Marvin Gaye singing

Adults, Please Get Out The Way [How Students Do It]

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

This morning, I imagined Marvin Gaye would have a few things to say about what’s going on today: Today was supposed to be Michael Brown’s fourth day in college, getting acclimated with the ins and outs of college life, surely different than the humdrum K-12 bells. Sadly, he never got his chance at college and career readiness as the Ferguson police’s hands still smell of blood and tear gas. We …

On The Postponement of Common Core Accountability

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

On Monday, New York State found out that its Board of Regents, the governing body for education policy in NYS, decided to postpone accountability measures for teachers and schools in all of New York State, paving the way for educators to get their Common Core ducks in a row. The five-year postponement came at the recommendation of Regent Merryl Tisch, who said, This report is designed to make significant and …

Nelson_Mandela_played_by_Idris_Elba

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom and How We Plant Seeds

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 1 Comment

Confession: I didn’t get a chance to see Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom before taking my students. Confession #2: My kids wouldn’t have gone to see it either if I didn’t bring them myself. Here’s the thing about auto-bio pics that people don’t want to say, but will readily admit: if our youth don’t get a sense of why something or someone is important, they won’t pay attention to it. …

Jay-Z Smoking, Possibly a Cuban

Short Notes: Y’All Gone Learn Today [Open Letter]

Jose Vilson Short Notes Leave a Comment

Last week, I wrote an open letter to educators in general, but specifically education activists, vested parties, and anyone interested in the workings of this circle. While the letter was met with plenty of praise, it had a few detractors, primarily from those who misunderstood the intent of the letter. After a close reading and re-reading, I stand by the original letter, but shortly thereafter, I wrote a shorter version …

bayard_rustin

Coalition Matters [featuring Bayard Rustin]

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Anytime you mention Bayard Rustin’s name as a hero, you’re good in my book. The mastermind behind the 1963 March on Washington, Rustin rarely gets mentioned by the general public as a civil rights leader, and only seems to come up whenever people (again, rarely) talk about LGBT issues in activist / POC communities. The conversation only gets uglier when people dilute his image for their own political purpose, exalting …

Screen shot 2012-06-03 at 10.16.50 PM

No Church In The Wild

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Last week, Kanye West and Jay-Z premiered their video for “No Church In The Wild,” their incendiary song about rebellion in the forms of ideas and laws. Watching the video, one gets remnants of the protests happening from Wall Street and Portland to Italy and China. Activists once again get a morsel of thought from The Throne, vividly depicting open anarchy versus totalitarian rule. Just one problem: there were no …

Where My Bread Is Buttered

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

This weekend, I spent time in Syracuse University, my alma mater and the site of Coming Back Together X, a special reunion where the African-American and Latino alumni of Syracuse U can meet with students and faculty on campus every three years in the spirit of camaraderie, growth, and opportunity. This tradition has happened for the last three decades and change, illuminating an illustrious history of people that includes Dave Bing, …

Voices of Concerned Educators: Call Me Ms. Mala, Radical Mujer Tutor of Color [Maegan Ortiz]

Maegan Jose 3 Comments

I struggle with calling myself an educator. Despite the fact that I work daily with the children of Muslim Indian immigrants, ranging from age 4 to 13, on grammar, the quadratic equation, and reconstruction of the United States after the Civil war, being called Ms. Maegan feels uncomfortable. Despite the fact that I have helped at least half a dozen teachers achieve their Master’s degrees in teaching in New York …

A scene after the earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12th, 2010

Tearing The House Down pt. 2: Hands Up For Haiti

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

For many of us in the United States, independence means a ton. Even for the most marginalized of groups, we scream and kick for it because of the hypocritical nature of this hollow pursuit of happiness. For most of us in this country, we enjoy freedoms that we often take for granted. From the computers we communicate with to having three meals of some variety, we all have a much …

puzzlemirrorplanet

Does Social Media Mean Social Justice?

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

In the 1950’s, as civil rights groups of interest (i.e. dissident and radical groups) began to truly penetrate the mainstream thought of America, the FBI developed a program with a series of protocols for disruption and misinformation called COINTELPRO (an acronym for COunter INtelligence PROgram). By most reports, not only did they intend on gathering as much information about these dissident groups and individuals as possible, but they also sought …