A must read from an amazing Chinese-American teacher in Harlem. A nuanced piece about sensitive subjects. Please someone nominate her for Teacher of the Year Award.
Note: I was trying to go for a much shorter read about criminal justice prison reform but this post transformed into something else much longer. Anyway, this is my first post on my teaching philosophy and my reflections on my positionality as an Asian American teacher to predominantly “Hispanic” or Latino and Black students in Harlem for the past 10 years. I’m filing this under “Stuff I Teach.”
I got into community work just as California was revving its youth criminalization engine with Prop 21 (lowering the age of felonies and upping the punishments and amassing investment in the private prison machinery) back in 2000 (even though SF county voted against it; it was overwhelmingly approved by the CA voters.) Engaging in actions against Prop 21 further politicized me, humbled me and made me confront my rather insular interactions in my hometown of San Francisco and it allowed me to…
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