On this blog, I mentioned how inspired I was by my visit to Little Rock, AR. Specifically, I mentioned how I changed the core of my talk at the Clinton School of Public Service to reflect my experience at Central High School, the site of one of our most storied desegregation fights. The visit marks a year where I’ve found myself in a plethora of arguments over the state of public education for (and with) children of color. As I sat in the auditorium, overwhelmed with emotion, I kept reflecting on my own career, wondering how much I either contributed to my students’ education or ran complicit to their subjugation. That continues to be a hard pill to swallow, but no bigger than the one America must swallow in the system of education that continues to underserve children of color.
To that end, my talk reflected much of my thinking there:
The text for the speech is there, and I deviated somewhat from script.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t include my PowerPoint slides, so you probably can’t tell why the audience is laughing so hard at my faces. (Sidenote: My GIFs tend to crack people up.) One of the images I left, however, shook the audience in ways I’m sure they didn’t anticipate:
They perhaps weren’t ready to have to reflect so thoroughly, but, after the reception I got from most of the audience, I thought I did what I came to do. Which is exactly how the work works.