Know your LGBTQ History

In preparation for Champaign Urbana’s 2019 Pride Fest, organized by the UP Center of Champaign-Urbana, I compiled short list of web resources for people to learn more about LGBTQ History. This year also marks the 10th Anniversary of the UP Center and the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.

undefinedLogo by Allen Armstrong

On Friday, August 9, 2019, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed House Bill 246 which requires that the contributions of LGBTQ individuals are taught in public schools.  Below are a sample of links to LGBTQ History sites that go beyond the “great people, and significant contributions.”

Call It What It Is

https://hechingerreport.org/an-analysis-of-achievement-gaps-in-every-school-in-america-shows-that-being-poor-is-the-biggest-hurdle/

The headline on this article published on the Hechinger Report website, Seems to indicate that poverty is the largest hurdle that public education must overcome.

You don’t have to read very far in the report to understand that the headline is fairly misleading. Most of the report deals with the institutional, systemic, and societal racism that creates poverty in brown and black communities.

It is imperative that we, educators, and anti-racist leaders, accurately identify and discuss racism, and not hide discussions about racism behind the more palatable social problems, like poverty.

Call it what it is.

“I Have to Ask… With Elizabeth Hess”

Two weeks ago, I made one of the most difficult personal decisions of my career as an educator. I resigned my position from Urbana School District after almost 30 years. The last six of those years, I had the honor and privilege to serve as Superintendent. In that role, I focused on students, and I especially focused on how as a system (not just Urbana School District #116), public schools fail to serve students who have been traditionally marginalized.

One of the people who reached out to me was a journalist, who has transformed her own life drastically over the past two years. After leaving the News-Gazette, where she was the only progressive, feminist voice on the editorial page, she has become one of the best independent journalists in the area. She uses an in-depth interview format that is both insightful for the listener and intimidating for the person being interviewed.

Last week, she invited me to her studio and asked me some of the most meaningful and challenging questions I have been asked by a journalist in a very long time.

Here is a link to the interview on the Apple Podcast site. Here is the same interview on SoundCloud, if you prefer that platform. I welcome comments, as does Elizabeth. I strongly recommend subscribing – her interviews are easily on par with NPR greats Terry Gross or Jeremy Hobson.