Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit live at Riverside Church to watch a spirited conversation between writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and newly minted congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. For a little less than an hour, TNC and AOC spoke up and around the current state of affairs, rarely mentioning the person working from 1600 Pennsylvania. Ocasio-Cortez has seemingly busted open the Overton window for progressives, deftly maneuvering conservative talking points and offering no apologies. Coates, no stranger to heavy critiques from across the board, asked the questions the audience wanted to know from this Latinx supernova.
On the same platform that MLK Jr. gave us his “Beyond Vietnam” speech in 1967, we were asked to consider what “Beyond 2019” looked like for all of us. After the event, I offered the following:
In other words, we need to keep building an education movement that, at its heart, is responsive and adjacent to the anti-racism movements, the pro-immigration movements, the economic movements, and the anti-capitalism movements. Black Lives Matter at our schools and elsewhere. Our students have led us to DREAM better. We need to assure that corporations pay their workers decent wages, which often includes so many of our students. Teachers shouldn’t have to spend thousands of dollars to create affirming learning environments for our students to make up for society’s lack of will.
If there’s enough money to spend for the United States’ war on terrorism, there’s enough money to make sure our students can close the generational education gap.
To continue reading, click here. As educators, it’s incumbent upon us to sit in our power and rectify our country’s wrongs in whatever capacity we can.