Social Media Connection: Click here to share your brilliance


The New Normal (Covid-19)

Click here for curated resources for your work as well as mind, body, spirit balance.


This global crisis has created a shutdown. You may have heard this quote by Einstein "We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them".  As this crisis relates to education, I am clear that this is a secondary response to the much needed support of our health workers now. At the same time, the reality for most students, especially those most vulnerable, school is the one thing that is constant providing social connection, a sense of normalcy, and even hope. Our future is dependent on what we do as educators now. 


One of the best social media posts I have come across is one for everyone and one for educators. The one for everyone states, “If you are not using this time to rest, reset & prioritize your purpose and people in your life, you my friend are wasting an opportunity you may never get again. The world literally stopped and shifted. If this is torture for you, find out why.” For educators, you can read this article: The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning 


Unless you are like me, who consistently uses a dictionary to learn a new word I hear, we all bring our own understanding to language. I am coming to appreciate how much language matters. I share this because when we use the language Distance/Online/Virtual Learning, we need to internally acknowledge that this is an emergency remote learning. In other words, this was not planned for and none of us have been trained to work virtually. Language matters because by calling it distance/online/virtual learning, we all have preconceived notions of how this should be, which takes away the opportunity for us to be present in the moment of now. Should creates a notion of expectation that eliminates us from being present to now. A more effective way to strive for excellence is by acknowledging where I am now so I am able to identify what is missing to put in place in order for it to become excellent. Instead of what "should be" consider this reflection: “what am I present to now" because pausing after disruption can be the most important next step.

I am going to assume that as many of you, we have been working on our craft dedicated to perfecting our craft. As it relates to DEI, I have planned and prepared in advance for addressing the inequities in education and I have yet to still figure out how to make equity institutionalized in education. If we have yet to master our craft as educators such that every student is able to shine in their brilliance, then imagine what is happening now in our current global crisis. As you know too well, even when everything has been planned, things will still need adjusting.  


Here are some considerations for you to become more equitable & excellent in your craft:

  • Take care of yourself: I encourage you to find time to be still in the magnificence of silence. If you are unable to do so because of your environment, consider utilizing headphones to invite the stillness. After these moments, engage socially with your family & friends so you may rediscover human connection. Engage with your community in a creative manner.


  • Take care of yourself: As leaders, we pride ourselves in our craft. I invite you to reflect on the end result. Who knows how this global crisis will unfold, as a new normal will continue to form itself. One day you will reflect back when you are no longer in the day-to-day grind. I ask what fills your satisfied heart, mind & soul in terms of what your audience has learned. I can guarantee it was never just the content. The content was a means to an end. What is that end? Was it the love of learning, deepening of content knowledge in a subject, or skills you were building for the future? Once you are able to envision the end, I encourage you not to chase the what, when, how you will teach, rather allow the ideas to come to you.


  • Take care of yourself: I invite you to find time to reflect on the missing. Assuming you have followed the first two versions of caring for yourself, you maybe in a place to let in these inquiries. I propose that wisdom is in the inquiry not the knowing. If you have done the first two steps, you are in a place to identify the missing. I encourage you to write down the inquiries; how can I use do virtual learning more efficiently, how can I ensure that students are engaged, how do I know if students online are engaged, how can I support students with learning differences, etc. These questions are the ones to bring back to your colleagues as we are all in this together.

Closing Reflection:

In this new normal, we have the opportunity to free us from the chains of perceived success measured quantity. No longer do we need to judge ourselves because we didn’t cover all the content, complete all the tasks on our To Do List, collect all the accolades to justify our being busy. We can now focus on success measured by quality! This includes the quality of relationships that are created, the quality of skills that are developed, the reflection of deepening our sense of purpose. There is a phrase that is powerful “Growth takes place in the uneasiness of the moment…be present”




"You're a racist!" These are words that generate many types of emotion dependent on the experiences you have had on race. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion are delicate topics because we as a society with various experiences have asserted different meanings for the same words. Unfortunately, we do not as a norm provide the time to be critically reflective in general much less on sensitive topics. For this reason, we have curated common Definition of Terms that you can review and share with your colleagues or just familiarize yourself with as you continue this journey to catalyze the brilliance in everyone! We invite you to follow the process that include various steps as a way to engage with the ongoing learning we all have to go through.




Below is an ever-growing collectively curated list of resources (books and films) that we helpful in supporting and expanding our growth and effectiveness as educators. Please share any additional resources/titles with us!


This is a special invitation to deepen your understanding of our humanity by acknowledging the historical & present trauma we are part of and how it manifests based on fear, anger, rage, faith, hope & love. Like any path that one takes, one is able to improve whatever one practices. What one practices also increases one’s belief and awareness. If you already believe in something, you may already be practicing the behaviors needed to reinforce your belief. The purpose of examining & reflecting on these topics is not to generate blame or shame for any one group, rather to push past these emotions and challenge ourselves to see the strength of our humanity as a result of these events and a system designed with the unfortunate consequence to destroy our humanity (More information on the Oppression Matrix can be provided). However, if we do not understand the problem well enough, we are not able to solve the problem. We need each other – those who focus on understanding the problem and those who focus on finding a solution. This is our journey. The first step that never ends is your own personal reflective practice. We invite you to consider our reflective practice tool to guide you through the readings (see visual on last page)

Whatever your professional or personal journey may be, this invitation is meant to explore the following films, books and conferences that deepen our awareness and informs our practice. If you are asking yourself where to begin, we suggest that the beginning is anywhere that peaks your interest. The following is divided into certain categories, followed by films and finally a reading list that is age appropriate. This is limited reading list but one that has guided E3 acknowledging a U.S.-centric focus due to the highly refined level of oppression.


We look forward to hearing from you with a clear intention that we can collectively increase our critical consciousness to see the brilliance in each of us!


o   Authentic Conversation by Jamie & Maren Showkeir

o   Humble Inquiry by Edgar Schein

o   The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

o   Ecology of Democracy & Why Public Schools, Whose Public Schools? by D. Mathews

o   White Privilege, P. McIntosh

o   Why We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know, G. Howard

o   Pedagogy of the Oppressed by P. Freire

o   The Art of Mindful Facilitation & the Practice of Honoring Diversity, Lee Mun Wah

o   The Art of Effective Facilitation: Reflections from Social Justice Educators by L. Landerman




1)    When God was a Woman, M. Stone & 1421, G. Menzies

2)    An indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, R. Dunbar-Ortiz

3)    Before the Mayflower, L. Bennet

4)    500 years of Chicana History, Elizabeth (Betita) Martinez

5)    Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, R. Acuna

6)    The Classic Slave Narratives, H. L. Gates

7)    Iron Cages, R. Takaki

8)    The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman

9)    Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, D. Brown

10) Borderlands: La Frontera, G. Anzaldua

11) Cane River, L. Tademy

12) Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. DuBois

13) My Larger Education, B. T. Washington

14) Always Running AND It Calls You Back, Luis Rodriguez

15) The Jungle, U. Sinclair




1)    Pedagogy of Freedom & Pedagogy of Hope by P. Freire

2)    Autobiography of Malcom X, A. Haley & M. X and Native Son, J. Baldwin

3)    Guns, Germ & Steel, J. Diamond

4)    Things Fall Apart, C. Achebe & A Small Place, J. Kincaid & Self-Taught, H. Williams

5)    Race Matters, C. West

6)    Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect us all and what we can do by Dr. C. Steele

7)    Race, Class, and Gender, M. Anderson

8)    Deculturalization and the Struggle for Equality: J. Spring

9)    A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America, R. Takaki

10) Post-traumatic Slave Syndrome, J. DeGruy

11) The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (J.D.)

12) Privilege, Power, and Difference, by A. Johnson




1)    Community Educators, P. Moore Harbour

2)    Diversity and Citizenship Education, J. Banks

3)    Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race & Sex, K. Crenshaw

4)    It’s All in the Family: Intersections of gender, race & nation, Hill-Collins

5)    Other People’s Children, L. Delpit

6)    Courageous Conversations on Race, G. Singleton

7)    Savage Inequalities, J. Kozol and The American School, J. Spring

8)    The People's History of the United States, H. Zinn

9)    Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? B. Tatum

10) Why Race and Culture Matter in Schools, T. Howard

11) The DreamKeepers, G. Ladson-Billings

12) Teaching to Trangress, b. hooks

13) Pedagogy of Confidence, Y. Jackson

14) Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, Z. Hammond




1)    Why We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know, G. Howard

2)    Affirming Diversity, S. Nieto

3)    Courage to Teach, P. Palmer & Teaching Tips, S. Rogers

4)    Creating Learning Communities, R. Miller

5)    Cultural Responsive Teaching, G. Gay

6)    Multicultural Education, J. Banks

7)    Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, M. Adams, L. Bell and P. Griffin

8)    We can have better Urban Schools, P. Walker

9)    The Art of Critical Pedagogy, J. Duncan-Andrade and E. Morrell

10) White Teachers/Diverse Classrooms, J. Landsman & C. Lewis

11) *Teaching Truly: A curriculum to Indigenize Mainstream Education, Four Arrows

12) Dismantling Privilege, M. Hobgood




1)    Becoming Americans, Edited by I. Stavans

2)    Children of Immigration, C. Suarez-Orozco & M. Suarez-Orozco

3)    Ethnic Labes-Latino Lives, S. Oboler

4)    Hidden in the Heartland, N. Brown Diggs

5)    Made in America, L. Olsen

6)    Teachers, Human Rights, and Diversity, A. Osler

7)    Why the Cocks Fight, M. Wucker

8)    The Spirit Level, R. Wilkinson

9)    Voices of Queer Youth in Urban Schools, Blackburn & McCready

10) Just Mercy: A story of justice & redemption, B. Stevenson




1)    The Stranger, A. Camus, The Alchemist, P. Coelho, The Little Prince, A. de Saint-Exupery

2)    Imagined Communities, B. Anderson

3)    Blink AND Outliers, M. Gladwell, and A Whole New Mind, D. Pink

4)    Achieving Our Country, R. Rorty

5)    For Love or Country, M. Nussabaum

6)    Global Achievement Gap, T. Wagner

7)    Leadership for Social Justice: Making Revolution in Education, C. Marshal & M. Oliva

8)    Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age

9)    The World is Flat, T. Friedman
10)  We make the road by walking, M. Horton, P. Freire, B. Bell, J. Gaventa, J. Peters
11)  The Black History of the White House, C. Lusane
12)  Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow
13)  Diversity Calling-An anthology by the DICE group-edited by Dr. J. McManus
14)  Case Studies on Diversity & Social Justice Education, P. Gorski

15) Stamped from the Beginning, Ibram X. Kendi

16) The Prince, N. Machiavelli



Educational Methods

  • Multiple Intelligence Theory- (Gardner)
  • Youth Development Theory-(Pittman, Catalano)
  • Emotional Intelligence Theory- (Goleman)
  • Social and Emotional Learning-(Elias, Zims)
  • Multicultural Education Theory- (Banks, Gay)
  • Pedagogy of Hope & Education for Critical Consciousness (Freire)
  • Theater of the Oppressed (Boal)
  • Critical Race Theory (Delgado, Ladson-Billings)
  • Civic Activism as a Component of Youth Development (Sullivan)
  • Pedagogy of Confidence (Y. Jackson)



  • American History X
  • Bamboozled
  • The Believer
  • The Chamber
  • The Color Purple
  • Crazy in Alabama
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Get on the Bus
  • The Glass Shield
  • Glory
  • He Got Game
  • Pleasantville
  • Pocahontas
  • Rabbit Proof Fences
  • Hotel Rwanda
  • True Lies
  • Usual Suspects
  • Daughters of the Dust
  • Like Water for Chocolate
  • Bend it Like Beckham
  • Indecent Proposal
  • Mad Dog
  • In the time of Butterflies
  • Blindspotting



**Storytelling & Truth-telling

**Humanity’s Cup: Tales from the inner circle by Dr. Kecia Brown

**Poems about this Roller-Coaster Ride called LIFE by Kaira Portillo-Espinoza

**Cracking the Code by Dr. S. Butler (film)

**Color of Fear (Lee Mun Wah)

**PBS-Power of Illusion & Harvard-Implicit Bias Test






Websites for more Resources