As a consultant doing anti-racist equity work in schools, I often feel like a person carrying water in a basket. If you have ever carried water in a basket, you know how futile it feels.
You hold the basket very carefully. You pour more water into the basket as water drips out. You make the basket sturdier. And yet, at the end of the day, it feels as if the volume of water in your basket does not reflect your effort.
Lately I have been counteracting my frustration by reading accounts of the work I have assisted others in doing. My outlook is brightened when I see how the work...
Equity is one of the foundational elements of a quality education. Enidlee Consultants supports School Districts in embedding equity in all of its practices through a range of consulting services including monthly on-site visits, on demand coaching, and ongoing assessments of growth and the accomplishment of equity goals. This video shares the Equity Cohort Experience at Santa Cruz High School. To learn more about the Equity Cohort, please contact Enidlee Consultants.
As I travel across the country offering workshops on race and equity in education, invariably I am asked, “How can I deal with challenging students.” Generally the person asking the question is referring to African American male students. The perception of African American male as troublemaker has a long history in this country and the more I learn about it, I am better equipped to understand teachers’ earnest questions about behavior and Black males and to work with them in making a difference. Here are some of the immediate steps I suggest we can take to ensure that African American students have a positive learning experience in their classrooms. Read more.
Enid Lee was a Harriet Tubman Fellow in Washington D.C. for the month of July 2016, hosted by Teaching for Change with funding from the Open Society Foundations.
While in D.C., Enid conferred with Teaching for Change staff and board about their programs, contributed to the new editions of Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching and Beyond Heroes and Holidays, prepared blog posts on key issues in education and current events, and was the featured speaker for events hosted by the Smithsonian, Busboys and Poets, and the Washington Teachers Union.
The visit began with the celebration of Teaching for Change’s 25th anniversary where Enid spoke to the audience about the significance of the organization’s work in these times.
The July 2016 Vox article by Redditt Hudson, "I'm a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing" is a must read to understand the history and current reality of race and policing.
Here are quotes that remain with me.
Racism is woven into the fabric of our nation.
At no time in our history has there been a national consensus that everyone should be equally valued in all areas of life.
On June 16, 2016 Enid Lee was celebrated as one of 100 black women who made significant contributions to Canadian Society. She was nominated and selected to be included in the 2016 edition of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women. Read more.
“As a 65-year-old foot soldier in the struggle for racial justice and educational equity, I decided to take 65 of my favorite children's books to the Black History Event entitled ‘We are History’ at Alvarado Elementary School,” explained educator Enid Lee.
The event was hosted by the African American Parent Forum with a focus on literacy. The books highlight the Black experience in the United States, Canada, Africa, and the Caribbean. Read more.
The most recent racist rhetoric around exclusion of Syrian refugees reminded me of a kindergarten class I visited about 15 years ago. At that time, refugees were fleeing Kosovo. The kindergarten teacher often used current events to connect her students with the world and to nurture empathy and equity-centered emotions in their hearts and minds. Read more.
Halfway through reading Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption I wanted to hop on a plane and fly to wherever Stevenson was to say, “How can I help?” Stevenson has written an incredibly moving narrative of the injustice that is visited by the justice system on some of the most vulnerable... Read more.
As we return to classrooms this week, I ask all teachers and administrators to avoid a practice that I have noted in far too many classrooms. When we want our students' attention, I have seen teachers ask students to freeze and to put their hands above their heads. The students look exactly like the terrorized children in Ferguson and in the video below. "Prison-like behavior" is too often reflected in educational practice. Read more.
This fall Enid Lee will be the keynote speaker at two education conferences. They are:
On June 16, Rush Limbaugh devoted a long segment of his show to tell his listeners that Teaching for Change is racist for featuring children’s books by and about people of color at their bookstore in Washington, DC. In the days that followed, Limbaugh's listeners called Teaching for Change with hateful messages and threats, including "drop dead." These were outweighed by hundreds of calls and emails from people who support their commitment to diversity. As a virtual scholar for Teaching for Change, I assisted with the media inquires. Here is the message I shared… Read more.
Teaching for Change adviser Enid Lee described her recent experience in an elementary school classroom with Cree and Ojibwe First Nations students in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was asked to address controversial issues, and selected the contemporary Canadian-based grassroots movement Idle No More that “calls on all people to join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty which protects the land and water.” Read more.
In the face of Chicago Board of Education plans to close 50 public schools—teachers, parents, and students have rallied to protest what Chicago Teachers’ Union president Karen Lewis describes as a “scorched earth policy.” Teaching for Change adviser Enid Lee offers her insight on the significance of the current activism surrounding the closures. Lee recommends that when teaching young people about the school closings in Chicago and other cities, the resistance and activism to this injustice should be at the forefront... Read more.