Patricia Matos

Patricia Matos 150 People have always fascinated me. From medieval people to people on television shows, from characters in novels to the characters in my own family, watching people and how they interact has been a continual passion of mine. Perhaps it is no surprise that I wanted to become a teacher; I figured if I could teach my stuffed animals about life in early Native American societies from the book I “borrowed” from school, I could work with anyone!

This love of people might have also stemmed from growing up in a diverse community with noticeable institutional structures that segregated groups of people. Studying people and trying to figure out the rationales for their behaviors, whether they stemmed from how much money they had or their religion, is intriguing to me. Perhaps this is why, along with education, I studied sociology in college -- it was all about the people.

Studying urban education with the expectation of being a public school teacher and sociology meant many conversations on race, class, and institutional structures that work only for some. Learning the history of education brought into focus how much things seem to have changed on the surface, but have actually continued in a slightly different guise.

After many years in the public schools, seeing many dynamics play out, I moved to independent schools where my passion for equity and justice led me to become involved in diversity work. Along my journey of learning to speak of these issues with various constituencies, I learned of SEED. I love school and learning, and so of course, wanted to sign up. Whether or not I wanted to work with adults in addition to students about my passion was not a question I had to ask myself twice.

My SEED experience was transformative and as a facilitator I continue to learn. I am currently co-facilitating a faculty group, a parent group, and the administrative team at my school. I long for a more just and equitable society and even if it is one person at a time, I believe SEED contributes towards that goal.

— Cheryl Robinson, Supervisor, Office of Minority Achievement, Arlington Public Schools, Virginia

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