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Black Oklahoma: Tearing down bridges that white supremacy built

Uncovering history is a form of social justice and studying history allows one to make better decisions for their community, city, state, and the world at large. Having a platform to tell our stories our way is a revolutionary act that creates powerful ripple effects of change. Our hope is that this work will inspire leagues of educators and young people to study, uncover, and tell critical stories of justice that have been lost or neglected. Everyone is a storyteller and everyone has an impactful story to share with the world. In the work of social justice, we each must reinvent ourselves as storytellers who have nothing to lose so we can be effective at pushing change forward.  Continue reading Black Oklahoma: Tearing down bridges that white supremacy built

Land Acknowledgements as Living Things

Land acknowledgements have become features of educational spaces. We’re in contact with them in email signatures, website homepages, at the start of conferences, and more, replicated or repeated seemingly from templates. In the classroom, land acknowledgements are often couched in a conversation with #decolonizing a lesson. But are these statements doing what we want them to do?  Continue reading Land Acknowledgements as Living Things

#2892MilesToGo: Reimagining the Mother Road

Growing up here in the Texas Panhandle and traveling to New Mexico for late-summer visits, Route 66 has been a familiar, kitchy ribbon of two-lane blacktop. So many of my own ideas about “motoring west,” as Bobby Troup wrote in the lyrics to “Get Your Kicks on Route 66,” were formed from pop culture centering the idea of a white, middle-class, daytripper looking for adventure. Later, my own understanding of Route 66 shifted through hearing stories of desperate economic refugees from the Dust Bowl driven away from their farms and down what John Steinbeck named “The Mother Road,” seeking better times in California.  Continue reading #2892MilesToGo: Reimagining the Mother Road

I am a Black man with an Explorer Mindset. But it wasn’t always like that.

When you enter new terrain as a Black person, you take the risk that racism will meet you there. You risk entering spaces and meeting people who believe nature only belongs to them, but it doesn’t. I remind myself that I also belong on the mountain or in the water or in the forest. I too have a right to adventure. As educators, it is so important that we help students push back against feelings that alienate them from spaces—especially public spaces. Educators can be conduits for students to embrace what they may not know about nature. Continue reading I am a Black man with an Explorer Mindset. But it wasn’t always like that.

Exploring as a School Community in the Face of Uncertainty

Louisville is the most diverse city in Kentucky and our public school system is home to 96,000 students. We are the 29th largest school district in the US. Home to 500 students Pre K-5, Hawthorne Elementary is the only full school Spanish immersion program in the Louisville area. Our students share two teachers during a school day, receiving instruction for math and science in Spanish and social studies and ELA in English. Our vision is to develop globally and culturally competent learners each day through our actions, our studies, and our school community. Embracing a school-wide Explorer Mindset in collaboration with National Geographic aligned perfectly with our vision and the path we hope to cultivate going forward. We knew our next step was to roll out the nuts and bolts, supporting educators as they set about the path of embracing the Explorer Mindset that National Geographic teaches. Continue reading Exploring as a School Community in the Face of Uncertainty