West Texas
Saturday Afternoon Panelists
Father Dunnan, Father Henery, Dr. Freeman, Father F. Washington Jarvis, Dr. Jordan
The Reverend Dr. O. William Daniel, Jr.
Chaplain, Saint James School, Maryland
The Conference will begin with Evensong at 5:30 P.M. on Friday, June 14th.
Lodging and all meals will be provided on the Saint James campus.
The Conference will close on Sunday following Holy Eucharist and Brunch.
Saint James School is situated in the Great Valley of America, sixty-five miles northwest of Washington, D.C. Dulles is the nearest airport. The school is only six miles from the Sharpsburg/Antietam National Battlefield and quite close to the intersection of Interstate Highways 70 and 81. Historic Harper’s Ferry WV is also near.
The Purpose of the Saint James Conference
Founded in A.D. 2012 as part of the celebration of Father Stuart Dunnan’s twentieth anniversary as Headmaster of historic Saint James School, Maryland, the Saint James Conference is a gathering of friends, educators, and scholars from all over North America and abroad. Convening as Christians dedicated at once to the premier education of the whole person and to the historic Faith of the Church, conference participants will engage with scholars, worship and pray together, and enjoy the hospitality of Saint James School in beautiful Western Maryland. The campus is one of the most beautiful in America.
Most independent school educators attend conferences and workshops designed to give them state-of-the-art practical knowledge in one kind or another; for example, of educational psychology, of statistical studies, of educational anthropology, of curriculum development, of educational technology, of brain research, or of the latest tips on pedagogy. The Saint James Conference complements other kinds of professional development by affording educators the opportunity to gain insights and inspiration from the latest scholarship in the humanities, history, literature, classics, theology, philosophy, economics, biblical studies, and other disciplines considered under the aspect of liberal education and the liberal arts. New knowledge and interpretations in these fields can lead directly to conceptual changes in the world, and these conceptual changes do alter how we teach, how we learn, and how we relate to one another in and out of school. Thus it is crucial that we school folk consider these other disciplines in our continuing education.
The inaugural Conference in June 2012 was a most enjoyable fellowship of Christian focus, hearty conversation, solid learning, debate, and worthy inspiration. (The meals were delicious!) Said one Conference participant, “This was truly one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve ever had in terms of professional development. It was not only high-toned and the papers were very stimulating, but the genuine camaraderie we enjoyed in just a few days was very useful to me as an independent school educator. This was a very special gathering.”
The Conference begins with Evensong at 5:30 P.M. on June 14th.
All participants and guests will find lodging and meals at Saint James School
and/or at the nearby Hagerstown Sleep Inn. The Conference is a great bargain!
For cost info, more details, and to register:
Saint James and the Church School Movement
Saint James School (1842) is the oldest Episcopal college preparatory school in the United States built on the unique and eminently successful “Church school” model established by William Augustus Muhlenberg (1796-1877) and his immediate protégés, John Barrett Kerfoot (1816-1883), Henry Augustus Coit (1830-1895), and J. Lloyd Breck (1818-1876). The movement began in 1828 on Long Island. The disciples founded Saint James, St. Paul’s in New Hampshire (1856), and the Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Minnesota (1858). Faculty from Saint James School founded not only St. Paul’s, Concord, but Saint Mark’s, Southborough MA (1865), Racine College in Wisconsin (1852), and other schools. The founders of Groton School in Massachusetts (1884), TMI-Episcopal in Texas (1893), the Pomfret School in Connecticut (1894), St. George’s School in Rhode Island (1896), St. Andrew’s School in Sewanee TN (1904), and the Kent School in Connecticut (1906) named Muhlenberg and his disciples the pioneers of their own philosophy and practice.
I am sharing a two-part piece from a paper I wrote entitled Getting Real About Whiteness in Independent Schools. I broke away from script just a bit in the reading of this primarily due to length. The goal of course is to show a historical relationship dating back to the 1960s about why many African-American teachers are pronounced liberal in their construct. In this segment, I start in a more philosophical fashion denoting a mere semblance of black identity. In the second segment, I will delve into the more recent elements of the shaping of the black faculty member.
Working Conference Paper: Revisiting the Problem of the Twentieth Century: Will Evangelical and Faith-Based Schools Mend the Color Line in the Twenty-First Century?
In my recent paper, I get to discuss the black and white point of view about segregation.
From the point of view of blacks and their white allies, desegregation needed to happen since segregation not only violated the 14th amend of the Constitution, but separate and equal were deemed wholly unconstitutional in 1954. Hence, as noted by Thomas Jones of the U.S Bureau of Education, “Inadequacy and poverty are the outstanding characteristics of every type and grade of education for Negroes.” So, the state perpetuated the notion of cyclical poverty and inferiority among blacks. Jim Crow marked decades of institutional problems. However, anti-desegregation whites believed that the matter of education was not addressed in the Constitution. Actors such as members of the Dixiecrat Party viewed it as a 10th amend matter. Democrats and many Republicans held true to this too. Thus according to segregationist, the construct of states’ rights should manifest the will of the majority. I guess the point to ponder is to what extent were whites pro-segregation.
Segregationist whites viewed the race issue as a violation of state sovereignty and a Constitutional matter. I am still unclear about why.
As noted on an earlier post entitled The CV, I am pretty good when it comes to maintaining my CV (curriculum vitae), and not because I am searching for a job. I learned years ago to maintain one for the following reasons:
1. In a graduate school seminar course on professional activities, it was pointed out that if you are greatly involved on campus and in the professional community of attending conferences, presenting at them, or working with colleagues on a project, you will forget what you have done. Thus, I made an effort to note as much as possible. And not so much for my employer, but for my own records.
2. I have been fortunate enough to serve on various committees and projects in which I have been asked to send my CV. I simply point them to my webpage. Some may see this as a sign of boasting; however, I see it as being excited about what I do and what I will do. Teaching is who I am and what I am about. I cannot imagine doing anything else. For every conference I attend or every committee I serve on, I gain something that will only enhance who I am and what I know. I have never submitted a paper or a proposal for a paper without it being accompanied by my CV. With that stated, I have seen “call for papers” in which the conference placed page limits.
I like this page here on constructing the CV. I used to think that documents of this type should not exceed 2 pages. But that is simply not the case. I have omitted somethings over the years. I do not think I am one who should have a 25 page CV as noted by the author of the hyper-linked page.
The National Association of Independent Schools 25th annual People of Color Conference is coming up in December. Last year I delivered a session that addressed a major topic of a paper drafted. I wanted to further the conversation more, thus I submitted an abstract from a second piece discussing the historical and anthropological perspectives on race and independent schools. It was accepted a few months ago. Here is an edited version of my abstract regarding the session:
Title: Getting Real About Whiteness in Independent Schools
Abstract: The notion of whiteness, in which one believes the world is color blind, teaches us that race does not matter. However, blackness cries out that race does exist; it does matter, but is often silenced by the pressures of our environment. Both of these concepts tend to be the underlying assumptions that are pervasive in predominately white independent schools. This session will delve into the various change agents that predominately white independent schools must embrace in order to cultivate a true appreciation of multiculturalism. Research for this session was drawn from historical literature that analyzes trends in race, culture, and society… as well as from anthropological arguments.
Just finished a great institute at the University of Arkansas Little Rock. The folks who attended were great! It was a busier week than I had anticipated, thus I found that I did not have as much time to do a number of other things. Funny, but I also thought I would have time to finish a paper I am drafting for a future conference; I did not even open the file.
I will be spending the next two weeks doing some research and writing for other projects I am involved in. Furthermore, it is my hope that I can put pen to paper in a way that will allow me to develop a greater synthesis on what I am doing. I love having time throughout the day to focus. That is what makes my summers so nice. I will leave for Fort Worth on June 8th. I am leading an AP European History Institute. Here is what we will be doing for the week:
Carson’s AP European History Summer Institute will focus on three elements. The first is a break down of the course and an evaluation of the historical literature used to shape its content. A great deal of literature used by members of the Test Development Committee will be presented in order to draw greater insight into both the skills and historical content required for student success. Secondly, participants will be asked to engage in activates that address students’ skill deficit. Here the focus shifts to document analysis, inferences, making historical generalizations, and drawing conclusions. Lastly, there will be a conversation focused around the most recent research in European historiography. Periodization schema as well as conflicts of interpretation will be addressed. In the end, teachers will be rewarded with a wealth of resources and knowledge regarding the Modern European History course.
Today starts day 3 of the history institute I am leading at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. It has been a good week thus far. I have managed to get in a number of AM and PM runs, too. I must admit that I really miss this great city; it offers a lot of the things I most enjoy about it.
Jaime Rollans and Lori Delk with me at the history faculty consultants dinner here in Little Rock. Years ago while still at CAC, I considered leaving to join them at Mills University Studies. Our thinking then was that we would form the “academic dream team” of a history department. What great colleagues, mentors, and friends.
I am getting caught up on a number of things today. I had hoped to finish a paper to submit to a journal today, but it does not look like I will meet the deadline. In truth, I learned about its submission and deadline way too late. And because I am really excited about this, I elected not to rush it. There are other journals out there that I am convinced will welcome my paper on race, religion, and popular culture.
I finally got my race report posted at Getting Faster. It has taken me a bit of time but it is finally up. I have not had a great deal of breathing room of late. The J – O – B has kept me mucho busy. And, my training runs as well as my coaching has consumed me of late
Above: 3M Half-Marathon
I am also preparing for my first meeting at the Kinkaid School. I was asked to join the National Association of Independent Schools 2012 People of Color Conference committee. We are responsible for organizing this major venue that will take place here in Houston. I am pretty pumped about this. Being a part of such a big time conference is really exciting.
And then there are other things that I am working on getting done today. Cleaning and organizing the study. The yard has been ignored. I am sure there are other things that I am not noting now.
Here at Houston Christian, once faculty members have been on campus for a number of years, they can participate in a faculty enrichment program that permits travel and research during the summer; I am really looking forward to this. I am contemplating an opportunity to travel to Germany this summer or to visit the archives of some of the most elite private schools in the nation. Both will make for a great research and writing project. My application is due by January 6th. Here are the two proposals I am looking at drafting.
One of the disconcerting facts about being a teacher of color in an independent school is this: We are treated as replaceable parts. Of course, as noted in a conversation at a recent conference, this is pretty much true for all people. I have seen colleagues in other schools who have taken similar roles and responsibilities as I, and have watched them grow frustrated at the lack of change within their schools and the uncompromising nature that shapes their institution. And, when these faculty members of color move on, the school seems to always get someone new, fresh out of graduate school, who does not know the history of the school’s relationship with faculty autonomy, diversity, and empowerment. New teachers and faculty of color, with their fresh energy and idealism, often go through the same cycles of delusion and roadblocks. Part of the problem is that independent schools tend to believe in the “silver bullet theory.” Faculty and administrators in schools claim they had done this or done that to fully meet the needs of a faculty member, but in the end, it is what they want and not what is in the best interest of the faculty. It is important to ask the right question during the process of seeking out a school; interview them as much as they are interviewing you. As a person of color, it is key that I find a place that is best for me as a new and/or experienced teacher. I will say that I do feel as though I have the full support of my colleagues and the administration here on my campus. But, as I have learned over the years, with little faculty empowerment via a faculty senate, teachers have very little true campus power. It is best to be a team player.
I think there are three important questions to ask:
1. Does the school have a faculty committee that governs the life and concerns of the faculty? If so, is it legitimate or a creation to appease the faculty?
2. What is the average tenure of the faculty? If there is a great deal of turnover, this might signal discontent or concerns within the faculty.
3. What are the teaching expectations for newly hired teachers? The heavier the load, the more difficult life will be. Plus, what are the expectations surrounding extracurricular events?
2011 People of Color Conference
|December 1 – December 3, 2011
Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA2011 People of Color Conference
PoCC 2011 We the People: Painting Our New Mural of Community
Student Diversity Leadership Conference
I managed to get my application and brief abstract submitted to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) for their annual People of Color Conference; I have so much data and have put so much work into this project. It was “very” difficult describing my work in just 1,000 characters — which was the max permitted on the application. The conference will be held in Philadelphia from December 1 – 3. I should hear if my abstract is accepted come late July. I am very excited about this project and am hopeful to share my work with others who too share my interest.
My Title: A Vanishing Identity: Exploring How Independent Schools Promote Cultural Change
This is a piece that I have posted previously; it is one of my favorite posts. Below is a great article from Runner’s World running blog. I love what Mark had to say about setting goals and staying focus; I think this post applies not only to running, but to life; I am always thinking about my academic goals and ask: Have I done all that I really want to do? Clearly for me the answer is no. I was telling a friend the other day that I have this huge hole in me that I cannot fill; if I am not busy thinking about my classes and what I hope to discuss, then I am thinking about what I would like to write about for a conference. Of course, it always relates to something I hope to inculcate into my classes. Thinking, reading, and writing are essential to the craft of teaching. As I have stated before, I do not prepare “lesson plans” as I get ready for each class meeting. What I do is read.
Thus, this hole in me is pretty deep. At times, not even my passion for teaching can fill it. Teaching can be lonely. Many of us seek additional things to drive our teaching. I once told my headmaster that if I did not stay busy and active doing much academic stuff, I would burnout. This is the opposite for many. I need to stay busy with multiple tasks. I am not saying that I am a multi-tasker. I am not even close. But I do have a desire to be a constant student. This, I believe, will help me grow as an academic and a teacher. This approach has driven my running this past year as I seek to be a sub-elite runner. Now that I am getting solid coaching advice, and have increased my weekly miles to 100, I feel prime to make a breakthrough. I think about my goals and how I hope to achieve them. Below, Mark Remy presents the lessons we all can learn from Wile E Coyote.
Here is Mark’s Post:
That said: This picture, a screen grab from a DVD by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane — available for purchase now! — is really pretty funny. (Credit where it’s due: I stumbled across this pic on a blog called Popped Culture.)
It’s more than just funny, though. It’s also pretty apt, from a running point of view. Why? Because the message, while humorous, is dead-on accurate:
Chasing a goal is great… assuming you have another one on deck.
It’s certainly true of racing, I think. Especially for marathoning. You invest so much time and energy, overcome so many obstacles and endure so much pain, for so long, all while chasing this
Roadrunnergoal. You’re practically obsessed.
Finally, one day, you “catch” your prey. You run the race.
Ideally, you’ll have another goal, whether it’s a different race or training for a PR or, heck, even a home improvement project. As long as it’s something you can focus on, somewhere to channel your energy.
Otherwise, you just might wind up like our friend Wile E. Coyote here: depressed, aimless, out of shape, slumped in a chair staring at your trophy.
And not even Acme Rocket-Powered Roller Skates can pull you out of a slump like that.
There was an interesting conversation on Houston’s Sports Talk 790 yesterday. The host discussed problems facing the NFL’s professional team, the Indianapolis Colts; if you do not follow pro football or pro football talk, here is the basic break down. The Colts have been one of the most dominant teams over the past ten years. Furthermore, one consistent reason for said success is that of its star quarterback, Peyton Manning. Though Manning has been brilliant throughout his pro career, he has struggled some of late; in his defense, Manning has been operating with a patchwork of players around him due to injuries. I say all of this to draw my thoughts back on what the sports talk host alluded to. When a team promotes from within, often there is a vacuum in which the new leader is unable to fill. For the Colts, they promoted Jim Caldwell, a coach I think much of and one I greatly respect; however, he has had it easy until now. He inherited a team from Tony Dungy; a team with many of the same parts in place. The problem is too much continuity. He has faced a wall this season and has not found a way to deal with its challenge. Caldwell is a religious man, one who speaks softly and carries himself in the same light as that of his predecessor.
However, the challenge Caldwell faces with the Colts this season is a reason why top-tier institutions avoid inbreeding. In academic circles, the notion of academic inbreeding has a negative connotation. It promotes a sense of safety and an element of conservatism. It follows the law in that what is best is what is known. Any thought of deviating from conservative decisions is irresponsible. But, conservative thinking in hiring also promotes cultural and intellectual stagnation. Thus, many top-tier institutions believe that it is best to hire from outside rather than promote from within. Often times, promoting from within stifles growth and curiosity; it does not allow a leader to truly be a leader; he/she tends to fall back on the same patterns that already exists. My current school has started its search for a new academic leader. We are in the process of conducting a national search via a search firm, which is the responsible thing to do. This, in my opinion, is how top-tier schools function.
As for Harding University, it is no longer a secret that its current president will be stepping down very soon; I would like to encourage its board to break away from its third tier mentality in promoting from within. Please do not hire a current faculty member. I am sure there are a number of great candidates, but will they offer the type of political and intellectual diversity lacking at Harding?
With the break underway, I am working to get caught up on mucho readings and a few other academically related projects. Thus, I hit the study very early to edit an essay I drafted. Janette got to stay home which allowed us to do some shopping and take care of a few things before heading to Montgomery, Alabama. With that said, I took great joy very early this AM with this cool thought:
I get to write papers and engage in great academically related discussions with people from across the country regarding the topics I teach, while teaching students the content in the various papers I write; it is nice drawing a relationship between scholarship and teaching.
It seems that I have developed a reputation not only on my campus, but throughout the academic community for being highly astute and interested in topics related to race, gender, class, religion, and ideology. I am not sure why folks think I am interested in this topic. Do you have any idea? I omitted the sender and the name of the university that is looking to publish this piece; however, if you stick around this blog, I am sure I will post a link to where you can read it.
I’m looking for an author for our academic newsletter on any combination of race, class, gender, and faith in the areas of your interest. We’d need a short bio and two photographs to accompany the article.
I am spending this entire week here at the University of Texas at Tyler; I have enjoyed this particular group and have found the interest, motivation, and curiosity of the teachers attending my week-long history institute to be awesome. This is not always the case…but I will reserve this conversation for another post. After my Monday session in which we spent time addressing historical point of view, I focused on recovering from a 16 mile run done at a 7 minute and 30 second per mile pace on Sunday by enjoying a Cuban cigar; it was given to me by one of my star students; I still have two left in my cigar box, thanks to that other smart blond student and her family.
But many educators who see the value in social networking face significant obstacles to incorporating it into their school days.
Both Twitter and Facebook are blocked by many school computer networks. Even Sheninger, who has had great success with his school’s official Facebook page, says the site still isn’t accessible from inside the school’s walls.
“One thing I ran into a lot in the U.S. was filtering or blocking,” says Terrell. To use some social-neworking sites or tools, “I had to get the technology director and let him know specifically what I was using it for, and it was a long process getting sites unblocked.”
I arrived at CSU yesterday in order to participate in daily European history readings and seminars; it should be a great venue. We spent much of today discussing the writings of Freud and Darwin’s impact on religion, morality, and behavior in 19th and 20th century European society. Tonight many of us will take a tour and sample various types of beers at the New Belgium home brewery, home to the Fat Tire; I have yet to decide if I will go or not, due to a scheduled tempo training run. I did this tour three years ago and it was awesome. I am not a Fat Tire beer man, but watching the process of beer making while getting a great history lesson on it is cool. Oh, and free tastings are part of the lesson, too.
I was scheduled to do a long run upon my arrival to Fort Collins. Thus, once I landed and felt the warm but far better than Houston temperatures, I took off on a 15 mile run at 5000 ft; I decided to take the hilly route and paid for it during those last 4 miles. However, in the end, I thought it best that I do what I cannot do at home — run hills. The temps have been so bad this summer in Houston, I have gotten used to training in two pair of shoes; I brought both pair to Fort Collins and have practiced airing them out after each run. I sweat a great deal.
I have spoken to Max Hunter a number of times; we both have much in common when it comes to street life and academic work. I first met Max through a mutual friend and colleague when he was at Harvard. Max addresses a number issues regarding the importance of having diversity in schools, especially people of color being active leaders, teachers, community activist, and scholars. He most offers what I believe all teachers, but in particular, those of color should emulate… being an academic. I know all about the rough streets Max talks about; I am looking forward to making out his way and working with him soon. His interview below:
When Max Hunter received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington, The Seattle Times dubbed him the “most unlikely” grad in the class of 2002. That assessment was based on the winding journey Hunter took from the projects of San Diego to the classrooms of Seattle: one that included stints as a preppy hustler, a cocaine dealer, a drug addict, and a student in Japan. The transformation, however, was hardly simple or sudden; instead, it reflected for Hunter the complexity of the experience of many urban African-Americans. Pursuing a career in academia—first at Harvard and now as a UW Ph.D. student and teaching fellow at Seattle Pacific University—Hunter has, of late, begun sharing his story. He recently gave a talk in the Veterans of Intercommunal Violence series at UW’s Clowes Center for the Study of Conflict and Dialogue, and is working on a pair of books.
Do you want people to use your story as a source of inspiration?
I’m more interested in challenging people to fulfill their potential; to get past their failures and accomplish something in life. I would like to inspire others to recover “linked fate,” the idea that African-Americans see their personal fate as linked to the fate of the community. I’d also like to restore the prominence of literacy in the black experience. According to Toni Morrison, no other group of slaves has written as much as black slaves in North America. Literacy has been critical to black liberation and human formation.
What kind of feedback have you received since your talk at the Clowes Center?
I have received a flood of requests for dinner and lunch meetings, as well as invitations to talk or work with youth. One of my colleagues told me that as she was riding the bus on the way home, she heard some kids retelling my story to each other.
Has sharing your story made you more likely to step out of the classroom and into the community?
Having African-American professors visit my schools or local community centers meant a lot to me when I was a youth. It helped me to imagine that people who looked and thought like me could find a space on campus to live, work and thrive.
I still get out to the community; however, my studies suffer for it. In my thinking, the entire city is the community. So, I will spend time with [local community organizer] Wyking Garrett and his youth; I might go to lunch or coffee with [Seattle City Council members] Tim Burgess or Sally Bagshaw; I might join fathers facing challenges at Marvin Charles’ nonprofit [Divine Alternatives for Dads Services]; I could share my story in a religious setting or at Franklin High School; or I might spend time at the Seattle Art Museum trying to support Sandra Jackson-Dumont’s work in the community.
What misconception about ‘the gangster’ would you most like to correct?
I’m interested in deconstructing the idea that kids who get involved in gangs or crimes are irrational or bestial. Many move on to do great things; in fact, the guy who first brought me into “the game” is now a scientist at a major American research institute.
I want to destroy binary thinking that allows us to abdicate our social responsibility to help youth who have made poor choices. I also would like us to think about how we determine whether someone deserves help based on their chronological age. Finally, I think that it’s important to recognize that violence begets violence. On a daily basis, the media exposes youth to conflict as a tool for domination in our nation’s domestic and foreign policy. Many kids also face violence in their communities on a daily basis. These realities shape both their worldview and their actions.
What are your plans after finishing the doctoral program?
I’d like to continue to teach and work in the community. I hope to do a master’s degree in bioethics at the UW medical school. My dream, however, is to begin a publishing company as a pedagogical tool for cultivating literacy and identities of competence. I want to recruit future authors from marginalized sectors of society and use reading, writing and theory to help both youth and adults to develop an understanding of their own stories and develop a critical consciousness about their own lives and society.
How would you describe your teaching style? Is it more important for you to impart certain information or to imbue students with a certain approach to learning?
I like to think that I’m improvisational and relational. My teaching is student-centered because I want my students to develop leadership skills and take learning into their own hands. Subject matter is important, but I’m most interested in habits of mind, as well as my students developing reflexivity and identities of competence. I think Paulo Freire’s book Pedagogy of the Oppressed captures some of my underlying assumptions as to what a teacher’s role is all about. I tend to see myself as a student among students, a partner with them in the world. But I like to have fun at the same time.
Please share a bit about the books you are working on.
One of my books is autobiographical. The other will focus on literacy in the African-American experience. I hope to demonstrate the enduring importance of reading and writing in the African-American experience for developing a sense of self, a critical consciousness and a counter-public sphere. Moreover, I want to make a link between black narratives from diverse regions and periods in history.