social justice

Watchworthy Wednesday: How You Could Win $250,000 for Being Disobedient

Wednesday, April 05, 2017 Comment MIT Award

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words — “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws” — open MIT’s Media Lab video, inviting nominations for its Rewarding Disobedience Award. The award, which comes with a no-strings-attached $250,000 cash prize, will go to a living individual or group engaged in “an extraordinary example of disobedience for the benefit of society.” From the award description: The MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award seeks to highlight effective, responsible, ethical disobedience across disciplines, and around the world. Disobedience Award objectives are to build awareness and support of disobedience-robust work being done, and


Watchworthy Wednesday: New Book Focuses on Teacher Leadership and Connected Learning

Wednesday, March 08, 2017 Comment Survive and Thrive quotes2

Kira J. Baker-Doyle’s new book, “Transformative Teachers: Teacher Leadership and Learning in a Connected World” (Harvard Education Press) offers insight on the pulse of teaching and teacher leadership today. In the first chapter, she introduces readers to Samuel Reed III, a public middle school teacher in Philadelphia who she says “helped to initiate a change in my understanding of transformative teacher learning and leadership in the digital age.” He writes for the Public School Notebook blog “about his work in the field and the classroom, often advocating the idea of ‘flipping the script,’ challenging others to


Fake News: Not Your Main Problem

Monday, January 02, 2017 Comment child drawing on newspaper

This headline may sound shocking, but I truly understand the urgent need to develop digital literacies in response to the fake news phenomenon. But, let me tell you, I live in Egypt, where “fake” news has been the norm for years. Orwell’s got nothing on us. A couple weeks ago, I tweeted this (and this post expands on that): Everyone's all about the fake news (which is important to tackle critically) but who's talking about preparing youth for the REAL news? — ℳąhą Bąℓi مها بالي (@Bali_Maha) December 14, 2016 I agree with Kris Shaffer, Mike Caulfield,


Watchworthy Wednesday: Protego — An Orlando Call to Action

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 Comment illustration of Harry Potter casting the protego spell in response to Orlando tragedy.

Just days before a gunman killed 49 people in a crowded nightclub in Orlando, Fla., the Harry Potter Alliance launched its “Protego” campaign, which aims to make the world a safer place for the transgender community. The Pulse nightclub shooting, the 11-year-old nonprofit HPA notes, was a hate crime that “sits at the intersection of many forms of oppression.” In author J.K. Rowling’s books, the heroes fight against injustice and the HPA wants people to do that in real life.  “Protego is the HPA’s first ever transgender rights and safe spaces campaign, named after the shield charm used in the Harry


From Intersections to Encounters: What the University Can Stand For

Monday, March 21, 2016 Comment large crowd of protesters holding signs and waving flags in India

#StandWithJNU Politics of Hope is a dreadful thing. The cruel algebra of necessity kicks in, when you are contemplating the possibilities of the future — not possibilities for the future, but of even having a future — yet, the future is the only thing that you can aim for. The future, in many ways seems to be analogous to the digital. We cannot name it, can’t define it, can’t predict it, can’t explain it, and yet, we seem to be constantly touched by it, shaped by it, and when we see it, we know it. If


From Cross-roads to Intersections: Hashtags for the Future of Learning

Monday, February 15, 2016 Comment protesters in India sitting on ground holding signs

Note: This is the first of a four-part series that introduces three hashtags that seek to punctuate and puncture the techno-utopian policies and social perceptions of the forms, formats and functions of the university of the future. #DalitLivesMatter I write from a condition of panic. Not of fear, not of anxiety, not of anger or indignation — all of those states offer the possibility of action, indicating the capacity to run, hide, flee, and defend. Panic, on the other hand, is a state of extreme paralysis, where the only options available seem to be unconditional despair and


Making Upstanders in Today’s World

Thursday, August 27, 2015 Comment group of young upstanders marching protesting for anti bullying rally

Oppression happens. So, what can students do? How can young people become upstanders (people who stand up for social justice and equality) in their communities? In the fourth of a four-part Connected Learning TV and Facing History and Ourselves webinar series, activists and educators tackled those questions. The webinar speakers — Mary Hendra, who leads the Los Angeles program team for Facing History and Ourselves; Jon Lego, who teaches at Animo Jackie Robinson High School in Los Angeles; Emily Weisberg, a program associate for Facing History and Ourselves; Andrew Slack, co-founder of the Harry Potter Alliance; Milton Reynolds, a senior program