Blackface

The session in which we explore the history of blackface. We talk about its origins, how it developed over time, and why it’s offensive. Blackface brings up a very disrespectful, demeaning racist societal history. We learned how insidiously such things were a part of our upbringing and it’s part of the racism we are rooting out and working against. 

Education Whitewash

Just us Shrinks having an After Hours discussion about the lack of actual American History in our prior education – trying to come to terms with our whitewashed understanding of so many things, on so many levels.   

The Power of Story

The session in which we talk to Mark Lyons about the power of stories to create social change. As an author, and director of the Philadelphia Storytelling Project, Mark has worked with youth and adults to create audio stories about their lives. He has worked with inner-city youth using audio stories to improve literacy; with immigrants to document their dreams, barriers and determination, and with veterans who have found a way out of homelessness.

Education Activism

The session in which we meet Samuel Reed III, aka Reed, and Ismael Jimenez to talk about education activism and teacherpreneurship. Reed and Ismael are two passionate and dedicated educators who are core members of the Teacher Action Group (tagphilly.org). Ismael recently spearheaded the founding of the Philly Hub for Liberatory Academics (phlaed.org) while Reed currently focuses most on being a teacherpreneur and helping to promote economic and financial empowerment. Both believe in education as a tool of social change and liberation.

@BlackGirlsEatDC

The session in which we chat with Cornelia Poku, Communications professional by day – foodie/food blogger the rest of the time. We talked about food blogging, relationships, and race.

We spoke with Cornelia in DC on the first weekend in March 2020, right before things totally shut down. The day we met, elbow bumps were the recommended greeting and after the interview we thought maybe we shouldn’t, but we hugged each other anyway. Cornelia is the last person, outside of immediate family members that we hugged. 

Once things shut down, we asked Cornelia for an update. Her update: (on audio) Hey everyone, the time we’re in is insane and we all feel helpless. But I’m always looking for things I can do to make some difference. I’m blessed to still be working and definitely trying to give whenever I can. I have also been patronizing small businesses and working with local restaurants to share their special offers to my audience. Hope you’re safe, enjoy the episode. 

North Philly Peace Park

The session in which we chat with 3 passionate team members from the North Philadelphia Peace Park. The NPPP is a charitable eco-campus providing free education, health & wellness, and produce programs to the Philadelphia Community.  We chatted with Nyasha Felder, Li Sumpter, and Bird – each bringing different knowledge, skill, and perspective to their volunteer work at the NPPP. 

phillypeacepark.org

The Peace Park has recently launched a project campaign to get their planned Peace Pavilion completed. To learn about it and donate please visit:  https://ioby.org/project/north-philly-peace-park-peace-pavillion-project

A Woman in STEM

The session in which we chat with Janet Tran about her experience as a minority woman in STEM. We encourage women to go into the STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math but how are we helping them to navigate the challenges they face?!

 

On Education and Race

The session in which we chat with LaChan and Michael Hannon about race, education, and parent-teacher involvement.

LaChan V. Hannon is a culturally responsive teacher leader and educator. She is a PhD student researching culturally responsive school practices with particular attention to parent engagement. LaChan has published articles and chapters in academic texts including: International Handbook of Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices and Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Dr. Michael Hannon is an Assistant Professor of Counseling at Montclair State University. His work has been featured in various media outlets and organizations including Autism Speaks, Thrive Global, Fusion, Huffington Post, and WURD 900AM. His forthcoming book, Black Fathering and Mental Health: Black Fathers Discuss the Needs of Men and Fathers Across the Family Life Cycle, will be published by Peter Lang in September 2020.

Together, LaChan and Michael developed the nonprofit organization, Greater Expectations Teaching and Advocacy Center for Childhood Disabilities, Inc. GETAC is dedicated to providing support resources to families and children living with developmental disabilities and the professionals who serve them. 

www.getac.org

UPDATE from Dr. Michael Hannon: “The pandemic has required our family to remember how important it is to be flexible, while attending to the norms that keep us balanced. Some of us like isolation at times; some of us need more frequent interaction. Thankfully, we have shared language (verbal and nonverbal) that provides cues and instructions about what we need. For example, school means something different for each of the children. One really enjoys the social interaction, the other appreciates the opportunity for distance learning. I realize, though, that school gives the kids space and permission to be, do, and say things differently than they might in my company. For me, that translates into allowing them some uninterrupted time to connect with friends virtually while trying not to be overbearing. Yesterday, I found out that my son was participating in a social media “push up” challenge.  It caught me by surprise at first. After talking with LaChan, she reminded me – “He NEEDS those interactions!”
 
It’s also been important for us to show each other patience, gratitude, and to expect some bumps along the way. We are realizing what works one day or week may not work the next day or week (or even hour!). Leaving room and granting permission to equally share laughs and frustrations, I think, will continue to be really important. At the end of the day, I’m grateful we have each other. We are healthy and we are together, which is plenty for which to be thankful.”
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