Let's K12 Better

Welcome Back, it’s Black History Month… What, whaaat?!

February 16, 2022 Mom Of All Capes Season 3 Episode 1
Welcome Back, it’s Black History Month… What, whaaat?!
Let's K12 Better
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Let's K12 Better
Welcome Back, it’s Black History Month… What, whaaat?!
Feb 16, 2022 Season 3 Episode 1
Mom Of All Capes

Welcome to season 3 and Happy Black History Month! We open up the season with a discussion on current events, books we’re reading, and how we plan to set the tone for this upcoming season. 

FYI… we are working on a new sound setup. We haven’t learned it all yet and appreciate your patience. We are attempting to capture all the nuances of the conversation by recording the whole table. 

Don’t forget to tell us “What’s On Your Mind?” Are you saddled with a troubling situation? Curious to hear what we think about a certain issue? Send us your questions! Your query may end up on the Let’s K12 Better podcast in our community letters section.  Send your celebrations and questions to this form or email us: LetsK12Better@gmail.com

We mentioned the following articles:

We are reading the following books:

We discussed the criminalization of Black girls. Please read this article to learn more: The Criminalization of Black Women Starts Early

More on news and media literacy:

Music written and produced by Garvey Mortley

The Let’s K12Better podcast is written and produced by Amber Coleman-Mortley, Garvey Mortley, Naima Mortley, and Sofia Mortley.

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to season 3 and Happy Black History Month! We open up the season with a discussion on current events, books we’re reading, and how we plan to set the tone for this upcoming season. 

FYI… we are working on a new sound setup. We haven’t learned it all yet and appreciate your patience. We are attempting to capture all the nuances of the conversation by recording the whole table. 

Don’t forget to tell us “What’s On Your Mind?” Are you saddled with a troubling situation? Curious to hear what we think about a certain issue? Send us your questions! Your query may end up on the Let’s K12 Better podcast in our community letters section.  Send your celebrations and questions to this form or email us: LetsK12Better@gmail.com

We mentioned the following articles:

We are reading the following books:

We discussed the criminalization of Black girls. Please read this article to learn more: The Criminalization of Black Women Starts Early

More on news and media literacy:

Music written and produced by Garvey Mortley

The Let’s K12Better podcast is written and produced by Amber Coleman-Mortley, Garvey Mortley, Naima Mortley, and Sofia Mortley.

Support the Show.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  0:07 
Hi, welcome to the let's K 12 Better podcast. This podcast is a project between me Mom Of All Capes and my kids.

Group  0:19 

Garvey  0:23 
In our podcast, we will cover a variety of subjects involving K12 education and family life.

Sofia  0:28 
We will talk about the ways that parents kids and educators can improve K12 education and family life.

Naima  0:35 
Hit subscribe to get alerts when new episodes drop and follow us on social media @LetsK12Better

Amber Coleman-Mortley  0:50 
Let's jump into season three episode one of the Let's K12 Better podcast. Yes! What, whaaaat?!

Amber Coleman-Mortley  1:09 
All right, welcome back to season three of the Let's K12 Better podcast. We are so excited to be back.

Group  1:18 
What, whaaat?!

Amber Coleman-Mortley  1:19 
It so long, guys. So we just want to welcome our new listeners. Welcome back to the fam who has been with us since season one or since the first episode. Welcome back to the folks who jumped on during season two. This show is a family-friendly and educator friendly, non-watered-down discussion cast. We will keep it the only way we know how and that is...

Sofia  1:45 
Real and awesome and fun guys!

Amber Coleman-Mortley  1:47 
Real, awesome, and fun. I love it! We also just talk about like, all kinds of topics here. We interview experts, right guys? In the past two seasons, who are some folks that we've interviewed that you were like, "yes,"?

Naima  2:03 
Kishonna Gray

Garvey  2:04 
Ms. Yaritza

Amber Coleman-Mortley  2:05 
Dr. Kishonna Gray. Ms. Yaritza. All right. Well, tag, these episodes that we're recommending here. I think it's "Intersectional Tech" and it's also "What's Your Why? with Yaritza Villalba". So yeah, those are two really great episodes. Yes, so you know, and then we've, we've also interviewed countless other folks who have brought amazing expertise and opinions to our podcast. You know, shout out to Dr. Menna Demessie. A shout out to Larissa Lam and Baldwin Chiu. Shout out to Karalee Nakatsuka. And you know, Dr. Katie Perrotta... like there's just... Dr. Kat Schrier, like Dr. Lindsay Portnoy shout out to... Right!? Like there's so many folks who... and if we didn't say your name, doesn't mean that we don't love you. We're literally just...

Naima  2:59 
You're awesome, bro. You are getting on that "sigma grind".

Amber Coleman-Mortley  3:03 
Yes. And we will say that we have tons of other folks lined up who have amazing perspectives to share on the podcast with us and amazing things to say you're absolutely right. We do encourage you to go back to seasons one and check out all the wisdom that has been shared thus far.

Sofia  3:22 
There are some people that have been...

Amber Coleman-Mortley  3:23 
Yes, as you do that, please make sure you are fully vaccinated and boosted if you can to protect those in your lives. We do want to say that. We are not quite out of this pandemic yet; though we are so close people. Let's go!

Sofia  3:37 
Let's get to it.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  3:38 
Yeah, let's get through it. So it's and.. we do want to say being in the pandemic, is what pushed us to start this podcast because you know. Secretly I have always wanted to have a podcast. I've drugged the kids into this willingly and unwillingly at times, right guys?

Garvey  3:57 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  3:58 
Everyone's looking at me like can we not say can we... So anyway, um, but you know, COVID-19 was the reason why we have this podcast. So we do want to just remind everyone that this is endemic... it's probably gonna, we're gonna be living with this for a while. So please take care of those who you love. For us, it's been a wild six weeks because season two ended at the end of December and now here we are in February, which is what? What is February you guys?

Group  4:31 
Black History Month!

Naima  4:32 
AKA the best month of the year... other than December.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  4:35 

Naima  4:35 
December is the best month.

Garvey  4:37 
Okay, all right, cool, but the coughing is... ...pretty biased.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  4:41 
So anyway, so it's Black History Month. We didn't make new resources this year, but we definitely want everyone to please check out our episodes and season two that are specific to Black History Month although we talk about black history and blackness and everything because we are black and proud. So "Black History Month" season two episode and also the "Let's Talk About Blackface" episode; two very critical family-friendly, educator friendly episodes to dip your toe into important topics during the season.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  5:12 
Also, take a look at our Black History Month toolkit. It's at Mom Of All Capes.com.

Naima  5:18 
It was made last year, but it's extremely relevant every year.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  5:20 
Exactly. And it's relevant all the time. So please check it out on the toolkit drop-down tab, we will link that in the show notes as well. Okay, we're changing things up a little bit, but we're keeping a lot of stuff the same. So we're gonna jump into it, you'll probably notice that, you know, well, we've changed up the show. We have some awesome guests lined up, like we said, but we're also going to sprinkle in a little bit more family discussions where appropriate. Folks that that they love that about our show. So we hope that you enjoy this year's journey with us, you are with us on this journey.

Naima  5:55 
We had stopped now.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  5:56 
You can't stop now. We also have community letters. So "What's On Your Mind?", we'll talk about that a little bit later on. But please make sure to check that link out if you have something that's on your mind. Share that with us, it might end up in our show as we discuss various topics. Alright, let's get into our next segment on family discussions about current events.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  6:33 
Alright, let's get started. This is the family discussion on current events. In this segment, we will talk about things that we've seen in the news or things that we've read, whether they're opinion pieces, op-eds, actual news pieces, articles, all of those kinds of things will come up in the section.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  6:57 
Speaking about current events is a really just a really important part of media and news literacy. So these guys just so that everyone knows are in the middle school range, right? So this is a great time to practice. Right what it means to be media literate. Okay, so I'm gonna ask Sofs first before she talks about her article...

Naima  7:25 
You should ask all of us, "What does it mean to be media literate?".

Amber Coleman-Mortley  7:28 
I think you're right. I think you're right, we should I should ask all y'all about what it means to be media literate.

Garvey  7:33 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  7:35 
What is news and media literacy?

Naima  7:39 
Um, I think that news and media literacy is when you're able to, like talk, not only like read or learn from a informational text, but to be able to comprehend and output that information like by yourself.

Garvey  7:55 
Media literacy actually means, like, technically seeing if news is fake, and being able to comprehend if a source that you're reading news from is actually a good source.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  8:08 
You said that news and media literacy is all about comprehending what you have read. And you said that news and media literacy is all about the ability to see if a source is reputable, or what you're reading is true. And both answers are correct. Right. And so why, why? Why should... How should families practice news and media literacy?

Naima  8:36 
By looking at current events and having discussions about them [current events] and like, what they and what they [media stories] mean like in different situations, or like [what is is happening] in the situation, specifically, in like the piece of media.

Garvey  8:48 
By playing actually this iCivics game that literally teaches you about media literacy, and how to... it's basically the same thing I said, "How to find out if a source is good or not".

Amber Coleman-Mortley  9:00 

Garvey  9:00 
So you should just play that game.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  9:01 
Alright, shout out to iCivics shout out to my former job. Newsfeed Defenders, we're gonna give that some love because we know the folks who...

Naima  9:08 
...in the show notes!

Amber Coleman-Mortley  9:08 
...made that game. In the show notes. We'll add that in the show notes. Alright, so now that we've established what news and media literacy is... Also check out, NAMLE [National Association for Media Literacy Education], they have some really great resources for teaching and learning about news and media literacy. So we will add those in the show notes. Shout out to those guys too. So we're going to have discussions about current events, which will give us practice for news and media literacy.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  9:36 
Sofia, you ready? Let me see here. All right. You read, "5 Ways Young People are Using Discord". What publication is this in?

Sofia  9:47 
The New York Times

Amber Coleman-Mortley  9:48 
And who is it by?

Sofia  9:50 
The New York... Times?

Amber Coleman-Mortley  9:53 
Kellen Browning.

Sofia  9:54 
Where does it say all this information?

Amber Coleman-Mortley  9:56 
Oh, my God. So here's it. Alright, hold on pause. This is great and this is going to stay in the show. When you look at an article, you're looking at the title, you're looking at who it's by, and you're looking at what publication it's in. So this articles title is "5 Ways Young People Are Using Discord". It is by Kellen Browning. And it is in The New York Times, that is a publication. So three important things that we want to make sure we focus on. We often as adults take that for granted. We just read all three of those pieces of information like "oh, well, I know, this is where it is. This is who wrote it. This is the title". But having to stop and think about it is actually a good thing.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  10:37 
Alright. Tell me what you read. You know, you're not gonna read the whole article. Let's summarize the article.

Sofia  10:43 
Um, basically, it's talking about the safety and the complications about Discord.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  10:49 
Okay, and what is Discord? For those of our listeners who don't know what Discord is.

Sofia  10:54 
Discord is like a chatting. It's like a chatting app where people can share their ideas.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  11:00 
Okay. Alright. Okay, your sisters are saying that it's not. Their mics aren't on so like, you know, what? What is discord?

Naima  11:14 
Discord is basically a social platform that you can use that has different servers and different channels and different groups where you can connect with other people.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  11:24 
Okay. Alright. Awesome. And what else is Discord?

Garvey  11:29 
It's actually mostly for gaming and school and work groups. Okay.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  11:34 
Alright. So that's how y'all are using Discord. And that's how you guys have said Discord is established. So back to Sofia who read this article...

Amber Coleman-Mortley  11:43 
What did the article tell you about the five ways that young people are using discord?

Sofia  11:49 
What I learned from this article is that there's not just one community on Discord, there's a variety of people and communities.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  11:55 
Yeah, that's kind of cool. And also, you're a little young for Discord. So that's really interesting that you have learned that, that's awesome. That's awesome. Okay, okay, cool. My next question is, what vantage point is the article coming from? Like, what is the goal of this article?

Sofia  12:14 
The goal is basically to inform the readers about how, like, what Discord is about and how it affects other people.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  12:25 
Mm hmm. Okay. Alright. And then my last question is, why should adults who are caregivers, parents, or even educators, why should they care about this topic?

Sofia  12:37 
Because this is like how kids are interacting with each other in the 21st century.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  12:42 
Okay. Alright, cool. Kids are interacting with each other on Discord. And maybe some parents don't know that. Right? Like, maybe, maybe they don't know that their kids are using this platform. So it's an opportunity for them to do what after they read? What should parents do after they read the article?

Sofia  12:58 
Ask their children.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  13:00 
Right, like, what's going on, bro? How you using this platform? What's happening there?

Sofia  13:04 
Is it for gaming? Is it for communicating with other children?

Amber Coleman-Mortley  13:07 
Absolutely. And it's all a part of media literacy. It's also a part of digital citizenship, and just teaching kids how to engage with each other online. Right? The more parents understand technological platforms, the more equipped they are to be able to support kids in these spaces.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  13:28 
Alright, cool. Glad you read it. Also, who do you want to give a shout-out to?

Sofia  13:32 
I want to give a shoutout to my sister, Naima.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  13:34 
Yeah, she's actually quoted in this article. So go her, hey, we'll link it in the show notes.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  13:41 
Alright, Naima, you read "Police Arrest Protesters Who Remained At US-Canada Bridge". So, author of this article? Where's this located? Tell me.

Naima  13:59 
So of course is gonna be in the show notes, just like the rest of the stuff we're mentioning. But basically, this was an article by AP News. And the authors were Rob Gillies and Corey Williams. So basically the meat and cheese of the article is that there is a bridge that's kind of like a border between Canada and the US. And there are like, some, like riots and not so peaceful protests surrounding that area.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  14:28 
What is the root of these protests? What is it around?

Naima  14:32 
The root these protests is kind of around how they kind of closed off this border.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  14:37 
So you're right. In this article, they're talking about closing, the closing down of this bridge. If folks have been following this last couple weeks, you know, there have been tons of protests around vaccine mandates and I we highly encourage folks to read the backstory of where this stemmed from. So her story that she read is an addition. Or what what would be called, like, you know, "breaking news", more information... We just opened this article, more information about what's developing in a larger story. Which is another part of media literacy, right, where the little part that you're reading may not be the whole story, it may be just a small part, or a medium sized part of a grander, larger story that's happening.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  15:29 
Alright, so we do want to acknowledge that. So thank you so much for saying that. So, talk a little bit more about what's happening.

Naima  15:36 
Um, basically, in this article, it's like, they're, they closed off the border, between like the US and Canada, which also closes up the border to some other places, because of the vaccine mandates. And like, other stuff, and like, just for general safety, and people started basically protesting because of it and it got like, it kind of turned into like a riot of sorts. So yeah.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  16:06 
Okay. Alright. So we are here in the thick of it, right? Folks are upset about these vaccine mandates, truckers are involved. Again, we encourage folks to read up on the larger part of the story. The thing that I want to ask you is, what did you learn from this article?

Naima  16:29 
Um, I kind of learned that in situations, um like, in different situations, or depending on your viewpoint, you might think of this very differently. Like, from what I read, was very unbiased. And like, I was thinking about, I was like, people could take this many different ways, if that makes sense.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  16:50 
Hmm. So then, because you said that this article was unbiased. And usually the Associated Press, that's the point of this Associated Press, like they just [say], "Here's what's happening, y'all," right? And then folks, whether it's Fox News, or CNBC or MSNBC, or whatever, then craft the story around it based on the people that they interview on, on from their side. So then, I would say, what vantage point is this article coming from?

Naima  17:19 
Um more informational, and vantage point, because it's, um, very, like unbiased. And it's not like, it's not like giving a specific like viewpoint or like telling a specific people that this is catered towards them, or like implying that. It's sort of like, anyone can read this. This is just giving you information.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  17:42 
I really like that. Okay, so there's no call to action. There's just like, "Here's what's happening, y'all". Okay, okay. Alright. So my next question is, why should families and educators care about the developments that are happening in this article? Or just in like, why should they care?

Naima  18:01 
Because even if this isn't directly, like affecting you, like, even if you're not the people who like this is like, yeah, like directly affecting you, I guess. Like, it's still important to notice, like that this is happening. And that like this happens, not just in Canada or not just in the USA, this happens everywhere. And we just don't hear it every day.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  18:24 
Hmm. Okay. Well, I appreciate that. Again, very important for all of us to think about the ways geopolitics impacts our lives in large and small ways. The truckers who are protesting against vaccine mandates impact the economy. Right? So there's a lot of ways that we can look at that, you know.There are lots of parts that are similar to other protests and other riots that have happened in the past. And by in the past, I mean, the last two years. Ways in which also like folks are treated during protest, right? That some other folks are not, right? So thinking about how are these people treated during their protests. So there's a lot of ways that we can critically look at this situation that brings up discussion for families, brings up discussions for classrooms that are valuable. So we encourage people to, to dig in a little bit more and see what is going on with Canada.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  19:31 
One more thing I want to say is just also thinking about, you know, Canada... I've been on Twitter, kind of watching this not fully, deeply engaged, I will say. But there are folks saying "This is not who we are as Canadians". And then there are folks of color, who are saying "This is exactly who we are". So it looks like all of us in this moment, no matter where we are on the planet are having these conversations about who we are and who we want to be. So I just want to add that in there as another thought exercise for us.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  20:03 
Okay, Garvey, you read "Air Tags Stalking, Alleged Victims Speak Out As Privacy Concerns Mount Over New Apple Tracking Product". Can you tell us a little bit more about what are Air Tags and like what's happening in this article?

Garvey  20:22 
So this is an informational text by Justin Lum, and it basically goes over... well, Air Tags...

Amber Coleman-Mortley  20:29 
Who? Who is the news source?

Garvey  20:33 
Oh, Fox 10.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  20:36 
Okay. All right. Awesome.

Garvey  20:37 
It's like Fox News.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  20:38 
Okay. It's a local syndication of Fox News.

Garvey  20:41 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  20:41 
Okay. All right. Cool.

Garvey  20:43 
And it's actually, um, it's Fox News from Phoenix, Arizona. Okay, so it's not like around here. But like, if you live in Arizona, it's more relevant. But anyway, that's not the point. The point is that, so basically, Apple put out this product, and it's called an Air Tag. And you can put it on anything that you want that you don't want to lose. So say like you're on traveling, and you want to put it on your briefcase so that you don't lose it or your suitcase, so you don't lose it. So that's basically what it was intended for. But people are actually using it to stalk people by putting it on their cars, putting it inside of their purses or jackets while they're out with friends or alone. And I think it's important that our audience knows this, because stalking, it's not like one target, like everybody can be victim of stalking, and it's very scary when you're getting stalked. And you can't really prevent yourself from getting stalked all you have to do is just, know what to do if you're getting stalked; which I guess is the point of this article to inform people on what to do if they get stalked. And um yeh, do you have any follow up questions?

Amber Coleman-Mortley  21:49 
Alright, cool. Well, I appreciate you reading this text, and I appreciate you presenting the information. So clearly, I don't really have any follow ups. Other than, again, with technology and with media, there is a level of literacy that we all need to have in understanding: What does the technology do? How does that technology not only impact us, but impact others? How do we teach people to make informed decisions? Right? So if your kid has Air Tags, are they using them?

Garvey  22:20 
Oh, actually, can I add?

Amber Coleman-Mortley  22:21 
Okay. Yeah. Yeah.

Garvey  22:22 
So somebody who's 16 actually was getting stalked, too, which is, I don't know, a lot of I don't know, like, just if that's how young you can be to like, accidentally stumble upon something like this. Like, you're 16 like you don't... your child still. So yeah, I guess I want to add that to somebody as the youngest, probably 16 has spoken out about being stalked by an Air Tag.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  22:45 
Yeah. So it's really, really important for parents and educators to understand the technology that is out there, and how it is being used. So thank you so very much for bringing that article to our discussion.

Naima  23:04 
In this segment, we will discuss what we've been reading how it impacts us, or how we've been inspired.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  23:15 
Alright, Naima, we are going to start off with you. What are you reading?

Naima  23:23 
I'm reading a book called "Minor Feelings" by Cathy Park Hong. okay.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  23:29 
Alright. So tell us just a little bit. How long have you been reading this book? First off, are you done?

Naima  23:34 
I'm not fully finished with the book. So I can't really tell everything about the book.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  23:39 
Also, we don't want to tell everything about the book because we want folks to read it.

Naima  23:42 
Well, I can't either way, but like, yeah. I've been reading this book for a few weeks now. And I think it's a good book. It's talking about like the experiences as a Korean-American child, or specifically as a Korean-American child being a parent of Korean immigrant parents.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  24:06 
[Clarification] Okay, so being a child of Korean immigrant parents, so first-generation American.

Naima  24:13 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  24:14 
Okay. Alright. And so what are some things that stuck out in what you've read so far? You don't have to summarize it, but just a few things that stuck out, or if you have any passages?

Naima  24:24 
Well, I think the things that have stuck out is that... I think something I noticed is that it's kind of like, culturally different from being like, Korean American or just like, having immigrant parents like in general. From what I've read, it's like a different experience. I don't know if that makes sense

Amber Coleman-Mortley  24:45 
No, that makes perfect sense. And on our podcast, we always want people to learn about other people's first-person experiences, OR read, you know, books that talk about experiences, whether that's first person or not. So fiction and nonfiction.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  25:02 
You are not a child of immigrant parents. Right? Your parents are both American. Well, your dad's first generation but like, you know, I have been here since the 17-something. Yeah, so like, my family's been here since the early 1700s.

Naima  25:19 
Family tree's been collecting dust for quite a while.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  25:22 
Building America actually. So like, you know, thinking about that, right? Like, no shade Black History Month, what whaaat?!

Amber Coleman-Mortley  25:29 
Alright, so thinking about that, right, your experience, the things that your parents bring up from their experiences are going to be quite different from what Cathy Park Hong is talking about. So can you give an example of like, maybe one thing that you read, that supports this?

Naima  25:47 
I think, like, an example would be like, um, like, specifically, like, the bullying, I guess. Like, um, I think this is like, from any like, like, our least most first generation, like, American people, like what I've heard from their experiences. Um, it's like, they get like bullied because of something that can't control. That in this case being like, them being first, her being first generation Korean in America.

Naima  26:23 
Like, I have not personally, I don't... I have never personally been bullied, and especially not been bullied for something I can't control. Like, how I was like, when I was born, or who I was born to.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  26:35 
So then a clash of cultural experiences, present in her life, made her vulnerable to other people who were not having those experiences. Right. And because you're in the American culture as it is, right, like, you're not being singled out, because your culture at home is completely different, right? Now, again, being Black, or being Hispanic or being Asian or Indigenous, etc, etc. There are still different nuances that come with that. Right?

Naima  27:11 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  27:11 
But the fact that her family, her parents are from Korea provides a different cultural experience and aspects that she's experiencing at home. That's different from her classmates.

Naima  27:23 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  27:23 
Okay. All right. I just want to make sure I'm summing that up. I want to ask you, what is an appropriate age range to read this book? Because you're a kid, right? So like, I let you guys read tons of things not everybody's parents do. But...

Naima  27:38 
I think like, it depends on like, who you're talking to, like, I don't know if that makes sense. Like, I think being able to read it and my age, like not everyone's going to read this book and comprehend it the same way. I do. Like, just who you talk to on the street, like anyone. But like, I think, like middle school age would be a good book to talk about this, because it's not too young where it's like, they're just reading it and they can't really like, like, push it forward to you or, like, tell it for it to like other people, I guess. But like high school, it's like, I'm kind of not too old. Because you're never too old. I mean, but like, it feels like you, it would have been easier to have this conversation earlier. So I think middle school is a perfect time to read books like this in general. Um, but yeah, it's, it's you're never too old. Never too young. Like, it's just like, okay, good...

Amber Coleman-Mortley  28:35 
So you're saying it's a good book. So you're gonna recommend parents, educators maybe read this one?

Naima  28:42 
Yeah, I'd say if like you if it was something like you could read. And like, I'd say like, if you're a parent or something, read it yourself first to be like, this is something my child can definitely like, and then have a discussion with the child.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  28:57 
Why would something like Cathy Park Hong's book, be important to read at all?

Naima  29:04 
Because it's providing an experience that you may or may not have like, like, experience yourself. Say you have experienced something like this, it's still a good book, because it's something you can relate to that's not really talked about as much. But like someone like me, who hasn't experienced this, it's good to get a diverse, like, narrative. So that I'm not just thinking about people like me, I'm thinking about other people as well. And I can like, see what they're experiencing.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  29:31 
I appreciate that. I appreciate that. And I want to say that I'm not... it doesn't [pause]. We're in the midst, right now, of states and local school boards, banning books, right? Especially banning books about diverse perspectives, books written by diverse authors, right? Since you're reading a book about a Korean American's experience as a first-generation person who grew up in the United States, right? What do you think about book banning?

Naima  30:11 
Um, I think in any situation, banning something of like, that could leave room for diversity and like, inclusion of different narratives is not necessarily a good idea. This is just my opinion, let me preface that, but

Amber Coleman-Mortley  30:26 
Our whole podcast is an opinion.

Naima  30:27 
Yeah. But like, I don't think this very good idea, in my opinion, because it's basically leaving room out for other people to be able to relate to and share, like, and share and like know, different experiences that may be theirs. I know, a lot of kids probably aren't reading this book, like outside of school. So even having it just like 20 minutes reading this book, like in class or something, and being able to have a discussion about it is better. If you're not giving like the book, or, like, you should at least be able to acknowledge that there is diversity in perspectives, and not just kind of closing it off.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  31:14 
Okay. Alright. Awesome. Awesome. And what do you think about, I'm gonna say, sometimes with book bans, the point of book bans, is to cut off the idea that diversity is strength. What do you think about that?

Naima  31:30 
I think that's extremely messed up. Because you, maybe it's like, just a group of the same people, not like exactly the same people, but people in the same like, range or like, who are like, very similar than they're not getting that, like, they're not getting the diversity that they need to be able to have more empathy, and be able to, like have discussions like the one we're having now, later on in life.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  32:00 
So can I see if I'm thinking correctly, when you're saying, if you live, let's say, in a homogenous environment, whether that environments all Black, all white, all Asian, to ban books, of people who have different experiences and opinions and "life things" as you, shuts you out from being able to communicate with empathy?

Naima  32:26 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  32:26 
With people who are different from you later on. Like, please tell me if I'm putting words in your mouth, because I do not want to.

Naima  32:34 
Yeah, basically, like, yeah, what you're saying is, right, but um, what I mean, like when I'm saying like, with empathy is like, to be able to understand, like, different perspectives, and like to be able to be like, maybe this is not the best idea because maybe this group is framed one way in my community, but they might be a different, like, way.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  32:56 
So allowing those people to speak through literary texts that are diverse, then can combat some of the backwards ideas?

Naima  33:06 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  33:06 
Okay. Alright. Cool. Like this has been? Yes. All right, two snaps for you. Thank you for sharing this book, we will link it in the show notes. You said that people as young as middle school can read it, from your estimation is are there any cuss words in the book or anything like that? Just to give folks a heads up. You're not done, but have you read any or anything?

Naima  33:26 
I, from what I can remember, I haven't come across any cuss words. But like, yeah, there are like some topics and stuff. Like, I wouldn't necessarily say like that the topic is like a heavy topic. I'm just saying like, if you don't want to read this, don't read this. But if you do want to read this, just be cognizant, because I haven't read the full book. I don't know what's coming ahead. But, you know, just like...

Amber Coleman-Mortley  33:51 
Check it out first adults; check it out first.

Naima  33:53 
Yeah. If you're gonna give this to kids, just

Amber Coleman-Mortley  33:55 
...check it out first. All right. Well, we'll link it in the show notes definitely recommend the adults - caretakers and educators - to read this, especially if you interact with kids who are first-generation students or people in your community. Learning about this doesn't mean that now you know everything about Korean-Americans or first-generation people; but it does open your eyes to a new experience that you may or may not have been aware of. Also, Cathy Park Han is a great storyteller. So we definitely hope that you enjoy that text.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  34:31 
Alright, Sofia, what are you reading?

Sofia  34:35 
I'm reading "Pushout" by Monique W. Morris.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  34:38 
Okay, awesome. Are you done with the book yet?

Sofia  34:40 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  34:41 
Okay, so you got a little bit more to read?

Sofia  34:43 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  34:43 
Okay. And what is this book about?

Sofia  34:45 
This is about the criminalization of Black girls in schools.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  34:49 
Ooh, very interesting. Very, very interesting topic. What do you think so far, in reading the text, what do you think about the criminalization of Black girls in schools?

Sofia  34:59 
I think that so, I'm not going to tell about, like, I'm going to talk about the book, but I'm not gonna really give everything away. But basically, it talks about how differently they're [Black girls] being treated. I have a great example. But I don't want to...

Amber Coleman-Mortley  35:20 
You can tell it. You can say it.

Sofia  35:21 
Basically, in the book, there's this girl, and she's really good at math and everything, but her teacher keeps, she's like, can I come to the upper grade? To the upper class? And the teachers like "no", but to the other students, she's like, "yes".

Amber Coleman-Mortley  35:39 
So the criminalization of black girls then also, is about the underestimating of Black girl potential.

Sofia  35:48 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  35:49 
Hmm. Okay. Okay. I want to ask you, who should read this, like, what's appropriate? Cuz sometimes I have you guys read books that I read in college, and I'm like, "Here you gone read this today".

Sofia  36:02 
To be honest, like, um, I think that if, if you're gonna get to see kids, no matter like, I'm gonna say, the age group, but like, no matter what age group kinda like, Naima [said], you should kind of check it out first. But I think that the age group would be like, 12, to about maybe 16 or 14. Okay,

Amber Coleman-Mortley  36:23 
I would honestly disagree with you and say, like high school, and adults should read this. Not because the concepts in the book or there's anything traumatic. But I do think that adults, whether you are raising or educating or coaching or mentoring a Black girl or not, should read this book.

Sofia  36:46 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  36:46 
Right. Because you are in a position of understanding society, and how society impacts the future of folks and the choices that they make. And so I would say, I encourage adults to read it. Right. So whether your parent, caregiver, teacher

Sofia  37:04 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  37:05 
school administrator

Sofia  37:06 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  37:07 
whether there are black kids are not in the school, what do you think?

Sofia  37:11 
I think that you should still read it. Like, even if you don't wait a Black child, or any child, like, if you don't raise somebody...

Amber Coleman-Mortley  37:19 
or teach,

Sofia  37:20 
yeah, or teach, you should still read it, because that gives you an insight of what they're going through.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  37:27 
Hmmm. And it also talks about the ways in which systems can be inequitable, intentionally and unintentionally.

Sofia  37:35 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  37:36 
Right. So like, what are the ways in which Black girls are navigating these systems? Right? Whether those systems are intended to exclude them, or not exclude them? It's excluding them?

Sofia  37:48 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  37:48 
Right. And how do we fix that?

Sofia  37:51 
We can fix that by making sure that everybody is treated the same? Because...

Amber Coleman-Mortley  37:55 
Well, does everyone needs to be treated the exact same?

Sofia  37:58 
No, but everybody needs to be treated equally. And how, like, how they're being, like, how much effort they're giving... equal chance?

Amber Coleman-Mortley  38:08 
okay, so you're [saying] we want to give people an "equal chance". So that is actually equity, not equality. So you want to give people what they need based on their situations and what they're experiencing. We want to be equal in equity, but we don't want to be equal in equality. Because if I give you this, like, give her that and her that, she may need two times more than that. And you may not even need it at all. So we want to make sure we are equal in our equity, but not equal in our equality. Okay. Okay. Alright. Alright. Alright. Um, any other things that you've pulled out from Ms. Monique Morris's book, Pushout?

Sofia  38:52 
Um, I also like, um, I also got that, like, so sorry, am I allowed to do an example?

Amber Coleman-Mortley  38:59 
Yeah, you can [give an] example.

Sofia  39:00 
In the book like they bought... So I can't remember cuz it's kind of like at the beginning of the book, but they bought the like, they're like, I forgot what they call with the like, police to the school.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  39:14 
Resource Officers.

Sofia  39:15 
Yeah, resource officers, and they brought them in to take care of the child. And then they came in, like, and then they were like, beating him up.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  39:24 
So we have to think about the ways in which we respond to...

Sofia  39:29 
and control

Amber Coleman-Mortley  39:30 
Yeah, and have control. Now, we do want to say that we need to provide space for young people to learn about consequences, right, and to grow in their own social emotional learning and respect for others. Right. So we're not, we're not saying anything goes. But we do also want to make sure that learning environments are learning environments, right?

Sofia  39:53 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  39:53 
Okay. I have another question for you. You are a Black girl. Reading this book. About the criminalization of Black girls. My first question for you is was this traumatizing?

Sofia  40:07 
Not really,

Amber Coleman-Mortley  40:07 
Okay. Okay, cool. I just want to make that clear. The second thing I want to ask is like, what do you think, in as you're reading these experiences that you have not had these experiences, but people that look like you have had these experiences? You know, Ms. Morris is talking about these experiences about girls like you. So what? What are you thinking as you're reading this text?

Sofia  40:31 
I'm thinking, as I'm reading this text that, like, I'm thinking that like, I'm, it's not that... So I'm kind of thinking that, like, I'm glad it's not happening to me, but I'm also feeling empathy for the people that it's happening to.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  40:48 
Okay, that is a human emotion. Okay, so I just want to say that that is a human emotion. And that's okay. The other thing I want to follow up with is, is anyone free if people are not free?

Sofia  41:05 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  41:06 
Hmm. So how would you use your opportunities to support others?

Sofia  41:13 
Um, I will use my [sigh]. I will support others... [pause]

Amber Coleman-Mortley  41:23 
Or how can right because there are a lot of people who, whether you're a Black girl or not, right, like you may not be experiencing the criminalization of your personhood in schools. Right. So how should you be thinking about that, if you're not personally experiencing it?

Sofia  41:43 
I think that I should be thinking as like. [It's] Wrong.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  41:55 
Okay. And I have another question. If it's not happening to you, does it mean it's not existing?

Sofia  42:01 
That is definitely not true.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  42:03 
Okay. All right. Cool. I just I'm curious. Alright. I'm not trying to lead you down a path. But I do want to say that I appreciate you sharing this with others. We will link Pushout by Monique Morris in the show notes... Are you giving it a thumbs up?

Sofia  42:23 
Yeah, that's a really good book. I recommend it.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  42:27 
Okay, awesome. Lots of learning here. Thank you so very much for sharing.

Sofia  42:30 
Thank you.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  42:31 
Thank you. Alright, Garvey. Last but not least, what are you reading?

Garvey  42:36 
So the book that I chose was "A Guide to Crushing Girlhood", and it's called "Feminist AF" by Brittany Cooper, Chanel Craft Tanner, and Susana Morris. And I chose this book because I think it's a really important resource for Black people who are non binary and girls to have, because it's kind of an empowerment guide; how to deal with some tough situations you might face like people touching your hair; and it has really important messages; and it talks about Black civil rights leaders that are not like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., like Shirley Chisholm. So yeah.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  43:15 
Hmm. Also shout out to our favorite Dr. Diva, Auntie Treva {Lindsey] for recommending this book to you, as you journey through your own... I guess path of what what do you want to call it? Like not? I guess advocacy, you know? Alright, cool. Cool. Cool. Okay, so, um, is it just for Black girls, though?

Garvey  43:41 
No. But it's like targeted towards Black girls, I guess in my opinion.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  43:47 
Okay. Okay.

Garvey  43:48 
Like, [if] I was another girl color or white, it would be important for me to read it, but I wouldn't be able to relate to this much.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  43:56 
Okay. Okay. And why would it be important for you to read it if you were not a Black girl?

Garvey  44:01 
Well, like I said, it's like an empowerment guide. So maybe that can highlight some of the problems that Black people are facing. And then you can in turn say, Oh, maybe I should see how I can help by talking to my school about this or asking my Black friends if they face these problems.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  44:18 
Hmm. So going on a learning journey if you're non-Black, and if you are Black feeling you have like you have the tools to continue to push through for equality and equity. Okay, who is this book for? Like age range?

Garvey  44:37 
I would say like 12 to 17.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  44:41 
Okay, alright. 12 to 17. And we also want to encourage parents, caregivers and educators to also read, right? Because you want to know what's going on in the mind of the young person whose lives you are impacting. Anything else... From Wait, are you done with this? Are you still reading it?

Garvey  45:04 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  45:04 
You're done. Okay. All right. So like, you know, would you like recommend? Yes. No.

Garvey  45:10 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  45:10 
What? What? Okay. All right. Cool, cool, cool. Anything else you want to share about this text? You're like the fastest? Like, you're like, "This is what it is. This is you should read it. We done".

Garvey  45:25 
No, I don't have anything else.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  45:27 
Okay. Alright. Well, there you have it, folks, we will link this awesome book in the show notes, so please check it out. It was recommended to us and we are so glad that it was.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  45:41 
Alright, I'm going to talk about what I'm reading. I'm actually in a book club for Black educators. Shout out to the homies. This has been just a really amazing experience for me as a former educator, but always an educator, because teaching is just my jam. I have been just so thankful because for the last year, and two, I guess two years while we've been in the shelter in place situation and in the pandemic, and looking at how schools have responded. I've been also keying in on how Black students have been experiencing this pandemic, how their peers have been experiencing the pandemic or how non-Black kids have been experiencing this pandemic. And just thinking about the ways in which Black educators, as well, have been experiencing this pandemic. These things have been on my mind, especially with all of the racial reckoning that has also occurred during this time.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  46:47 
And then also just thinking about how are parents, white parents, Black parents, you know, Hispanic parents, Asian parents, Indigenous parents, multi-ethnic parents, how have parents in their intersections and slices been experiencing the pandemic and connecting with their kids? That is another thing.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  47:09 
So right now I'm talking about Black folks. Because it's Black History Month, what whaaat?! I have been reading "Fugitive Pedagogy". This book has been just amazing. So shout out to Jarvis Givens. You know, "Fugitive Pedagogy" is just really amazing. "Fugitive Pedagogy, Carter G. Woodson And The Art Of Black Teaching" - there are things that I've read in this book that as a former Black educator, I'm like, I did that and did not even realize that I did that. You know, I come from a family of folks who were Black teachers. And so just thinking about the ways in which Black educators support their kids in the classroom.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  48:00 
Amazing book, amazing... shoutout to Carter G. Woodson, who is the father of Black History Month, when he started the whole week off. And getting us all to celebrate and think about Black history and Black culture in the time of Reconstruction, post-enslavement, and the ways in which we change the narrative around how Black people are presented, how their history is presented, not only to mainstream and white normative culture, but also to Black people themselves. And I'd also say to non-Black people of color as well, right? The way that we tell our stories is extremely important to the ways in which we experience life and have empathy for each other. So this book is amazing.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  48:50 
I've been reading this book in concert with the "Education of Blacks in the South 1860 to 1935" by James D. Anderson. So again, these two books together... One is really focused on Carter G. Woodson. The other is focused on the ecosystem as a whole, around how Black people have accumulated the knowledge necessary to build their own communities and build spaces of survival and resistance during post-enslavement, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, very hostile times in which Black people existed.

Amber Coleman-Mortley  49:31 
So because it's Black History Month, shout out to my Black educator book club. Thank you guys for supporting me and teaching me so many things. I really love reading these books. We will continue to read these books throughout the rest of the year but I will share other books that I'm reading but just wanted to highlight that for this segment. What, whaaat?!

Amber Coleman-Mortley  49:57 
Alright, normally we are going to, in this next segment talk about our community letters. Alright, so, episode two, we are launching "What's On Your Mind?". If you have questions, comments, an issue, or a celebration that you want to share, send it into us and we will discuss it. We want to talk about the things you want to talk about. So, link is in the show notes to submit in our form, or you can send us an email at LetsK12Better@gmail.com.  

Amber Coleman-Mortley  50:42  
All of this information will be in the show notes. We're going to pop off season three, with what y'all are thinking about. We want to include you in our discussion, we have a seat open at our table, please send us your comments, questions, celebrations, and even disgruntled things, we want to talk about it. Everything will be anonymous, so we will not put you out on blast. But please share with us. Alright, can't wait to discuss it. Next episode. 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  51:12  
We've come down to the end of our show. But before we go, we want to leave y'all with a little bit... You know, you might have remembered seasons one and two we usually had quotes. Right now I'm going to ask what do you hope for our listeners until we're with them again? What do you hope, Sofs, for our listeners? 

Sofia  51:35  
I just hope that everybody, since it's Black History Month, I hope everybody celebrates Black history. And I hope everybody knows that and does activities in school. And I hope everybody has a great month. 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  51:49  
Alright, shoutout to Black History Month. Thank you so much for that. All right Naima, what do you hope for our listeners until the next time we are with them again? What do you hope for them? 

Naima  51:59  
Um, I hope that they look into different perspectives, whether they have or have not before. And like picked up a book about a diverse perspective, because, you know... 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  52:12  
Yeah, awesome. I appreciate that. Thank you so much. Alright, Garvey, what do you hope for our listeners until we're with them again? What do you hope for them? 

Garvey  52:23  
I hope that our listeners, use Black History Month, not as something like to throw away, something as like a teaching moment. The same as like Valentine's Day, not using it as like, "love, love" using it to like, teach your kids more about like relationships and stuff like that, I guess?

Amber Coleman-Mortley  52:44  
Okay. Alright. Awesome. Thank you so much. So teachable moments, everybody. Teachable moments. 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  52:49  
Alright, what I hope for our listeners until we are together again... I just hope that you guys are practicing self-care. I hope that you guys are getting the rest that you need. I hope that you are experiencing love and that you feel appreciated and every space you inhabit. I also hope that you take time out of your day to acknowledge the existence of a person with a different perspective than yours and a different experience than yours. And I also hope that you send us your thoughts so that we can talk about them and what's on your mind. All right, everybody, please take care until we are together again. 

Sofia  53:35  
Thank you for listening to the Let's K12 Better podcast. 

Garvey  53:38  
You made it to the end! Please, like subscribe and share. 

Amber Coleman-Mortley  53:42  
We want to hear from you. Connect with us on social media @ Let's K12 Better on all social media platforms. Or connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, and Clubhouse @ Mom Of All Capes, the Let's K12 Better podcast is available on every podcasting platform. So if you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to rate and review our podcast. This is a family project and your feedback helps us grow! Thank you so much for listening. 

Naima  54:16  
See you next time!