David Cohen

驴C贸mo que “representation”? 馃槨 Chicanologues 03

I’m angry today. As I attend meetings, webinars, read social media posts and articles that feature people with the actual power to improve the diversity (actually ESTABLISH diversity) in the teaching profession, I also see people in the same positions continually ostracize, ignore and otherwise sanction raza educators at every level of this work. It’s plain to see that the system desires our faces, our surnames and our pedigrees, but not our convictions, beliefs, and humanness. And often, the agents of this process of icing out gente who truly represent the hopes, dreams, ambitions, the social and political convictions of our communities, are people who look like us, claim to be us.

We have to stop caping for a system that asks us to commit cultural, spiritual, and political self-harm. We have to have the courage to support each other, even when we have everything to gain from shutting each other down.

It’s the Chicanologues, episode 3. Please subscribe!

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02. Introducing the Chicanologues!

As it turns out, solo podcasting is hard! While there will be guests, friends, and crews on this show, there will be some solo stuff, like this episode. In this one, you can learn a little about what is motivating this new podcast. I’m in a search for myself, as a researcher, scholar, advocate, friend, and human.

The best way to support this podcast is to subscribe! The episodes will be here until we get up and running on a separate feed, but please check me out there!

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Emergency Episode! Mayday Strike!

We’re dropping this emergency episode from the organizers of a Mayday walkout tomorrow. This group of concerned citizens–parents, teachers, youth and others is hoping to spark a larger general movement to demand common sense gun policy. Listen for details, and find them on Instagram and Facebook, Mayday Walkout!

114. Pelo malo no existe/Bad Hair Doesn’t Exist with author Sulma Arzu-Brown

Sulma Arzu-Brown is the perfect bridge between Black History Month and Women\’s History month. Brilliant, spirited, creative, and lively, Sulma carries her Afro-Latina and Garifuna pride with her daily.

Like so many of us, becoming a parent renewed her commitment to cultural maintenance and pride. When her child came home having learning the concept of \”pelo malo,\” or \”bad hair,\” Sulma acted. She wrote the beautiful book El pelo malo no existe/Bad Hair Does Not Exist. She made sure that her children would love their hair, their culture, and their language, and resolved to bring those gifts to us.

“The Person I Am Now is Different” Arvian Harper on 08. The Exit Interview

Arvian Harper is a “Denver Public Schools lifer.” A graduate of the hallowed halls of East High School, she received a full ride engineering scholarship, later changing to pre-med. Like so many of us, she heard the call to the classroom, and she heeded, teaching Early Childhood Education, becoming a Team Lead and eventually moving into leadership.

After a series of difficult challenges–a violent incident at the school, a strike, COVID-19 and a racial reckoning, she began to reflect on the Racial Battle Fatigue she had experienced. As she began to peel back the layers of trauma, she realized “There’s a whole person in there.’

Since her healing journey began, she founded Awakening Cafe and has entered a consulting role with none other than our own Dr. Asia Lyons. Healing is possible.


So, first things first. Kevin is out on important business. He did call a sub, but of course left no lesson plans. No problem, though, because his sub is none other than the amazing Juliana Urtubey, the 2021 National Teacher of the Year!

In this inspiring, authentic, and powerful conversation, @kurtsenior_, representing America’s teachers in 2022, we learn what has motivated him for his twenty-five years in the classroom, why Black History matters, and most importantly, a top five that is old school in all the right ways.

The Exit Interview 06. “I Am Complicit in This” with Stacey Brandon

When a former director of equity in a school district joins our podcast you know it’s gonna be good.聽聽Stacey聽Brandon shares what led her to become a social worker in a Denver Metro school district, her journey to becoming director of their equity department, and consequently the decision she had to make realizing that it was time to move on. Enjoy another great episode!

Habitually Disruptive 18. “I Can’t Protect You” with Lauren Cantell

A cancer diagnosis can profoundly disrupt and destroy a person’s sense of self and purpose. While I have not experienced this, many have, and categorically the trauma and fear others have shared seems unreal and life-altering, even (especially) after recovery.

Lauren Cantell does not view herself as a representative of cancer struggle or survival. She believes that systemic oppression, especially racism and misogyny, play out in the American healthcare system. She feels rage at the fact that BIPOC womxn are the least likely to be treated with humanity or respect in this system. She also knows that her journey from diagnosis to recovery is her own, and that it is not the only way that recovery may occur.

Lauren came to realize that much of her recovery was driven by her fear of burdening others, or protecting those around her from her own illness and uncertainty. And while she is quick to explain that her friends and loved ones did not expect her to do this, she also realizes that there is a way that our society talks about life-threatening illness that often is not inclusive of individual experiences and perspectives.

Lauren talks about her cancer diagnosis as a Kindergarten teacher, and how it drove her to write a crown-funded feature film which explores her experiences. She shares her ambivalence about her own experience, and hopes to encourage others to share their stories, even if they are difficult, even if they do not have a happy ending.

To support Lauren’s film financially, please consider donating here



Elena Aguilar has been out here in these education streets a long time, pushing important ideas around social justice, equity, social emotional learning, and teacher wellness. As founder of Bright Morning, Elena remains at the forefront of important conversations with and about educators.

She joins Kevin and Gerardo for a terrific conversation, in which she shares her education journey, the passion that drives her, and a very summer top five!

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