How Do We Create Spaces for Healing as Educators of Color?

How Do We Create Spaces for Healing as Educators of Color?

Education tends to make the most rational people seem crazy. So, it begs the question, how do we heal in these sick environments? My go-to answer is to typically just burn it all down and start anew, but we know that those efforts usually just end up looking like a new emperor in the same old clothes.

So, where does our healing come from?

Marcus Harden writes about the importance of acknowledging the hurt that has been caused by systems of oppression -- and the equal importance of finding healing for the students and often-overlooked educators who bear the deepest wounds.

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Black Male Educators: The Endgame

Black Male Educators: The Endgame

Teachers as a whole are vastly underpaid, Black male educators are often in unsupportive environments, and the profession isn’t promoted (or respected) as a viable option in the canon of “careers.” 

So why stay? How do we ask others to come? What are the conditions we can create, right where we are to make this seismic shift? Here are seven reasons that I’ve come up with (feel free to add more!)…

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Black History Today: Rashad Norris, more than meets the eye...

Black History Today: Rashad Norris, more than meets the eye...

This post is part of an ongoing Black History Month series written by Marcus Harden, a truly unsung hero of South Seattle, as he honors the living legacy of Black history in his community and beyond, and recognizes the people who are shaping the future.

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Black History Today: Justin Cheadle, lifting others up to change their lives

Black History Today: Justin Cheadle, lifting others up to change their lives

This post is part of an ongoing Black History Month series written by Marcus Harden, a truly unsung hero of South Seattle, as he honors the living legacy of Black history in his community and beyond, and recognizes the people who are shaping the future.

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Black History Today: Adrienne Decuire-Packard, purveyor of family, advocacy and justice

This post is part of an ongoing Black History Month series written by Marcus Harden, a truly unsung hero of South Seattle, as he honors the living legacy of Black history in his community and beyond, and recognizes the people who are shaping the future.


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“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”
-Michelle Obama


By Marcus Harden

If you grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, there were varying images of who Black people were and how they lived. We could be movin’ on up, or busy pitying the fool or maybe even asking, “Did I do that?”

However, one of the aspirational staples of a young childhood in that era was seeing the image of a Black doctor and a Black lawyer having functional, everyday-life conversations and promoting Black excellence. Claire Huxtable served as an image for many to aspire to.

While Claire inspired a generation, we needed real examples in our lives to truly know what could be possible in a field that many times doesn’t look like it’s meant to serve us. Adrienne Decuire-Packard is that reality of Black excellence — a fictional image come to life.

Born and raised in Seattle to a large biological and extended family, Adrienne is a proud alumnus of Garfield High School and the University of Washington, and her passion for justice is evident upon meeting her.

Adrienne is the personification of passion and joy, and it was her passion that pushed her across the country to pursue her dream of becoming an attorney at the prestigious Howard University School of Law. Through trials and triumph of charting unknown territory, Adrienne graduated and passed the bar, along the way finding time for love with her supportive husband, Darryl.

Her passion would then spread to different cities, Boston and Chicago, where Adrienne would serve as a voice for the voiceless in civil rights matters as a staff attorney for the American Bar Association. Eventually she married her gifts of advocacy and education together, becoming the Associate Director of Student Affairs at the University of Chicago Law School — in service of all students, yet fiercely creating pipelines for women and students of color.

For Adrienne, the adage “You can’t go home again” doesn’t apply, as in 2015 she was offered to return to her second home — the Mecca, Howard University School of Law — as the Director of Student Affairs, utilizing her passion to fulfill her purpose of servant leadership, shining as a realistic example for others to see and be.

Adrienne's passion for the profession and for creating pathways within it are only exceeded by her passion for her family. As a loving daughter, inspired little sister and proud big sister, the art of love was shown to her at an early age. She manifests that art as a powerful wife and loving mother to her three incredible children.

Because of women like Adrienne, we don’t need made-for-TV accounts of powerful Black women living fully in spaces that we once never saw and thought possible. Her advocacy to help shape and create better environments and opportunities for Black women is inspiring, and her ability to balance those as a 3D model for living life's purpose and passion is astonishing.

If the scale of justice is the pursuit of a perfect balance between love and advocacy, then Adrienne pushes those scales to change the world for the better days, which is why Adrienne Decuire-Packard is Black History, today!

To learn more about Adrienne’s work: http://law.howard.edu/

Upendo!

-MLH




Black History Today: Ryan Wilson and TK Petersen, creating space for brilliance

Black History Today: Ryan Wilson and TK Petersen, creating space for brilliance

This post is part of an ongoing Black History Month series written by Marcus Harden, a truly unsung hero of South Seattle, as he honors the living legacy of Black history in his community and beyond, and recognizes the people who are shaping the future.

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Black History Today: D’Vonne Pickett Jr., fearless dreamer at home in Seattle's South End

Black History Today: D’Vonne Pickett Jr., fearless dreamer at home in Seattle's South End

This post is part of an ongoing Black History Month series written by Marcus Harden, a truly unsung hero of South Seattle, as he honors the living legacy of Black history in his community and beyond, and recognizes the people who are shaping the future.

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Black History Today: Dawn Bennett, empowering educational activist

Black History Today: Dawn Bennett, empowering educational activist

This post is part of an ongoing Black History Month series written by Marcus Harden, a truly unsung hero of South Seattle, as he honors the living legacy of Black history in his community and beyond, and recognizes the people who are shaping the future.

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Black History Today 2019: An Introduction

Black History Today 2019: An Introduction

The Black History Today series began as a way to honor the everyday heroes in our communities who live selflessly serving others without the fanfare they deserve. Please join me in celebrating these wonderful people by commenting, sharing your stories of them and sharing in the love of those who are indeed Black History, Today!

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Let's get to know Washington's charter school movement at this weekend's annual conference

The Washington State Charters Schools Association Conference is this weekend, which means we get to take a look behind the curtain of the charter school movement in Washington. What are they thinking about? What are they talking about? What are their priorities and their blind spots?

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Black History Today: The Reeses and the Tiplers, living embodiments of Black love

Black History Today: The Reeses and the Tiplers, living embodiments of Black love

When I think about role models of “love” as we know it — not in the heart shaped boxes or the hallmark cards, but in that true connection that endures — honestly, so many pairings of people who have made the choice every day to love and honor each other come to mind.

The narrative of Black love being dead is yet another sad narrative that lacks full truth. That said, when I think of couples that exhibit what it means to love, two come to mind.

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The Full Series: Black History Today 2018, by Marcus Harden

The Full Series: Black History Today 2018, by Marcus Harden

I want to thank all who allowed me to honor and showcase them for Black History Month. The daily posts started as just a personal letter to people whom I believe to be truly amazing. We often wait too long to tell people what we think of them and their effects on us and our lives.

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Don't let them distract you. Rise up.

Don't let them distract you. Rise up.

I've mostly kept quiet about the Parkland shooting, because it feels like the last thing we need is more empty words or more voices shouting angrily into the abyss. Today, though, I find I have something to say.

This nonsense about arming teachers is a distraction, and we need to stop giving it the time of day. If the people clamoring to give teachers guns were serious, they would be working on legislation. They would be taking action in some way. But they're not. They're using the ridiculous idea of arming schoolteachers to keep us on the defensive, to keep us worried that things might get even worse, which keeps us from working as single-mindedly on real solutions and real change.

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Black History Today: Rickie Malone, gentle nurturer and ferocious advocate

Black History Today: Rickie Malone, gentle nurturer and ferocious advocate

The greatest investment we can make in society is in each other. When we choose to invest in the best in ourselves and each other, that is when true magic begins to happen.

We’re all just shallow reflections of the light and the lives that have shined into ours. When I think about a great light that has invested in me and so many others on this “Black Panther” week, I think of one the strongest heroes I know: Rickie Malone.

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Black History Today: Darnell Lamont Walker, activist thought leader and throwback artist

Black History Today: Darnell Lamont Walker, activist thought leader and throwback artist

A stumble happens in adulthood that begins to limit our imaginations about who we are in the world. We lose the spirit of adventure, the thrill of seeking what is new. We’re told to grow up and accept whatever it is “adulthood” brings.

We sometimes become afraid to be critical and especially to be criticized. One person who inspires the exact opposite is Darnell Lamont Walker. Darnell is authentically his unique self, not only marching to his own beat and drum, but shifting the band into an orchestra or into a hip-hop symphony if he so desires.

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Black History Today: Ernestine Rutledge, the definition of dignity, the essence of excellence

Black History Today: Ernestine Rutledge, the definition of dignity, the essence of excellence

Beauty is a word that unless deeply explained is usually reserved for what the eye can see. As many have explored throughout the years, true beauty is when you close your eyes to describe the fullness of the person you’re describing — their strength, courage, dignity and shining exemplar of what we all hope to be.

One of the most beautiful people you will ever encounter is Ms. Ernestine Rutledge. The “Ms.” added for the dignity and respect she commands, not through position, power or even mean tweets, but through the sheer essence of excellence she brings.

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Black History Today: Three men living their values with quiet integrity

Black History Today: Three men living their values with quiet integrity

The narrative rarely connects the words Love and Black Men, together. Love in the true agape and philo sense has been the cornerstone of the Black community. It is shown through time, it’s is shown through living your values. It is shown through example.

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Black History Today: Three brilliant, bold, beautiful women unapologetically rooted in Blackness

Black History Today: Three brilliant, bold, beautiful women unapologetically rooted in Blackness

Recent pop culture has placed Black Women at the forefront of the conversation, showcasing their abilities to be beautiful, bold, brilliant, unapologetically rooted in blackness — and of course to be what they’ve always been: Heroes.

If you’re fortunate enough to be in the Pacific Northwest, there are three women who are the real-life embodiment of the Dora Milaje or the adored ones.

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Black History Today: Joshua Fields, embracing change as a vulnerable leader

Black History Today: Joshua Fields, embracing change as a vulnerable leader

Change is inevitable and it’s uncomfortable. Yet many great minds have lamented that the toughest change is of one's self. It’s been often stated before that one must “do their own work” before they can truly be in service to others.

The mission of doing your own evolutionary work while simultaneously helping others and organizations evolve is a skill set all its own — one which Joshua A. Fields executes masterfully.

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