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Revolution Summer Mixtape Track 4: Angela Watson of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek

We are beyond blessed and fortunate to bring you our much-anticipated interview with the venerable and brilliant Angela Watson, who has been working to abolish the notion of the teacher as martyr for years. Her 40 Hour Teacher Workweek program saved Gerardo’s teaching career, ultimately helping him to be named the 2021 Colorado Teacher of the Year, and she stands poised, in the wake of her recent book publication, to roll out the Cornerstone for Teachers, a wide-spanning and comprehensive effort to make the work of the teacher sustainable.

But far from being the Marie Kondo of education, Angela also shows up daily as a co-conspirator looking to abolish White Supremacy in education. In this lively and inspiring episode, Angela chats with Gerardo and Guest host Brooke Brown, 2021 Washington State Teacher of the Year about the state of education today.

This episode is a must listen, with a towering yet humble figure in education today.

Habitually Disruptive Episode 3: Holistic Liberation Healing with Jenny Medrano

Since coming to Colorado and hoping to become an educator, Jenny Medrano has been at the forefront of change and liberatory thinking and youth development. We first crossed paths when she mentored youth leaders as a part of Building Bridges, later Shift, and has recently struck out on her own, in a world desperate for a new kind of healing. In this expansive conversation, we discuss healing advocacy, and listening to one’s inner child. We discuss disruption for social justice and human development deeply and in new ways. And we get a fire top five!

Revolution Summer Mixtape Track 3: Young Activist Elijah Wright and Hasadiah Israel

YALL READY FOR THIS??

Track 3 of the mixtape is FIRE, pure and simple. We sit with Elijah Wright and Hasadiah Israel for an encompassing, energetic, funny, engaging and convicting conversation. It is rare for authentic cross-generational exchange to occur, especially for teachers. We often act on the assumption that because we are in the presence of young people, that we engage in such exchange, but in this forum, we are truly on equal ground. Hasadiah and Elijah bring brilliance, commitment, humor, and passion to this track of the mixtape.

We are reminded of how crucial it is to struggle toward liberation, and to take joy in the struggle, and trust that the community sees our work, not only our words. To be free is to be one’s authentic self, and these young men practice freedom at every turn.

A note: If you have young children around, you may not find some of the language to be age-appropriate. We are committed to providing space for Black and Brown thinkers, creators, innovators and activists to be their authentic selves, and sometimes that means that they will use profanity. 

Emergency Episode: #FlyingWhilePoC with Sabrina Suluai-Mahuka, 2021 American Samoa Teacher of the Year

Space Camp was soooooo much fun. Gerardo made new friends, solidified relationships with old ones, and the general feeling of the 2021 State Teachers of the Year was positivity, solidarity, joy, and a newfound exuberance about what education and educators could be. Though not every Teacher of the Year could be present, it was a special gathering of special spirits that could have lived on as a pristine moment of joy and perfection in an increasingly traumatized, frightened and uncertain world.

Until departure day, when American Samoa 2021 Teacher of the Year Sabrina Suluai-Mahuka learned that her flight home was canceled. She was told abruptly and in no uncertain terms that there was no hotel provided, no ground transportation, no meal vouchers (it seems relevant to state here that the only restaurant in the Huntsville airport had its kitchen closed). Disappointed and discouraged, Sabrina braced herself for a long night ahead, probably sleeping with one eye open as she awaited a flight home.

Moments later, she learned that our colleague Anthony Coy-Gonzalez, the Ohio Teacher of the Year with a sweet smile and even sweeter disposition, was offered hotel, transport, and meal vouchers “before I even had a chance to ask.” Good friends, the two of them shared experiences and both realized that implicit bias had once again reared it’s ugly head.

After a flurry of social media posts and DM exchanges between American Airlines and Sabrina and her allies, a brief “investigation” yielded a borderline insulting result. Sabrina, however, has remained resolute in her determination to see systemic change happen.

With Kev out of town, Gerardo is joined by guest host Brooke Brown, 2021 Washington State Teacher of the Year, to share Sabrina’s story. Please listen to the end, as there are ways that you too may #StandWithBrina.

02. Habitually Disruptive: 2020 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year Kimberly Dickstein-Hughes

Kimberly Dickstein-Hughes, the 2020 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year, brings joyous and disruptive energy to her work, both in her school and the teaching community at large. Whether helping students think critically about Shakespeare or facilitating their own engaged and authentic work, “Kimmy D” is a transformative force in the lives of her students, and for public school educators everywhere.

Join us for a fun conversation that we simply did not want to end!

To support this TooDope Production, head over to patreon.com/toodopeteachers.

Exit Interview 07: Racial Battle Fatigue part II with Dr. William Smith

Asia and Kevin’s interview with Dr. William Smith of the University of Utah was so saturated with wisdom that we brought him back for a part II!

In this conversation, Dr. Smith shares his wisdom, doing a deep-dive into Racial Battle Fatigue. He discusses a litany of topics, including his rebuttal of the notion that Racial Battle Fatigue is analogous to post-traumatic stress disorder and the various manifestations of RBF, behavioral, psychological and physiological. He reveals that addressing racism as it is experienced by Black educators and their communities requires an honest look back over centuries, as opposed to reading a book or having a community circle in professional development.

Get out your notebooks; Dr. Smith is going to take you to school with this one.

Mixtape Track 01: Author, Educator, Entrepreneur Desmond Williams

The 2021 Summer Revolution Mixtape is here! Track 1 features the brilliant, insightful, funny and honest Desmond Williams, author of The Burning House: Educating Black Boys in Modern America, founder of Nylinka Educational consulting and former principal. This conversation is in-depth, so pace yourself! We discuss, well, everything, from trauma to institutional racism to self-employment to hip hop. If you are looking for new ways to imagine education, this episode is IT.

100. SEASON FIVE FINALE EPISODE 100 LETS GOOOO

And in the blink of an eye, we have reached 100 episodes. In this season finale, we reminisce about the good times, the funny times, the difficult times, and the moments of inspiration. As we help you reflect on this, the wildest and most difficult year that anyone can remember, we take a look back as we look forward.

We have each made a list: Our ten most memorable moments since December 2016, when the podcast went live. Some of these are episodes and interviews, other items are places we have gone and people with whom we have connected. But there is a catch: we did not share our lists with each other ahead of time.

Listen as we reflect and close the year. Thank you for staying dope with us for yet another season.

“You Can Stand On My Shoulders” with Dr. Darlene Sampson, The Exit Interview, Episode 6

Equity is the goal for nearly every diverse school district in the country. As the ripple effects of generational trauma and systemic oppression continue to be felt in communities of color, especially Black and Brown communities, districts like the Denver Public Schools have created positions and offices of equity, inclusion, or both.

Dr. Darlene Sampson, equity specialist coordinator at the Western Educational Equity Assistance Center and a clinical field faculty in the Department of Social Work at Metropolitan State University of Denver, was once the director of Culturally Responsive Education in Denver Public Schools, bringing with her three decades of experience to a vitally important office, especially as the district sought to end generational inequity and trauma within the school system. In 2006 she stepped into the position, confident and excited to begin the work that not only was she was she passionate about, she had lived it, growing up in Pueblo, Colorado where “there were not that many of us.”

Soon, she discovered that her employer was not prepared to do the work. They were not ready for her greatness, which is to say that they did not establish the conditions under which true Culturally Responsive Education could grow. Instead of building a space for liberation, she describes her daily work as a battle ground, and even finds the term “Racial Battle Fatigue” to fall short in describing what she experienced. It was a plantation experience.

Today, Dr. Sampson shares with us her experiences fighting the good fight, the correct fight, and the work in which she is currently engaged. She harbors no ill will; she simply realizes that her employers were simply not prepared for what Culturally Responsive work required.

01. Habitually Disruptive Premiere!

Welcome to the Habitually Disruptive podcast, hosted by me, 2021 Colorado Teacher of the Year Gerardo Muñoz. This TooDopeProduction aims to celebrate and amplify folx disrupting traditional education in favor of liberation and change for ALL students.

In this pilot episode, I interview Aspen High School’s Tameira Wilson, a seventeen year veteran who has dedicated her career to teaching multicultural curriculum to her students, who are more diverse than you may realize. We talk racism, COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and law enforcement, plus a fire top five.

Read more about Tameira Wilson’s journey: aspentimes.com/news/black-educator-works-to-bring-more-multicultural-learning-perspectives-to-aspen-schools/

Royalty-Free music composed by Ketsa.  

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