I’ve been an educator since 2001. Teaching with social justice was always at the heart of my classroom. I taught about child labor to my sixth grade students. In high school we dismantled systemic racism and explored feminist critical theory.
Now I help school administrators not only be more effective, but also lead with confidence and clarity. The next book we are reading in our leadership community is Kendi’s How to Be Antiracist. I write about equity and explore social justice topics on my podcast.
Here are five fabulous social justice quotes and why they matter.
“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ”– Paulo Freire
Paulo Freire is where it begins for me in his Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which is a must read for any educator. Freire highlights the problem with a banking model of education and how it’s goal should be liberation.
What we see today with the Black Lives Matter movement is that to stay silent or neutral is a cowardly act of implicit agreement of racism in our society.
“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.”– MLK
This is why the oppressed march and protest. Those in power don’t willingly give it up. Teach your students to be active agents of change within society
“What matters most is not who is sitting in the White House, but ‘who is sitting in’ — and who is marching outside the White House, pushing for change.”– Howard Zinn
This quote is hopeful. Sure the President is a powerful individual, but government is slow to change. People are the catalyst for change by fighting for what is right. It is our democratic duty.
Teach your students to be active. Be prepared for when they show you what needs to change not only in society, but within the school through critical consciousness.
“When women gain a voice in society, there’s evidence of less violence.”
“…when women gain control over spending, less family money is devoted to instant gratification and more for education and starting small businesses.”– Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Reading Half the Sky had an incredible impact on my life. It showed me the horrors of misogyny on a global scale and the value of women’s rights. I highly recommend the book.
“Strong men, men who are truly role models, don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful.”– Michelle Obama
President Trump bullies women reporters, especially women of color. College athletes rape women and get away with a 6-month sentence.
I worry about how these events influence male mindsets where men can be verbally and physically violent toward women without significant consequences.
We need to teach young men how to be confident and find their strength from within. We need to teach our young women to speak up, as Yamiche Alcindor did, and stand up for fairness, equality, and dignity.