I have been a teacher since 1993. I have mostly taught Social Studies during my career, a little Spanish too, but I am now the high school coordinator for a volunteer busing program (METCO). I have always seen education as a transformative profession where being a Black man in front of school-aged children would create something I never experienced. SEED has been a key element in my personal and professional goals to bring curriculum, experiences and perspective that challenge the narratives that have been a consistent contradiction to my very being.
In the fall of 2015, a racist video directed at students and a program at my school went viral and forced us to examine our school’s culture and our ability to teach about issues of race. A colleague and friend had been telling me about SEED and its importance at a neighboring school system. We worked with SEED to co-create SEED seminars to meet the community where it was for the rest of the school year, and I was hooked. Bringing SEED to my district was important for many personal reasons; I not only work in this town, I grew up in this town, I live in this town and I raised a family in this town.
I got trained in Wisconsin during the last week of the 30th year of SEED New Leaders Week; it was the summer of 2016. The timing could not have been better.
SEED has had the greatest impact upon my work in schools and my civic engagement. SEED challenged me to think about a process of transformation. In this revelation, I attempt to provide similar experiences for my students in class and the ones Icounsel; I use my skill set to facilitate seminars and professional development in my school and district; and I bring those learned skills to my town’s Commission on Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations.
I am so excited to work with more people that want to be in such a community.