It’s simple really. My journey in the field of education started out pretty simple. I wanted to be a college professor to start. And shortly after I returned from NY from graduate school I became a NYC Public School teacher and while my time in the system wasn’t long it was impactful.
It was long enough for me to see that I did not enjoy yelling at children, that threats were a way that many teachers managed young boys of color and when that failed call the Dean or School Safety on them to CONTROL them. That did not work for me and when released from my job, I made the leap into non-profit. Thinking I would have more autonomy and more opportunities to create the kind of programs that I was clear could have a powerful impact. But those places too had systems in place. It occurred to me at some point that they were only interested in me as a means of using my education and blackness to infiltrate the communities that they believe were “in need”.
Now, I spend a great deal of my time working with educators, administrators and schools on how to impact young people in ways that support them and ultimately eradicate them being moved from the school to prison pipeline. The journey is certainly not over by any means. And I use whatever platform is at my disposal to be able to impact change wherever possible. As I have been frequently told, “I am at the bottom of the next mountain.”
Dawn Speaks for Ripple Effect Artists