This Thanksgiving I'm Thankful for All the Education Advocates Who Make Doing This Work Just a Little Bit Easier

Outrage: Distractions

Y’all, I’m irritated. The internet stays failing us and we believe almost everything we see and hear without doing our own research. Over the weekend, there were pictures from a Macy’s ad circulating that depicted a Black single-family household headed by a woman and of course, a White family complete with two parents. And another photo that had a gay family with one Black and one White father. Black Twitter was in an uproar. https://twitter.com/BlackPressRadio/status/1064560221673136128 However, some of Black Twitter missed these pictures and the real Macy’s ad. https://twitter.com/AdrienneWallace/status/1064191565814530049 But now it’s too late because people have already jumped on the “Boycott Macy’s” bus and the company has issued the usual “we’re sorry” statement. Question. Why is it that we're so easily stirred by false outrage and meaningless offenses that we're quick to want to boycott corporations but slow to attack long-standing and more damaging assaults? Like, why do we continue to give our tax dollars and support to schools that are failing our kids and mistreating our families? (Y’all should’ve known I would go here.) Because while the internet has us mad at Macy’s, schools are threatening to falsely report parents to child protective services when they disagree with how the school handles their kids. Kids are committing suicide because they’re being bullied at school. Over 2 million students are homeless and 45 percent of Black kids attend high-poverty schools. Keeping it real, the ad pictures are an accurate depiction of the diversity of American families. Why are y’all mad? And if you are mad enough to protest, how long will it last this time? Because as soon as Nike gave Kap a deal, some of us dropped the NFL protest. Meanwhile, Kap still doesn’t have a contract and with the boost in sales since the ad, Nike is getting money from us and the NFL. No shade, just honesty. Bottom line, we don’t have time for fake outrage or the temporary protests. Because we 99 problems and right now, Macy’s ain’t one but education is.

Hope: Thankful

This work isn’t easy. It’s never been easy. Every day many of us have to find a reason to push through despite being emotionally and physically drained, enduring obstacles, setbacks and opposition and honestly, facing the realization that racism, discrimination and bias permeates every institution in this country. Especially education. But we keep going for ourselves, our communities, our kids. So in the spirit of being thankful, I’d like to shout out a few people and organizations that fight alongside me and make it a little easier to persevere. *rolls out red carpet* I’m thankful for those who have paved the way and mentored me in this work. Chris Butler, Adrienne Leonard, Chris Stewart and Howard Fuller. https://twitter.com/PeeplesChoice85/status/1064962821635653634?s=19 Tanzi West Barbour and Kenya Bradshaw, my big sisters in the struggle who have been here to support and guide me through discouraging and enlightening times. The educators who are always making their voices heard and put their students first. Nehemiah Frank, Sharif El-Mekki, Jason B. Allen, Zach Wright, Seth Saavedra, and Garris Stroud. And most of all, I’m thankful for each and every parent advocate that has the most at stake in this fight and refuse to give up. The Parent Advocators, Marilyn Rhames, Laura Waters, Vesia Hawkins, La Comadre, Vivett Dukes, Lamont Douglas, Erika Sanzi, Keri Rodrigues, Sarah Carpenter and The Memphis Lift, and The Oakland Reach. I may have forgotten a few but no one’s hard work goes unnoticed. Thank you all for fighting for educational justice and liberation.
Tanesha Peeples
Tanesha Peeples is driven by one question in her work—“If not me, then who?” As the former Deputy Director of Activist Development for brightbeam, Tanesha merges the worlds of communications and grassroots activism to push for change in the public education system. Her passion for community and relentless mission for justice and liberation drive her in uplifting and amplifying the voices and ...

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