The session in which we chat with LaChan V Hannon about mothering her two children and helping them learn to navigate white spaces, such as school and the classroom.
LaChan is the School of Education Certification Officer at The College of New Jersey and Executive Director of Greater Expectations Teaching and Advocacy Center. She is a PhD candidate in teacher education and teacher development at Montclair State University. Her scholarly work focuses on the intersectionality of race, disability and parent involvement. Her TEDx Talk entitled Young, Gifted & Black with Autism was released in 2016.
PostScript: We held our podcast interview with LaChan before the coronavirus took hold here this Spring. Recently, we asked her for an update regarding some of her thoughts at this time. She told us this:
“Just as there is nothing predictable about what is happening right now in society, there is nothing predictable about Black mothering during a quarantine. My daughter loves online instruction and my son, with Autism, misses his friends and being at school. We are all creating a NEW normal both for schooling as well as daily life co-habitating. Daily check-ins are absolutely necessary to get a pulse on what we are all all experiencing. Now more than ever, it is important for us to hold fast to our family beliefs which are (1) we are in community with one another and have an obligation to each other, (2) we honor our word and do what we said we would do, and (3) we all make mistakes and can ask for forgiveness”
For many of the people we interview, the good works they do are meaningful in two ways. They get to help other people and often see the positive outcomes of their efforts. This alone is extremely rewarding. In addition, we’ve noticed that many people end up doing the important, transformational work that they do because they have been through a difficult, possibly even traumatic experience themselves. It makes sense that they’d want to help others who have had similar experiences. One of the best ways to move past trauma is to become active, to use it (the understanding of the situation, the learning that occurred, the experience of recovery, etc. ) to do good. It’s easy to get stuck as the passive recipient of a negative experience. For those who can turn their own struggle into a way to help others, it can be extremely meaningful and rewarding.