Wine, Women, and Revolution

Amistad, Equity, And Social Studies

Wine, Women, and Revolution
Amistad, Equity, And Social Studies
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In this episode of Wine, Women, and Revolution, Heather hosts a panel discussion about the revolutionary social studies curriculum in NJ directed by the Amistad Law. New Jersey is the first state in the country to pass a law and implement a truly racially inclusive social studies program. Today, Heather is joined by Gary Melton, Dr. Stephanie James-Harris, and Tamar Lasure Owens. They talk about the successes, challenges, and plans for what can be done in NJ. Can a social studies curriculum change the world? It just might be able to with the dedication of hard working educators.

Transcript Auto Generated

Gary Melton 0:00
We as educators must, must learn to infuse, right and it’s not a standalone, it’s not something that should be siloed and put to the side and only brought out when when people feel like it’s necessary. African American History is American history.

Heather Warburton 0:22
This is Wine, Women and Revolution, with your host, Heather Warburton. Hi, and welcome to Wine Women and Revolution. I’m your host, Heather Warburton coming at you here on Create Your Future Productions. You can find us online at www.YourFutureCreator.com. Follow us on all the social medias and get us wherever you get your podcasts from. Tonight, I’ve got a really amazing panel. So I don’t want to do too much introduction other than just to tell you, we’re going to be talking again about the Amistad curriculum and some other really good successes we’re having here in New Jersey and some of the challenges that we’re having. But like I said, I don’t want to give you too much intro because I’ve got three amazing people here tonight. And I want to jump right in let them introduce themselves first.

Let’s start with Mr. Gary Melton, would you like to introduce yourself?

Gary Melton 1:11
Yes, good evening. Thank you so much. My name is Gary Melton, I’m the Associate Director of the New Jersey Education Association. Its executive office. And part of my duties are well really, the whole listing of my duties is racial, social and economic justice. But I also do governance for the organization, and so have been a part of Amistad since its inception as a classroom teacher, and kind of carried that over and trying to make sure that implementation is being successful in the state of New Jersey. So we have really been driving our members along with the Amistad Commission to make sure that this is being done appropriately and effectively to every school district in the state.

Heather Warburton 1:59
Who would like to go next.

Dr. Stephanie James-Harris 2:02
I’ll go next, how are you?

Heather Warburton 2:04
I’m good. Hopw are you

Dr. Stephanie James-Harris 2:05
I’m good. I’m good. I’m Dr. Stephanie James-Harris. I am the Executive Director of the New Jersey Amistad Commission at the Department of Education for the state of New Jersey. And I’m excited to be able to be with you today. I’m always excited to talk about Amistad law, implementation across the state, some of our successes, and some of our challenges. I’ll call them challenges not failures as we try to really move social justice issues as well as make sure that there is an infusion of a variety of histories into our K through 12 curriculum for the state in the attempt to try to make sure that our next generation of leaders are global thinkers and understand our collective contribution to this world history.

Heather Warburton 3:02
And last but not least,

Tamar Lasure Owens 3:05
Hi there. I’m Tamar Owens. I’m a teacher at Leeds Avenue school. I teach first grade I’m also the district AMHOTINO coordinator, which stands for Amistad, Holocaust, Latino history. I have also attend the Amistad Summer Institute since 2017, as an educator, and as an NJEA member also helping to bring the instruction on to the level into into the classroom, especially hitting it kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth grade. We want to make sure that we are starting as early as possible, and following what the mandate states. And on top of that the importance of training, professional development, the importance of the Amistad Summer Institute, and the impact that plays with teachers providing the instruction of Amistad implementation in the classroom.

Heather Warburton 4:03
All right, so you can clearly you can see we’ve got a good expert panel here tonight that they should have lots of great information for us. So let’s start with the first the basic question. Anyone can jump in on this of what is the Amistad curriculum and the Amistad commission?

Dr. Stephanie James-Harris 4:19
I’ll answer the question as to what the the law is. And then I’m probably going to take kind of a step back, because I think we’re using the term curriculum, and I just want to make some modifications, I think would be helpful for your audience, as well as for those that might be thinking that it is something that is packaged and is able to be sort of thrown into a school district so that they’re looking for something this is a specific curriculum in the way I think most particular people think about curriculum development or a packaged curriculum that you get. So in the state of New Jersey in 2002, we became actually the first state to actually look at how the teaching of African American history is done. And the law was actually, crafted by Assemblyman William Payne and his actually his nephew, who was also in the currently in the assembly at the time with him, Craig Stanley.

Who both said that in their formative years in their educational years, they always felt that their stories about African American people are always really segued, and never handled sort of, in a way that fully infused it, or made them feel that they had a contribution that history always they thought they would learn outside of the classroom, but never a part of history, both to the textbook or the the conversation. Liam Payne tells a wonderful story about how in his school the only place he ever felt like heard himself, or when people thought they’d heard about children that looked like him, was when they read the book “Little Black Sambo”. He said how was it insult for him that they felt that that was the only narrative in which he had any contribution.

And so the Amistad law was drafted, to make sure that within the content area of social studies, and it’s very important that we do understand this, because it is not something that is made for actually creating a separate Afro American history course. That is, of course, a prescriptive remedy, that can be done as an ancillary, but it cannot be the way in which we are attempting to do this as a state, because even that messaging says that this history is something separate outside of we are teaching the rest of our students. So the content area of social studies at all areas applicable, which is I think, very important. Ms. Lasure Evans is going to talk about is not just one content area, but if you’re really going to talk about a full infusion of People’s History, and their arts, and their, you know, writings and their scholarship and all the scientific inventions, it’s across the board, um, would be done in a way that would, you know, kind of make school districts have to reassess and sort of redesign their teaching strategies, but also their content.

And so the law has been on the books now, since 2002. I think one of the challenges is that the people think that the prescriptive kind of curriculum. They think that is something that you can just kind of purchase and buy or, you know, borrow and drop. It is something much broader than that. And I think that has been one of our challenges, which is why I think it has been so important for these kind of partnerships, especially with teachers unions, that you know, because we understand that in order for this to be done right, is going to have to require the teachers expand their content base, expand their ability to understand both the facts but also where it fits in, understand, you know, and kind of have a collective bias, even on the importance of doing the work. This is hard work, right? This is, this is hard work. And also understanding that all these narratives are not negative, we do not always have to talk about these kind of inclusions, from a period of dread as if we’re only going to tell these horrific stories. You know, this is a reality of where we have been. It runs the gamut. But we need to get teachers very comfortable with being able to teach it. And so because it’s not going to be a prescriptive curriculum,they’ve got to be very comfortable with being able to learn it and know how to teach it. And to understand that this is going to require a redesign of how we do curriculum across this nation. And we’re going to start with New Jersey, because right now New Jersey is the first in the nation for the law, the only state the nation with an office. And the only state in the nation with these kinds of partnerships to really see that this work kind of moves forward.

Heather Warburton 9:11
I think now it would be a good time to throw to either someone from the union or an educator themselves to talk about a little bit, how it’s applying what they’re seeing in their either in the classroom or in their union.

Gary Melton 9:24
So I’m speaking from the New Jersey Education Association’s view of this and we are definitely in sync with Dr. Harrison what she is saying that we as educators must, must learn to infuse, right and it’s not a standalone, it’s not something that should be siloed and put to the side and only brought out when when people feel like it’s necessary. African American History is American history. And as long as we have that view, we can begin to show our educators That, especially in this time of social justice, which has always been here, but now is being magnified just by events that are happening in society, that this is a must. This is legacy work. This is work that that exactly, as Dr. Harris said, This is hard work, this is legacy work, this is work that is going to make our nation and you know, we think broadly, we think New Jersey, but even more broadly, our nation to become more inclusive to, to become more empathetic to become really something where we don’t see each other as combatants all the time. But we see each other as recognizing that we all have a story. And one person’s story is their story. And if something is not being taught, that is inclusive in education, then what you’re really doing is is that you’re harming the movement, and not helping the movement. And so it’s very important for us as a union, a union of educators, teachers, of ESP members, of nurses, of guidance counselors, that we all are on the same page, and recognizing the fact that there has been a group of people that have been traditionally disenfranchised, and but yet have achieved through that disenfranchisement to a certain level. And that equity must be at always at hand, when we are talking about educating our students of today.

Heather Warburton 11:36
And when I was looking for an example of a really good school, and one that integrated it really well and was really a shining example for the rest of New Jersey, I was told I had to talk about Pleasantville school. And so I would like to really hear a little bit now about kind of the philosophy of Pleasantville school and the successes you’ve guys have had and why it’s really working there.

Dr. Stephanie James-Harris 12:08
I know that Miss Lasure Owans is going to talk about the why it is working in regards of the work that she’s doing. But I need to step back and make sure that people understand why it is working is because people like her. I just need to say that, before we go any further, it, she’s going to talk about the work. But what this requires is the heart of teachers like her make this happen. So as she tells you what she’s done, I want to make sure everybody understands it’s her. She is the ingredient for why it’s working. I love you.

Tamar Lasure Owens 12:44
Thank you, Dr. Harris. And Heather, honestly, it does take it’s a team. The training, again, from Amistad Summer Institute, every year is key in regards to helping develop the idea, the creativity, that has to come when putting together curriculum, and that’s going to be engaging, interesting, that’s going to help not only motivate students, but also teachers. Then you have the NJEA union, that helps to give the resources, the voice, the materials, the the platform where you can talk and dialogue and get the information that’s needed. And so yes, putting all those elements together is what helps to put together what I’m able to do. So then that is where I’m putting together the curriculum as we call it in Pleasantville, because it has to be something that is tangible, it has to be something that starting at the kindergarten level students can understand. And it has to fit into what social studies is. Yes, we integrate it into language arts into writing into our sciences and things like that. But before you get there, you have to take the first step. And the first step is looking at the social studies curriculum, looking at the topics that are part of social studies, for example, citizenship, and how do you fit black lives matter? How do you fit peaceful protests? How do you fit those things? Where does it go? And for example, you have Thanksgiving coming up next week. What are we talking about with thanksgiving? We are introducing also the National Day of Mourning, because we understand that Amistad also includes Native American history. And so when we’re looking at that, and we begin that, you know from the beginning, we’re looking at the fact of history on perspectives, we need to have that Native American perspective, the Latino perspective, the African American perspective. So we’re engaging topics like citizenship, and talking about and teaching about the late Congressman John Lewis. We are including peaceful protests. And what that is, and showing students what that looks like today, what is Black Lives Matter, and that that is a part of citizenship. That is a part of their rights, and their bill of rights. And so you know, when we’re getting into this, you now have an engagement of students that are interested in topics, because it’s understandable. It’s relatable. It’s current. It is something that they hear themselves talking about at home, with family with mom with dad. It’s happening in the community. And now here it is in school. And what’s also great about this time of the year is that parents are home too. So either they’re able to ask students go and ask mom, dad, grandma, what is the peaceful protest? What’s going on? What does that mean? And they were able to have a conversation of social studies. But now we’re including now the engagement of talking about it. Now we can include engagement of writing about it, and and really getting out the ideas of the students and really having them connect to their community. So when you’re looking at Pleasantville, and you go online, and you see theAMHOTINO link, again, that stands for Amistad, Holocaust, Latino history, we have chapters for each grade level for kindergarten through fifth grade. And we have in those chapters are samples of infused curriculum. So when we’re dealing with the topics, like I’m just talking about, you will see the late Congressman John Lewis, you will see Black Lives Matter protest pictures, and police hugging protesters and children protesting. You will see all of this in the chapters. And that is what it’s about is actually providing a visual of what a elementary social studies textbook can look like. When you’re including everyone’s perspective around that topic. It helps to give that background. It gives the template, okay, it’s a starting point. And so this way, we’re able to build upon that. And then from there, we’re integrating that into our, into our subject areas. And that is where it starts.

Heather Warburton 17:43
And did you guys start integrating it right away? When did Pleasantville really get in into the meat of diving into implementing this?

Tamar Lasure Owens 17:52
We took it step, first step by step. And we did begin and the 2017 / 2018 school year with just Amistad, just Amistad, and just, you know, really wrapping around Amistad and social studies. And so was taking that one step at a time that started with the first grade at Leeds Avenue school. And then the following year, is when I took the initiative to talk to administration to try it at Leeds Avenue school as this, you know, school wide. And so from Amistad, we then took it school wide and stop focusing on social studies and integrating it into language arts, when we’re talking about language arts, we’re talking about the fact that you can include it into like retelling key details of the chapter describing and making connections between individuals, events, ideas, research, the recalling of information, again, writing informational texts, that kind of thing, speaking and listening, these are all the skills that we add into, and that we’re talking about when we’re dealing with language arts. So from there, the following year, we then added Holocaust education. And that of course includes our empathy, our tolerance, things like that. Following yeaer was then Latino history. And that’s where we are. So this way we took it component by component beginning with Amistad. So when we started with Amistad and the following year was in Amistad and then Holocaust and then Amistad, Holocaust, Latino history, and we continue moving it that way. So right now we are on district wide, K through five and that is why the curriculum is on the website. And we do have professional development. We’ve had our third professional development district wide for K through five elementary teachers and instructional aides and both Dr. Stephanie James Harris and Mr. Gary Melton, along with the Hispanic association of Atlantic County, even the our executive county superintendent, Mr. Bumpus, has been on the professional developments that have been held virtually on introducing each chapter. And we get feedback from the teachers in regards to that, to continue developing the curriculum.

Heather Warburton 20:23
Yeah, it really sounds like you’re building each year on the progress you’ve made the last year and really developing a great plan.

Dr. Stephanie James-Harris 20:30
And I think, Heather, it’s important to understand that even when she’s really developing, because the way New Jersey is set up, and you know, and I know a lot of people don’t maybe not understand or see the mechanics of how it necessarily works. But New Jersey school districts in themselves sort of are on an island. They have the ability to kind of figure out specifically for themselves, particular curriculum apps, or particular curriculum inclusions, as long as they get to the end goal, which of course, is the standards, the content standards that are set by the state. So there’s a lot of autonomy that districts have to be able to do this level of work. It’s very interesting about the law, it’s one of the only laws on the books for the state of New Jersey in regards of curriculum development is very specific about what they want to see for inclusions. So a lot of this and a lot of challenges have come in that law seems simplistic, but because of the structure of New Jersey, it requires that each particular district has to do this work, sort of the same kind of veracity that Pleasantville is doing, because we can give some examples, but that would mean that the state would give them or my office would actually be doing a curriculum for them, andt hat doesn’t happen, it’s just not even possible. So these districts have got to take the responsibility to be able to take on. I can provide whatever resources, whatever instruction, whatever successions, whatever help, um, we have created model curriculum to this online, every teacher and district is able to access even college programs so that teachers entering the field understand what that Model Curriculum looks like, what we understand is that a lot of the districts are utilizing the textbooks and the sources that have already been purchased. So our job in palms is what Ms. Lasure Evans is talking about, is building the meat, on to those resources so that they can give a much broader narrative. So if you have a textbook that is being used, or resources, this district has to ask who’s missing from that story. And so when we think about who’s missing from that story, and it gives an opportunity for you to go back and have to do the kind of very specific and intentional work, that was Ms. Lasure Evans is doing, right. We got a broad standard that said, students will be able to understand the contributions of, you know, a number of people to, you know, colonial America, etc. We have a book that might, we might generally use for those things. But now, we now have to go back and say, but we haven’t told that on the perspective of native peoples that lived here in this community, and if that is also a standard for third grade, then we want them to understand what the living life has been, like, who they were, how they thought, you know, the ideas that that could shift in regard to even different thought students, we have these ideas that like that history, or even the translations that we tell them are objective. Nothing is objective. Everything is subjective contributions and bring to that right. And so all of a sudden, things that we have kids believing are plastic, and, you know, just a given. We’re opening them up to them understand, even maybe from that perspective, this is different from the other perspective. It makes it messy, but it makes it real, right. It’s not these, these are the intangibles that we can’t sometimes teach at the end of a week with a nice little bow. But that’s the real magic of teaching. its going to require some work.

Heather Warburton 24:31
right? It seems like it’s gonna require every district have those passionate educators like Pleasantville has and you know, even one educator really just pushing and fighting for it and get, you know, getting other people on board. Seems like the way that we get every district in the state to where Pleasantville is.

Gary Melton 24:52
Yeah, and that’s why we’re really excited about partnering with the Amistad commission and ensuring that we let our educators know the importance of this of this wonderful law that was created. As most people know, we have decided, the executive committee of the NJEA decided to give a $75,000 stipend, so to speak to the Amistad commission for a journey, when our hopes are when COVID breaks that we’ll be able to travel to those places, to Jamestown and travel to Africa, and do all these wonderful things that will get educators excited about this curriculum that many grew up not knowing about it at all, you know, not having a course and not understanding the contributions of people who were not a part of what was perceived as a majority. And so, you know, we’re so so excited about partnering with the commission and getting the work done in our state.

Heather Warburton 25:59
Yeah, and the NJEA has some amazing educators, I know so many educators in New Jersey, and every one of them seems to be more awesome than the last. Like, there’s some really great educators here in the state. And we’re running a little short on time. But there was one thing I did want to bring up now is kind of in the past, I guess, probably only about a year or so we’ve seen the 1619 project pop up. And it was a project of the New York Times, sort of reframe history narrative, centering the effects of slavery. It got a Pulitzer Prize. And even out here in like rural, South Jersey, I’m seeing like 1619 reading groups pop up. So I wonder kind of how that’s affecting the implementation of the Amistad curriculum in New Jersey? Does it help? Is it pulling resources away?

Dr. Stephanie James-Harris 26:52
I don’t think there’s a definitive amount of resources that you could ever feel like it’s pulling it away, it’s actually a very good example of what the law is supposed to do. It’s like, it’s like a national example of what the Amistad law is supposed to be do. It is supposed to be a space where we can all look to our collective conversation or collective contribution to any particular struggle moment, right. And I think the real, the thing that is pulling most people into narrative about 1619 is is that, you know, what is being brought forth is not fictitious, it is part of our American story. However, most people, before really thinking about the 400 year commemoration for the arrival of those 23 individuals into the Jamestown settlement, and then their enslavement and lawsuit formulated around them, most people just kind of thought of it as given. And that given did not really come into play with how perhaps from their perspective, this American history, as unfolded, what it has meant, um, in regards to, you know, looking at how infrastructure has been developed, or how enslavement laws have developed, or whether or not, you know, the spirit and fervor of freedoms, and democracy also flowed through both individuals as well, and what it meant to be a part of that period of history and growing this nation in the same time period of being left out of it, and then be included back into it. And so it’s even, I think, another touch point for people to re examine our history, from multiple perspectives. And I think that’s the real crux of why people have become so interested in and really delving into that. Because if you look at, you know, American history, through that lens does look different. It looks different, the lens of human, right, it looks, it looks different, through the lens of a lot of marginalized groups, it doesn’t make it wrong, it doesn’t detract away from someone else’s perspective. It shouldn’t threaten anyone to be able to say that we might have different opinions of the same event. It should allow us to enhance it. Um, and so although I know it’s coming under, either being, you know, pushed forward as a wonderful, you know, way of looking at American history or it’s being attacked, as you know, it’s time to revisit or, you know, to do a revisionist or to do to say something negative about American democracy. I think it’s doing nothing more than really just giving us an opportunity to just look at history from a different perspective. And, and to examine it. So we’re doing that’s all it’s doing. But with this 400 year, you know, commemoration the happened last year, it has given I guess, a lot of, of African American peoples a point of pride, to be able to see how far we have come from being brought to these, to the to these lands, not voluntarily as enslaved people. And so I think that for us, the 1619 Project is giving us a window to be set up and be reflected, and others up and be reflected for our contribution to American history as well.

Heather Warburton 30:39
Yeah, I think that’s great. And last thing I wanted to talk about is the impact that all this must be the positive impacts is must be having on students. And you talked about that pride, I imagine that prides being instilled into students from a really young age. So that’s something I’ve kind of like to close out the show talking about.

Dr. Stephanie James-Harris 31:00
I mean, I would just say this, and I’ll leave that to Tamar because I know she’s with the kids every day, I think it’s not only a point of pride. But I think for them, it gives them a sense of that, that for all students that they’re going to be able to look around the room, and they’re going to understand that just like this room, you know, might be reflective of, you know, a multitude of races, or American stories, too. And, and be you know, the underlying message is that this is an Of course, right? Oh, you know, I say this to my teachers, all the time is it when I took this job, and I’ve been the executive director now for 14 plus years. And when I took the job I had children that were in early elementary school that are now college students, and I used to say all the time at, and I’m a college professor at college for 14 years, on top of everything else, because I’m really a history geek. And I love being able to give it to students directly so I teach college courses, and I always say that I want my students to not look so surprised, as 20 year olds about something that I am just talking about, sometimes even implicitly, that I recognize that they have never, ever been exposed to. When I get to the place where everyone in my classroom, nods their head, and says, of course, thats when I know we’ve gotten here, right? I want them to be the “of course” generation. That’s our goal, right? We want them to be in that space where everything tis not unknown history. This is not unknown territory. This is something that, it becomes just as commonplace as that would be understanding of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were presidents. Right. So they know who who Geroge Washington Carver is just as much, right, we got to get there. Um, it sometimes saddens me that I’m still saying that I now have college students. And when I started this job, I had elementary school students. So that means we bought an entire span of children’s k-12 curriculum, trying to still get this right. We can’t afford for four or five more generations to not get to college and say, of course, we can’t. And so we’re depending on teachers, like, like Ms. Lasure Owens, to make sure it gets done correctly, they can really be the “of course” generation, because for a lot of us, we weren’t. For a lot of the teachers that are now teaching as kids, we would have loved to have the experience. But thats not where we were. So teachers are dedicated to doing this work, because they took this profession for that reason. And so we just got to get the resources to do it.

Tamar Lasure Owens 33:57
That is so eloquently said, all I’m adding to that is the fact that this is what motivates me, this is what gets me to want to run, you know, another 1000 miles. And when I do that, that is also what we bring to the classroom. And so students are, you know, are that engaged and that excited and learning. And when that happens, I mean, all I keep saying is the fact that already looking at K through five, I mean, when they hit Middle School, look how much they’re going to know. Wow, look how much they’re going to ask and be ready to go with and feel so included and part of and can make a difference and want to be the next you know, environmental engineers and historians and wherever they want to go because they have, you know, they’re excited. They’ve learned so much and they feel as though they are and can be the next contributers, you know, to society. So that is what kindergarten and first grade students already are bringing that inquisitive learning that questioning the you know, talking about it, and and their faces, you know are so lit up, you know, you can tell when they’re interested and they get closer to the zoom camera you can see their faces bigger. And that’s what it’s about. So when you know teaching the curriculum is really giving the story and everyone feels they are part of. And so that is what is making this a success.

Heather Warburton 35:40
Yeah, this whole thing seems to be about so many connections, how the union supporting the teachers who are, you know, giving this information to the students, it really is a whole takes the whole state connecting to do this, doesn’t it?

Dr. Stephanie James-Harris 35:54
It really does. I mean, that’s, that’s the synergy that is needed for any kind of statewide overhaul social studies, right, especially in the States, when it is not an edict from on high. I mean, we created a system for New Jersey, so that each district would have some autonomy. But if you are going to have autonomy, but at the same time, try to meet everybody down the road. Other than the only way to do it is to collectively create the partnerships and the bridge so that it can happen together. If not, we’ll have pockets all up and down the state at our, which we do with our doing it differently, which are doing it a different pace, which are looking at it differently, which are invoking different strategies. And never, that’s never a bad thing. As long as we’re all gonna get to the same end goal is partnership partnerships are needed to at least make sure that we’re having cohesive conversations, and we can share the resources that are needed. Yeah,

Tamar Lasure Owens 37:02
Let me just say this, Mr. Melton, when Gary Melton and Dr. Stephanie James Harris are on the professional developments with teachers, it is dropped it they have everyone’s attention. That is what motivates staff. They’re like you’re listening to them now. That is what motivates staff. They are engaged. I mean, where they’re just like, who’s going to be Oh, I will be on that professional development. Oh, we’re having this Mr. Melton will be on Dr. Stephanie James Harris. Okay. Yes, I want to hear what they have to say, the minute they say you’re doing a great job or whatever they have to say, listen, everyone in Pleasantville is ready to go for it. And that is, honestly how important the partnerships are to staff. I’m sorry, Mr. Melton, please go ahead.

Gary Melton 37:50
No, thank thank you so much, Miss Lasure Owen. And Dr. Harris, look, let me tell you, it’s so encouraging. Just sitting here and realizing from whence we came, and to where we are now and feeling like we’re really about to go over that mountain and really get the ball rolling on ensuring that black history is infused within our history here in the state. And as I keep saying, I have bigger sites, right? This could be a nationwide initiative that New Jersey has started. And it is so very important for us as a union to ensure that we are preparing our educators to move forward in this process. And and that sometimes, and as you know, we have over 200,000 members and getting to every single local and to ensure that every single local knows the importance of having an inclusionary curriculum. It’s so important. And let me tell you this, when I look at the numbers of the conferences that we have now, and the numbers of people who are asking for information, not only dealing with racial, social and economic justice, but dealing with in particular, the Amistad curriculum, Ms. Lasure Owens, Dr. Harris, I’ve done workshops within the NJEA convention workshops within the conferences that we have. And I’m telling you, they’re booked up every single time because people want to do what’s right. And I just have a belief in the work that I’m doing that eventually it all comes together. And as long as we keep pressing and pushing, and letting folks know that this isn’t going anywhere, we’re not going away, that this work is important. And it really can change the life of all students, not just our black, indigenous and people of color, but all students can be changed in this. And we all can be the America that all of us want to see. So I’m just so excited to be on this call and to listen to these strong educators speak with passion about the importance of this work.

Heather Warburton 40:09
Thank you all for being here tonight. It’s been an amazing conversation. I’m honored to have all of you here, being so passionate and so dedicated to this work. It’s really great to have you all here.

Gary Melton 40:23
Thank you, fior having us

Dr. Stephanie James-Harris 40:25
Thank you, we thank you for giving us the platform. I know this is sometimes not um, this isn;t fun stuff. This is not the stuff that people want to talk about. It is necessary stuff. So I appreciate the platform to be able to spend some time with you guys today.

Heather Warburton 40:40
To my listeners, thank you so much for joining us here. This is what we’re here for. We’re here to be a voice for these ideas that need to be heard. They’re begging out, like, please get these ideas out to people. That’s what we’re here for Create Your Future Productions. Were here for activists, we’re here for people that are trying to change the world. And we appreciate you so much. And we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you. And we just did set up our Patreon and our PayPal if you want to help donate and keep me on the air. This is literally just me in my office here. That’s what we have right? so far. Create Your Future Productions. And I appreciate you for joining me The future is to create go out there and create it.


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