Imagine you are a young person whose parent is in prison. How does that impact you as you walk into school, interact with peers and teachers, and sit down to learn? What makes you feel safe and connected? Five million U.S. children are living this experience. How can we better serve them? What other students may be struggling with issues of trauma or identity?
I have been granted the opportunity by my supporters at Sevenzo to, alongside other passionate educators, explore strategies for culturally-relevant instruction and social emotional learning to better support these students’ very specific and delicate needs at the 2018 South By Southwest Education (SXSW EDU)– a national convening dedicated to cultivating and empowering a community of engaged stakeholders to advance teaching and learning — to be helped in early March of next year.
I’ve submitted my proposal and it has been approved (yay!), but that is only the first step of many towards actually being chosen to present my work and help students impacted by mass incarceration on the outside of their parents’ prison cell. The process is rigorous and I am required to garner votes of support in order to make it to the next round of personal interviews. This is where you come in. I need your help. I need your votes.
The collateral consequences of mass incarceration are extremely personal to me. As many of you know, my husband John is currently incarcerated. For four years I worked at an all-boys public middle and high-school for African-American boys in South Jamaica, Queens, NY, a neighborhood whose residents are overly represented in prison. I see the school-to-prison pipeline in action each day in my career as a teacher of Black and Brown children. Every year without fail, I have students come into my classroom with a parent who is or has been incarcerated. It’s become more of the norm than the exception; yet, too often, no one knows these students’ familial realities and they go unnoticed and underserved. The objective of my presentation is to end this dangerous educational trend and educate teachers about how to identify and support students who are below the proverbial radar.
If the mission of my proposed presentation resonates with you, please vote for me by clicking on the link below.
Thank you sincerely for your vote and your continued support in helping me amplify the presence and the voices of those hurting in shame and silence from the reverberation and isolation of mass incarceration.