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SUMMER REVOLUTION MIXTAPE TRACK 4: JULIANA URTUBEY 2021 NATIONAL TEACHER OF THE YEAR

What happens the year after a person is named CCSSO National Teacher of the Year? Find out when we catch up with 2021 National Teacher of the Year Juliana Urtubey! In her FIRST interview since her term ended, La Juli talks to us about her year representing America’s teachers, Joy and Justice, even today, and what she has learned about being in community with us. She also shares with us what is next for her (a TooDope Exclusive).

Juliana Urtubey, NBCT is known as “Ms. Earth” for her efforts to beautify schools and unify communities through murals and gardens. As the 2021 National Teacher of the Year, Juliana advocates for a “joyous and just” education for all students, one that is inclusive and celebratory of all students’ identities, families and communities. A bilingual, first-generation immigrant, Juliana has worked throughout her teaching career to serve as a mirror for her school community, helping students to be proud of their identities and families, and to acknowledge their strengths and contributions to the community. Urtubey is the first Latinx National Teacher of the Year since at least 2005 and the third Special Education Teacher to hold this distinction. Juliana has served as a bilingual and special education teacher since 2009 in Arizona and Nevada. 

Juliana is a National Board Certified Teacher (Exceptional Needs, Birth to Age 21) and holds a bachelor’s degree in bilingual elementary education and a master’s degree in special bilingual education from the University of Arizona. She is a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Board of Directors member. 

Juliana (HOO-lee-on-a ER-two-bay) lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She enjoys reading in Spanish and traveling, and has had the opportunity to study and teach in Ecuador, Mexico, Spain and Puerto Rico. She also enjoys tending to her collection of house plants and spending time outdoors, and she aims to visit all the National Parks.

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Habitually Disruptive 19. 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Willie Carver, as Himself

“Oh sure, they’re gonna pick the big gay Appalachian” was Willie Carver’s first thought when he learned he had been nominated as 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. It was a crowning achievement after fifteen years. Guided by the credo “fear has armor, love has none,” Willie supported students, especially LGBTQIA+ students, in being themselves and building a deeper understanding of their identities. Despite being warned by a school leader that being out and advocating for his community “you will be crucified, and no one will protect you, including me,” Willie continued to fight for his students.

The homophobia and hate reached a boiling point, and Willie Carver, the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, resigned his teaching position.

Hear his thoughts here. Support marginalized and minoritized teachers, students, and communities.

Read Willie’s Story Here

Connect with Quetzal Education Consulting!

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SUMMER REVOLUTION MIXTAPE 2022 TRACK 2: THE TEACHERS’ CAUCUS feat. RODNEY & SHAWN!

It was deeply humbling and inspiring to collaborate with 2019 National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson and 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Shawn Sheehan, co-hosts of the Teachers Caucus Podcast, which examines the role of teachers in policy spaces.

For this collaborative episode, we discuss lighter moments in the classroom and touch on multiple other topics and issues. Laughter, insight, and wisdom prevail in this fun conversation. We’re posting a little late, but we hope you enjoy it.

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REVOLUTION SUMMER MIXTAPE 2022 TRACK 1: ELENA AGUILAR

Elena Aguilar has been out here in these education streets a long time, pushing important ideas around social justice, equity, social emotional learning, and teacher wellness. As founder of Bright Morning, Elena remains at the forefront of important conversations with and about educators.

She joins Kevin and Gerardo for a terrific conversation, in which she shares her education journey, the passion that drives her, and a very summer top five!

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Habitually Disruptive 17. Jena Nelson, Teacher of the Year, Candidate for State Superintendent!

Jena Nelson, the 2020-2021 Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year, is a force to be reckoned with, an energetic and authentic educator with a big heart and an even bigger sense of fight for educators and the communities we serve. We connect for this episode to disrupt the idea that a teacher’s place is ONLY in the classroom. She is currently the statewide candidate for Education Superintendent, an elected position, in the state of Oklahoma. Constantly on the campaign trail and connecting with communities and constituents, she takes a moment to talk with me about her work.

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Habitually Disruptive 16. Sports and Resiliency with Laken James

Habitually Disruptive is about those who think differently about how we do things. Those who question the fundamental assumptions we make as we navigate and try to survive the status quo. That’s really it. You can be disruptive really anywhere, because most systems are designed to work exactly as they work, and most systems are maintained by human beings who either sustain or disrupt the status quo.

I met Laken James on Twitter, where all great friendships are born. She had posted an op-ed in which she described the impact of being benched after a loss as a college basketball player. She shared that it was devastating, but formed a foundation for healing and, ultimately success. enjoy this conversation with my favorite professional basketball player!

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Habitually Disruptive 12: Nora Rahimian of #CultureFix

It is a time of transition, from winter to spring, and in education, millions of teachers are considering a change in career path. This episode, though recorded a while back, is timely for anyone who is wondering what freedom looks like professionally.

Nora Rahimian is a creative consultant who helps entrepreneurs achieve success on their terms, without giving up creative control, financial freedom, or personal integrity. She is also the founding director of #CultureFix, a global network of artists, activists, and entrepreneurs who use their platforms for social impact. Her work is based in the belief that our communities have everything they need to succeed, that art & culture can spark the paradigm shifts to make the world a better place, and that the radical change we imagine is both possible and necessary. Nora has spoken at conferences and universities around the world. She has been named one of iStandard’s Women Who Run The Music Industry, is a UN Alliance of Civilizations Fellow, and was recognized as a Trailblazer by VoyageLA. Connect with her online at linktr.ee/norarahimian or on your favorite social media platforms at @NoraRahimian.

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The Exit Interview 03: Crystal Gillis

Kevin and Asia listen to Crystal Gillis’ story. From leaving the classroom to facilitating and developing youth voice and leadership at YAASPA, her story is informative and impactful.

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107. United States Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona: “I Haven’t Changed My Stripes.”

Kevin and Gerardo infiltrate the halls of power in the highest levels of educational government by visiting with the first Latino United States Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona! From his humble beginnings in Puerto Rico to a “class clown” to a twenty-year veteran educator, Dr. Cardona has traveled a long road and, in his words, “my stripes are the same.”

As the Biden Administration rolls out American Rescue legislation, Kev and Gera as him questions about the expenditures, investment, and future of American education in this contentious time. We discuss important issues facing communities of color in education, and share some laughs.

And of course, a top five that will, no doubt, sow the seeds of controversy.

We are profoundly grateful to EduColor and Profe Equis, José Vilson for this amazing opportunity.

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106. 2021 Missouri Teacher of the Year Darrion “DC” Cockrell

This episode is a long time coming!

Darrion “DC” Cockrell, the 2021 Missouri Teacher of the Year, has a powerful, heartbreaking, and inspirational story, and he shares it with us. This is less a teacher’s lounge conversation and more of a “chop it up on the front porch” episode. DC discusses his experience with violence, sports, learning disability, and his journey to the classroom.

The temperature rises with a contentious Top 5, one from which we may never recover.

Theme music composed and performed by Kevin Adams.

Sponsor: quetzalec.com

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Exit Interview S2.01. “I Got Receipts” with Desmond Williams

Scholar, Author, Entrepreneur, and Educator Desmond Williams has been there, done that. A talented and effective classroom teacher, he quickly moved up the ranks to building leadership. But even as a principal, Desmond was not achieving the impact he wanted to. He found himself in frequent conflict with fellow leaders, and gained a sense of clarity.

That sense of clarity has manifested in his DEI firm Nylinka, a book, The Burning House, in which he echoes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s question about racism as a system that perhaps African Americans should try to escape, and frequent speaking engagements and training. Desmond shares his story, questions the notion of Racial Battle Fatigue, and gets out the receipts. Do not miss this one!

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105. Autumn Rivera, 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year and National Teacher of the Year Finalist!

We sit down this cold evening to talk with Autumn Rivera, the Glenwood Springs Middle School science and social studies teacher who begins her term as 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year this month! She makes history as the first Colorado Teacher of the Year to become a National Teacher of the Year Finalist in 28 years, and only the 9th in nearly 60 years. Autumn shares her path as a mixed-heritage educator of color, into middle school teaching, authentic service work for youth, solidarity and advocacy in the union, and of course, an amazing top five. An exciting and energetic interview as we learn from a brilliant scholar-activist.

Music composed and performed by Kevin Adams

sponsors:

https://www.quetzalec.com/

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“It’s Not About Football” Exit Interview Season 2, Episode 1

On December 21, Denverite broke the story that legendary community leader and Montbello/Far Northeast Warriors Coach Tony Lindsay, Sr. would not be invited back to coach football for the newly reunified Montbello High School football program. Despite a winning record that included a recent state championship, building leadership chose not to bring him back.

Coach Lindsay is more than a football coach, and much more than an X’s and O’s guy. He is a mentor, a friend, an elder, and a leader in his community since he began coaching nearly three decades ago. A onetime NFL player who played professionally in Canada, Coach Lindsay’s reputation is sterling in his community.

Asia and Kevin sit with him and hear his story. He shares his emotional journey as he recounts times that he was all some of his players had, and the outcry since the announcement has been deafening. In a time when the Far Northeast community needs every hand on deck to unite the community, this will prove a difficult blow from which to recover.

Listen and remember the value of community-grown leaders.

Read the story:

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Habitually Disruptive Episode 8: Luís Antezana of Juntos 2 College

A long time ago, I got a chance to connect with my friend Luis Antezana, former classroom teacher and founder of Juntos 2 College and DACA recipient. Born in Bolivia, Luis has long wanted to provide undocumented students with the resources for post-secondary life, not limited to college, but also in terms of financial literacy, planning, and entrepreneurship.

For more information visit https://www.juntos2college.com/

To connect with our sponsor, head over to https://www.quetzalec.com/

And to support TooDope Productions, check us out on https://www.patreon.com/toodopeteachers

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102. Come to Community

We’re back this week with some things on our minds. It’s November, but for so many educators, it feels more like February. We are aging and exhausting quickly. In the first segment, we discuss mental health. The struggles, the challenges before us, and what can be done to protect and heal the spirits of teachers, students, and communities. We shout out the professionals doing the important work, but caution that heroism only goes so far. There is a mental health reckoning that we must face.

In the second segment, we discuss another reckoning: the racial one. Using the “two sides of the Holocaust” front of the culture wars, we share ways in which teaching truth and honesty may heal our nation. It is a terrifying time, but we can be a part of this important humanizing work.

This episode is brought to you by our amazing patrons, as well as Quetzal Education Consulting! Check them out at quetzalec.com for a free consultation.

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Habitually Disruptive Episode 6: Humanizing with Luís J. Rodríguez

If you are a Latinx or Chicanx/Xicanx person, you probably remember the very moment you first read Luís J. Rodríguez’s Always Running, La Vida Loca: Gang Days in LA. For me, it was when I had just finished college and happened upon a copy at my school. I had just read Monster: The Autobiography of an LA Gang Member, written by Sanyika Shakur, and I was searching, unwittingly, for a way to humanize and process the environment that was my home for my entire childhood and adolescence. Always Running shook me to the core, and I remember thinking how fortunate I was to have stayed away from “that life” as a youth.

As I have grown as a writer and educator, I’ve learned the power of healing, storytelling, and bearing witness to the consequences of systemic racism and capitalism. Don Luís has long given me the words to explain the pain and sadness I feel to this day when I think of where I grew up.

I messaged him on Instagram, not expecting any kind of response, but there it was. Almost immediately this brilliant and humble veterano of movements and cells agreed to come on the show and gave me more time than I could have ever hoped for. I have reached out to other towering figures in the arts and scholarship, but Luis will stay with me a long time, because he was so ready to speak.

This elder is a gift. Please enjoy this charla.

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Revolution Summer Mixtape Track 2: Kevin, Asia, and the Exit Interview

Just wanna tell you that the mixtape doesn’t have a specific order. Track 2, the one we did SECOND, is very meta and reflective.

In the winter of 2020, Asia approached us with an idea. Having been forced from her teaching position a few years before, Asia was keenly aware of the conditions faced by Black teachers in these schools. This has been the basis of some of her research around Dr. William Smith’s work on Racial Battle Fatigue, and she had decided that these stories MUST be told. Thus was born the wildly successful Exit Interview series.

We wanted to examine ways in which this work has impacted Kevin and Asia. How have these stories impacted them? Do you feel inspired? Upset? Disappointed? All of the above?

As we return to the classroom this fall, we know that there are fewer Black teachers for the reasons outlined in this series. Plus a fire Top Five.

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05. Habitually Disruptive with Math Revolutionary Annie Fetter

When I first learned of the “I notice/I wonder” approach, I was not aware that the concept had really gained traction as a math practice in the work of Annie Fetter. Fetter, who trained to become a teacher but quickly became one of its most humanistic and revolutionary trainer-experts, had revealed that allowing students the space and freedom to simply describe what they see in a math lesson deepened their learning, made the work relevant, and yielded positive results. I always had a feeling about this; traditionally I used “notice and wonder” in my history classes, but far from the 10-15 minutes it was supposed to take while I took attendance, handed out graded work, and provided materials for the “real” lesson, 45 minutes would go by until I finally ended the discussion to get to the “real work.”

When Kevin and I interviewed LaChanda Garrison for the Too Dope Teachers and a Mic podcast, she shared Annie’s name to illustrate a humanizing and culturally responsive method for teaching math. I went to YouTube immediately and found a treasure trove of presentations, workshops, and articles. “What do you notice/what do you wonder” was the praxis I always wanted and never knew it.

A couple of Twitter and Zoom conversations later, here we are. Annie, brilliant, unique and determined, joins me for a conversation that will disrupt all your long-held assumptions about math instruction and schooling more generally. Do not miss this one!

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Habitually Disruptive Episode 4: 2021 Michigan Teacher of the Year Owen Bondono

Owen is a quintessential disruptor. Owen is punk rock. Owen radiates love and revolution, which is why he is the Michigan Teacher of the Year for 2021. If you haven’t had the please of hearing his ideas, learning about his message and platform, you are truly missing out. He is funny, brilliant, and ready to burn some things down for justice.

Since recording this episode, we did indeed attend Space Camp, and it was a blast and we did disrupt some stuff!

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Revolution Summer Mixtape Track 4: Angela Watson of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek

We are beyond blessed and fortunate to bring you our much-anticipated interview with the venerable and brilliant Angela Watson, who has been working to abolish the notion of the teacher as martyr for years. Her 40 Hour Teacher Workweek program saved Gerardo’s teaching career, ultimately helping him to be named the 2021 Colorado Teacher of the Year, and she stands poised, in the wake of her recent book publication, to roll out the Cornerstone for Teachers, a wide-spanning and comprehensive effort to make the work of the teacher sustainable.

But far from being the Marie Kondo of education, Angela also shows up daily as a co-conspirator looking to abolish White Supremacy in education. In this lively and inspiring episode, Angela chats with Gerardo and Guest host Brooke Brown, 2021 Washington State Teacher of the Year about the state of education today.

This episode is a must listen, with a towering yet humble figure in education today.

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Habitually Disruptive Episode 3: Holistic Liberation Healing with Jenny Medrano

Since coming to Colorado and hoping to become an educator, Jenny Medrano has been at the forefront of change and liberatory thinking and youth development. We first crossed paths when she mentored youth leaders as a part of Building Bridges, later Shift, and has recently struck out on her own, in a world desperate for a new kind of healing. In this expansive conversation, we discuss healing advocacy, and listening to one’s inner child. We discuss disruption for social justice and human development deeply and in new ways. And we get a fire top five!

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Revolution Summer Mixtape Track 3: Young Activist Elijah Wright and Hasadiah Israel

YALL READY FOR THIS??

Track 3 of the mixtape is FIRE, pure and simple. We sit with Elijah Wright and Hasadiah Israel for an encompassing, energetic, funny, engaging and convicting conversation. It is rare for authentic cross-generational exchange to occur, especially for teachers. We often act on the assumption that because we are in the presence of young people, that we engage in such exchange, but in this forum, we are truly on equal ground. Hasadiah and Elijah bring brilliance, commitment, humor, and passion to this track of the mixtape.

We are reminded of how crucial it is to struggle toward liberation, and to take joy in the struggle, and trust that the community sees our work, not only our words. To be free is to be one’s authentic self, and these young men practice freedom at every turn.

A note: If you have young children around, you may not find some of the language to be age-appropriate. We are committed to providing space for Black and Brown thinkers, creators, innovators and activists to be their authentic selves, and sometimes that means that they will use profanity. 

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Emergency Episode: #FlyingWhilePoC with Sabrina Suluai-Mahuka, 2021 American Samoa Teacher of the Year

Space Camp was soooooo much fun. Gerardo made new friends, solidified relationships with old ones, and the general feeling of the 2021 State Teachers of the Year was positivity, solidarity, joy, and a newfound exuberance about what education and educators could be. Though not every Teacher of the Year could be present, it was a special gathering of special spirits that could have lived on as a pristine moment of joy and perfection in an increasingly traumatized, frightened and uncertain world.

Until departure day, when American Samoa 2021 Teacher of the Year Sabrina Suluai-Mahuka learned that her flight home was canceled. She was told abruptly and in no uncertain terms that there was no hotel provided, no ground transportation, no meal vouchers (it seems relevant to state here that the only restaurant in the Huntsville airport had its kitchen closed). Disappointed and discouraged, Sabrina braced herself for a long night ahead, probably sleeping with one eye open as she awaited a flight home.

Moments later, she learned that our colleague Anthony Coy-Gonzalez, the Ohio Teacher of the Year with a sweet smile and even sweeter disposition, was offered hotel, transport, and meal vouchers “before I even had a chance to ask.” Good friends, the two of them shared experiences and both realized that implicit bias had once again reared it’s ugly head.

After a flurry of social media posts and DM exchanges between American Airlines and Sabrina and her allies, a brief “investigation” yielded a borderline insulting result. Sabrina, however, has remained resolute in her determination to see systemic change happen.

With Kev out of town, Gerardo is joined by guest host Brooke Brown, 2021 Washington State Teacher of the Year, to share Sabrina’s story. Please listen to the end, as there are ways that you too may #StandWithBrina.

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Exit Interview 07: Racial Battle Fatigue part II with Dr. William Smith

Asia and Kevin’s interview with Dr. William Smith of the University of Utah was so saturated with wisdom that we brought him back for a part II!

In this conversation, Dr. Smith shares his wisdom, doing a deep-dive into Racial Battle Fatigue. He discusses a litany of topics, including his rebuttal of the notion that Racial Battle Fatigue is analogous to post-traumatic stress disorder and the various manifestations of RBF, behavioral, psychological and physiological. He reveals that addressing racism as it is experienced by Black educators and their communities requires an honest look back over centuries, as opposed to reading a book or having a community circle in professional development.

Get out your notebooks; Dr. Smith is going to take you to school with this one.

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Mixtape Track 01: Author, Educator, Entrepreneur Desmond Williams

The 2021 Summer Revolution Mixtape is here! Track 1 features the brilliant, insightful, funny and honest Desmond Williams, author of The Burning House: Educating Black Boys in Modern America, founder of Nylinka Educational consulting and former principal. This conversation is in-depth, so pace yourself! We discuss, well, everything, from trauma to institutional racism to self-employment to hip hop. If you are looking for new ways to imagine education, this episode is IT.

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100. SEASON FIVE FINALE EPISODE 100 LETS GOOOO

And in the blink of an eye, we have reached 100 episodes. In this season finale, we reminisce about the good times, the funny times, the difficult times, and the moments of inspiration. As we help you reflect on this, the wildest and most difficult year that anyone can remember, we take a look back as we look forward.

We have each made a list: Our ten most memorable moments since December 2016, when the podcast went live. Some of these are episodes and interviews, other items are places we have gone and people with whom we have connected. But there is a catch: we did not share our lists with each other ahead of time.

Listen as we reflect and close the year. Thank you for staying dope with us for yet another season.

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“You Can Stand On My Shoulders” with Dr. Darlene Sampson, The Exit Interview, Episode 6

Equity is the goal for nearly every diverse school district in the country. As the ripple effects of generational trauma and systemic oppression continue to be felt in communities of color, especially Black and Brown communities, districts like the Denver Public Schools have created positions and offices of equity, inclusion, or both.

Dr. Darlene Sampson, equity specialist coordinator at the Western Educational Equity Assistance Center and a clinical field faculty in the Department of Social Work at Metropolitan State University of Denver, was once the director of Culturally Responsive Education in Denver Public Schools, bringing with her three decades of experience to a vitally important office, especially as the district sought to end generational inequity and trauma within the school system. In 2006 she stepped into the position, confident and excited to begin the work that not only was she was she passionate about, she had lived it, growing up in Pueblo, Colorado where “there were not that many of us.”

Soon, she discovered that her employer was not prepared to do the work. They were not ready for her greatness, which is to say that they did not establish the conditions under which true Culturally Responsive Education could grow. Instead of building a space for liberation, she describes her daily work as a battle ground, and even finds the term “Racial Battle Fatigue” to fall short in describing what she experienced. It was a plantation experience.

Today, Dr. Sampson shares with us her experiences fighting the good fight, the correct fight, and the work in which she is currently engaged. She harbors no ill will; she simply realizes that her employers were simply not prepared for what Culturally Responsive work required.

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99. From a Place of Love with Marylin Zúñiga

About 14 months ago, COVID-19 brought school as we knew it to a grinding halt. In the weeks and months that followed, the US education system scrambled to adapt, modernize, move all school operations online and generally attempt to continue business as usual over video calls and virtual learning platforms. We struggled with this. If you caught our episode “Pump the Brakes” in the spring, we expressed concern about this rush to continue schooling in the manner.

In July, the Education for Liberation Network broadcast a webinar titled “Repurposing Our Pedagogies” and among the brilliant voices sharing wisdom was the brilliant and loving Marylin Zúñiga, who declared that she “would not participate in business as usual.” She declared, along with other voices in the space that it was time to “decolonize time” and to maintain home as “a sacred place for healing.”

Marylin has moved with authenticity, spirituality, and swiftness since being a little girl who frankly, did not like school, to being a transformative and spiritual abolitionist voice in a wilderness that seeks only economic recovery and capitalist salvation at all costs. This conversation will move you, because it isn’t just about school, and it isn’t just about struggle and abolition and justice. It is about a humanizing “place of love” that transcends our fleeting institutions and dares to imagine a life worth living, with healing, in community.

You can check out the work of Marylin, Dani, and Anna at Quetzal Education Consulting, and you can follow Marylin and Quetzal on Instagram for regular inspiration. And you can support their organization by spreading the word about this great work.

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97. Educator and Children’s Author Hodo Hussein

This week, we bring you the amazing story of Somali-Muslim-Canadian educator and children’s book author Hodo Hussein. She joins us from a lockdown in Canada, where she describes the situation as ‘uncertain’ and ‘indecisive.’

During the course of a wonderfully insightful interview, we discuss representation of Muslim educators and communities, creativity, and following one’s dreams in hard times. It should be noted that Hodo did not set out to become a writer, but when she was separated from her students at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided to take a creative approach to keeping a connection, affirming their sadness at no longer having school, and even improving their math skills. Her wonderful debut book, Manal Mahal and the Double Cookie Party is an affirmation of children’s feelings and willingness to go on in hard times.

Plus good laughs and a fire top five!

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Exit Interview 05. The Origins of Racial Battle Fatigue with Dr. William Smith part I

This is a real special episode of the Exit Interview! Asia and Kevin talk with Dr. William A. Smith, professor of Education and Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah. Dr. Smith, who developed some of the most profound research around the concept of Racial Battle Fatigue, shares his research, insights and experiences tracking this phenomenon.

In this profound and wide-ranging conversation, Dr. Smith discusses a veritable library of topics, so many that we decided to expand this conversation to two parts (Part II will be out this summer–stay tuned!). He shares his perspectives on the positioning of school leaders and teachers in regard to revolutionary action. He shares his thoughts on Black representation in film as a pacifying force. He names the genocidal actions taken against Black people both past and present.

Throughout this conversation with this next level scholar, the learning is strong, the struggle In contextualized, and the inspiration is total. Tune in!

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Breaking News! Colorado Senior Wins Princeton Prize for Race Relations!

Zaira Najera is a graduating senior at Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum, Colorado. Her family comes from Mexico and she is a first generation American, as well as a first generation college student. She co-founded and currently serve as co-chair for a club called SPICE (Students Promoting Inclusion and Civic Engagement) at EVHS, as well as a member of Youth Celebrate Diversity’s Student Virtual Board and YouthPower365 with their Leadership Team at Eagle Valley High School.

Zaira was recently awarded the prestigious Princeton Prize for Race Relations, which honors a handful of high school students across the country for their efforts to improve race relations in the communities. In 2021, only 29 high school students across the country won the award.

Zaira speaks with Gerardo about her commitment to social justice, her own experiences with racism and discrimination, and her desire to continue to work in community with others, as well as an excellent top five.

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REVOLUTION SUMMER MIXTAPE 2022 TRACK 3: 2022 NEBRASKA TEACHER OF THE YEAR LEE PÉREZ

Man, we had no idea there were Chicano teachers in Nebraska, and we sure didn’t know they were as fire as Lee Perez, who represents that state for 2022. On a passionate and animated episode, Lee shares his path, his story, his commitment to justice for multi-language learners and the critical issue of teacher pay and working conditions. His top 5 is fire, and you cannot help but love this dedicated and passionate teacher.

The Exit Interview 06. “I Am Complicit in This” with Stacey Brandon

When a former director of equity in a school district joins our podcast you know it’s gonna be good.  Stacey Brandon shares what led her to become a social worker in a Denver Metro school district, her journey to becoming director of their equity department, and consequently the decision she had to make realizing that it was time to move on. Enjoy another great episode!

Habitually Disruptive 18. “I Can’t Protect You” with Lauren Cantell

A cancer diagnosis can profoundly disrupt and destroy a person’s sense of self and purpose. While I have not experienced this, many have, and categorically the trauma and fear others have shared seems unreal and life-altering, even (especially) after recovery.

Lauren Cantell does not view herself as a representative of cancer struggle or survival. She believes that systemic oppression, especially racism and misogyny, play out in the American healthcare system. She feels rage at the fact that BIPOC womxn are the least likely to be treated with humanity or respect in this system. She also knows that her journey from diagnosis to recovery is her own, and that it is not the only way that recovery may occur.

Lauren came to realize that much of her recovery was driven by her fear of burdening others, or protecting those around her from her own illness and uncertainty. And while she is quick to explain that her friends and loved ones did not expect her to do this, she also realizes that there is a way that our society talks about life-threatening illness that often is not inclusive of individual experiences and perspectives.

Lauren talks about her cancer diagnosis as a Kindergarten teacher, and how it drove her to write a crown-funded feature film which explores her experiences. She shares her ambivalence about her own experience, and hopes to encourage others to share their stories, even if they are difficult, even if they do not have a happy ending.

To support Lauren’s film financially, please consider donating here

https://seedandspark.com/fund/i-cant-protect-you#story

The Exit Interview 05. Dr. Jeanette Patterson

Another fire episode!  This time we are speaking to Dr. Jeanette Patterson, a former principal who now finds herself supporting the youth of the Denver Metro Area in a whole new way.  Tune in as Dr. Patterson shares her education journey, what she thinks school districts can do to support educators, what’s bringing her joy these days, and her plans for the future.

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