Dumi Lewis

A Brick In The Path (Promised Lands Are Never Promises Kept)

Jose Vilson Jose 0 Comments

“Originally a biblical reference to the land of Canaan promised to the descendants of Jacob, The Promised Land represented a new physical space where the old social order would be dissolved and from which opportunity would spring. The Promised Land was geographic, political, and simultaneously corporeal and non-corporeal.” From the …

Alejandro playing with his own shadow, 2016

Vacation Is Not Really Vacation, Pt. 1

Jose Vilson Jose 0 Comments

During my so-called vacation, and I call it so-called because my brain doesn’t have an off-switch when it comes to the work, I read, slept, and jumped into large bodies of water. The sun shone brightly above the Atlantic City Boardwalk, with parades, air shows, and confections for all visitors. …

Kaden Pagani, 8, left, and his brother Kingston, 6, carry signs as they march down Broadway toward Frank Ozawa Plaza during a Black Lives Matters protest in Oakland on Thursday, July 21, 2016. Image by Michael Short.

Show Solidarity with Words & Actions

Rusul Alrubail Jose 1 Comment

Audre Lorde calls for our silence to be transformed into language and action in her 1977 speech. But if our silence will not protect us, then why do we hold on to it for comfort? Why do revert to silence when we witness, see and read about the injustices and cruelty of this world? Why do we let fear take over? Why do we let compliance sink in?


What This Teacher Means By Self-Care

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Confession: this is the first summer I haven’t thought about my school all summer. Not once. It’s been amazing. I love my students and I love my job, and I also gave them almost every ounce of me. Thus, even with all the stress I’ve had making it through July, I …

Crestwood High School varsity cheerleading captain MicKayla Ketter plays with toddler class 5-B at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Aug. 15, 2012. Ketter and members of her high schoolÕs cheer squad came to teach children about sportsmanship and teamwork.

Five Ways To Show Students You Care

Jose Vilson Jose 8 Comments

“How do you show students you care and love them?” Someone asked me that this afternoon. And every other week. Shout-out to the other eighth grade math teacher who asked it. I’m not about the touchy-feely stuff; I prefer to discuss techniques, strategies, and content where possible. I prefer to talk about …

Jose Vilson, Noble Talks, Clinton School for Public Service, Little Rock, AR

Text of My Speech in Little Rock, AR (Decenter Yourself)

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

In a small, yet simple act of deflection, I managed to decenter myself and put the onus of learning on the students so they can take ownership. I ask them to imagine “What if I wasn’t there? Would you still learn?” I don’t quit until they’ve learned how to ask good questions, not just of themselves, but also of the content they’re learning and the teacher himself.

Jose Vilson, Central High School, Little Rock

Between Little Rock and This Hard Place

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

“She wasn’t with the rest of the other Black students. Can you imagine having all those harassers, reporters, and guards blocking her from letting her get into school?” As I was listening to the ranger tell us the story of Elizabeth Eckford’s first day of school at Central High School …


A Quick Note on Race Talks in Education Spaces #EduColor

Jose Vilson Jose 0 Comments

Premise: educators who aren’t challenged to think about systemic inequity offline don’t want to think about it online. In the last week, much has been made about my impromptu #educolor chat about race and schools, but, like #EduColor itself, it wasn’t borne of a chat, but by resistance to ignorance …