In a pandemic, don’t fail our students

This piece was also published in a slightly different form in the Oak Park newspaper Wednesday Journal.  None of us need reminding that we have been experiencing -- and are still experiencing -- the worst pandemic in over 100 years. We are dealing with circumstances in our work, school, and personal lives that we never…

On the occasion of my 75th birthday

6 May 2051 Dear _______, It is hard to believe how quickly the years have passed. I am 75 years old, and I hope I have a few years left: your grandfather and great-grandfather both made it past ninety. But I have to admit to myself that I am moving into the final act of…

The work of antiracism is the work of relationship.

Recently, news outlets have been covering two letters decrying antiracism work at two elite, private schools in New York City. In the first letter, Andrew Gutman, a white businessman, describes pulling his daughter out of Brearley School, citing the school’s “obsession with race”, and sending his letter to hundreds of families whose children are enrolled…

Choosing abolition

This was also published in the Oak Park newspaper Wednesday Journal. This week, Derek Chauvin was found guilty for the murder of George Floyd. As many have argued, this is not justice, just a small measure of accountability. True justice means changing the system so that these murders stop happening. So that people like George…

On repeat

Another week, another person of color gunned down in this country. Asian spa workers. A young Black man. A Mexican boy. All living in different communities, all killed in different circumstances, united in their violent deaths at the hands of those who disregard their right to live. The same horror song, stuck on repeat since…

Striving toward antiracism

I am hard work. I am learning and quietly leading. I am striking out on my own and starting anew. I am family connections, bonding through food and drink and laughter.  I am silence. I am sucking it up and denying. I am complicity, I am rugged individualism. I am believing I can do it…

Vaccinated

Inside my body, I now have molecules that will teach my immune system to recognize the COVID-19 virus. As I sit here waiting in the pharmacy, my body is gaining the knowledge of how to dismantle the threat that has held us hostage for the past year. And my ability to access the vaccine that…

(Un)Certainty

One year ago, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. One year ago, if we were privileged enough our jobs had us start working remotely. One year ago, school districts closed down in-person schooling. One year ago, we had no idea what was coming. One year ago, we could not anticipate what would change…

Staying on track with detracking

This piece was also published in the Oak Park newspaper Wednesday Journal.  When you were 13 years old, did you know what career you wanted to have? Could you predict all of your adult interests and passions? Did you know how your current life would look? Most 13-year-olds do not have this knowledge because our…