The Gene: Social Policy Implications?

I just finished reading Mukherjee’s The Gene, a fascinating (if long) book on the history of humans understanding their own instruction manual. The sixth section of the book, entitled “Post-Genome” looks at where the field is now (or at least was when the book was written in 2015) and where genetics might be headed. He discusses the…

Article: Boston. Racism. Image. Reality

[The Globe’s Spotlight series won the Pulitzer in the past for a reason. They’re back in action with a series of articles about race in Boston. Questions like where is the black middle class, does Boston deserve its reputation as a racist, segregated city, and hat can be done about it, are tackled over the course of…

Essay B/‘The Way to Survive It Was to Make A’s’

[The “experiment” in “curing” white students of bigotry and “gifting” black children an education did not end in the late ’60s when this story takes place. Those impulses and similar programs are alive and well at a moment when schools are more segregated than they have been since the moment of desegregation these white families…

Article: What Do We Think White Poverty Looks Like?

[When I first started working with students I served with AmeriCorps which meant that I earned a stipend and was eligible for SNAP (or food stamps). I received $195 per month, much more than this author’s measly $16. Instead of seeing myself as poor, I spent the time on SNAP and receiving the stipend marveling at…

Article: How Scared Should People on the Border Be?

[This personal account is written with such clarity and feeling, such honesty and perspective. It is long but well worth reading in its entirety.] How Scared Should People on the Border Be? By DOMINGO MARTINEZ New York Times March 31, 2017  BROWNSVILLE, TEX. — The news here on the border with Mexico travels fast. Most of…

Radical Rules for the Present

I just finished reading Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals on the bus ride home from work. Though published in 1971 a few passages stood out to me for their relevance today, politically and personally. This seemed longer than my usual book reviews so here it goes. One of his key lessons is that organizers must respect…

A School Is Not an Island

In light of the recent Executive Order on Immigration, we have been trying to decide what to do. How do we respond in general? As teachers in a school full of immigrant children, some of whom are from the countries banned explicitly? As humans? I found this excerpt from The Essential Conversation instructive. It serves as…

Article: White Fragility

[One of the suggested readings from my class White People Challenging Racism was a bit longer and more academic than the other readings, many of which are personal stories. This stood out to me in part for its familiarity — an academic text on race similar to those I read in college. But also because…

Race/Racism Awareness Journey

I’m currently enrolled in White People Challenging Racism: Moving from Talk to Action. As an assignment for the course we were asked to write about our race/racism awareness journey. The facilitators encouraged us to write “a timeline or narrative about how your understanding your own racial identity, of racial inequities and of your white privilege, has changed…

From the mouths of kids…

Nov. 10, 2016 “A good respite from the day after the election was the visit of Alex Myteberi. The six-year-old boy from New York had written a letter to President Obama after seeing a heart-breaking photograph of Syrian refugee Omran Daqneesh sitting silently in an ambulance, covered in blood and dust, after an air strike…

Article: The Spanish Lesson I Never Got at School

[This is what I see in students every day — an erasure of their language, skills, history. As a white woman lauded for being bilingual, I preach the value of bilingualism to students I encounter but I’m one small voice against a tidal wave of policies, tweeted vitriol, and ignorance. Today students wrote notes to…