From Jose Vilson:
If we believe in two sides of education reform (I don’t), then one side seems to do a better job of proffering their people of color more so than the other, at least from the outside. Even if we believe Michelle Rhee, Steve Perry (the principal), and the rest merely serve as puppets to a corporate agenda, to the casual observer, that side espouses diversity much more than “this” one. While Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis, education professor Lisa Delpit, and education professor Linda Darling-Hammond may give “our” side more legitimacy, people within both camps have to acknowledge the ways in which they enact their racial views (and collective privilege) before engaging in defensive posturing over who treats people of color better.
Even in more neutral educational topics like “math,” “literacy,” or “administration,” it’s interesting that the same names mentioned tend to be white males. Again, some of them are my friends, but, in my position, I have to speak my peace.
At some point this year, I promised myself that I would no longer tolerate invisibility. People of color in education reform can’t wait for validation, or a savior to highlight our work. Certainly, I’ve had plenty of people along the way of all colors share my work and refer me to others, but, above all else, I needed to have that sense of self and the work I do. That keeps my work integral and in forward motion.