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82. "Change is Not a Part-Time Job" with Dr. Kimya Nuru Dennis

by Lindsay Lyons
August 23rd 2022
00:45:00
Description

Today we are joined by Dr. Kimya Nuru Dennis who helps change policies and practices in schools, businesses, and non-profits. Dr. Dennis is passionate about serving and protecting those in underser... More

if you are looking for a push. This episode is the one you need. Dr Kimia Nuru. Dennis is a sociologist and criminologist, educator and researcher. As founder of 3 65 diversity Dr Dennis helps change policy And practices curriculum and courses and evaluations and assessments for K- 12 schools, colleges and universities, businesses, human resource offices for profit and nonprofit organizations and communities. Emphasis is placed on supporting and protecting people with underserved and minority ties, identities and experiences a range of demographics and cultures captured include race and ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, language and communication, mental health, physical health, self harm and suicide disability, reproductive health and freedom and sexual health and freedom. Dr. Dennis Conversation was so powerful. I am so excited for you to listen for reference. This conversation was recorded November 1, 2021.

Let's get to it. Educational justice coach, lindsey Lyons and here on the time for Teacher Ship podcast we learn how to inspire educational innovation for racial and gender justice design curricula grounded in student voice and build capacity for shared leadership. I'm a former teacher leader turned instructional coach. I'm striving to live a life full of learning, running, baking, traveling and parenting because we can be rockstar educators and be full human beings if you're a principal Assistant superintendent, curriculum director, instructional coach or teacher who enjoys nursing out about co creating curriculum students. I made this show for you. Here we go dr Dennis, Welcome to the time for Teacher Ship podcast. Thank you so much for having me on Time for teacher ship podcast. I'm so excited for our conversation today and I want to just dive right in. One of the things that I I think is really important is this idea of like big thinking, big dreaming or you know, freedom dreaming as dr Bettina love talks about it as dreams grounded in the critique of injustice, which is a phrase that I just absolutely gravitate to.

And so I'm curious as you think about that and her description of it, you know, what is the dream that you hold for the field of education? The dream that I hold is for people to stop being stuck in concepts, theories and repeating readings and so that's a dream. But it's actually real life for when we talk about thousands of years of knowledge is and work and people who are making changes to curriculum schools. However, those changes are silenced. They're punished including by the people who claim they want changes to happen. So that's another example when we're talking about the inequities in education. That's K through 12 and colleges universities and that's nearly every K. through 12 and nearly every college university around the world. So I always want people to understand this is not just a local problem. It's not just a national problem in U.

S. A. And Canada. It's an international problem because if you're looking at race and white power, that's five centuries colonialism, transatlantic slavery, christian missionaries. So this notion of terrorism where you still people, you still products, you still knowledge. You put it in european white museums. You pretend that white people and not only white men but white people in general are the main creators and inventors. And it's only true knowledge to be learned and taught if white people say so. And then of course you can talk about this as well when you're addressing gender and sexuality and health and religions. And so this is something that just keeps going on and on and on. Because even the people who say they want to do the work, they don't want the follow up. They want this, add a band aid. They form all these committees.

And then when I tell them, well, let's look at the demographics represented in the authors. Don't tell me that you are increasing representation of black indigenous, asian non white hispanic, non white latin latin latin works, but it's the new stuff and it's mostly new based on white standard of like bestseller books despite thousands of years and then centuries let alone in the Western hemisphere for some groups of people. And then a lot of times it's still written and published by white people. And so this is just why highlight dreams have to be uncomfortable because if you're thinking that you're making changes and the people you went to lunch with yesterday are still gonna want to go to lunch with you tomorrow after you make changes and that's not really how this goes. Yeah. So well said thank you for speaking to the context to that we're having the freedom dreaming within right. And so that's a really important piece of, you know, it's not just what do I wake up today?

Like thinking would be cool to do in my class tomorrow, but like given this international context that you spoke about, I think that's a really important grounding to be able to think about what that looks like and what that looks like to address it in a meaningful way, in a sustainable way, in a way as you're saying that, like, has to be uncomfortable, I love that phrase. Dreams have to be uncomfortable. And so as you think about that, I think or as you speak about that, I think about, you know, the mindset shifts that are often required to do this work when we think about teacher education programs, right? There's a very rigid model of like, here's what a teacher looks like, here's what a good teacher looks like. And here's like what we were all told as we're going through these prep programs that is actively harmful in many ways to our students and ourselves and and our colleagues. And so I'm wondering what the mindset shift are that you would encourage people to adopt or that you've even seen in successful teachers who are really buying into that dream that you described that is uncomfortable and really addressing that context that you describe.

So so deeply thank you That's a wonderful question. And this is the tough question that most teachers ask me this question theoretically, but do not want a real answer. I blame every school decision maker. So teachers want me to blame politicians. They want me to blame school of creditors. They want me to blame the superintendent. They want me to blame the assistant principals and the principles. And I say, hello teachers, how are you doing? They want me to blame the taxpayers voters, the angry parents at school board meeting and the school board. But teachers are just supposed to be there. And I'm like, teachers are really in charge of a lot of curriculum parts, including changing what's in libraries. And I tell teachers this every single day for the past more than 10 years and I myself am a product of predominantly black rich and public schools in which predominantly black second capital confederacy, we were still taught mostly white people's version of everything from preschool to 12th grade and then in college and then in terminal degree and we are supposed to just be happy and not challenge that.

And so I just explained this to teachers. This is where the responsibility has to come in. I do not celebrate teachers bragging about a new book for class and that's happened all over social media during covid. Right, people like, oh, I'm doing this new book in my class between that and of course, you know, the covid oppression of teachers. And I say here's why this is annoying because a lot of things that teachers are highlighting happening during covid have happened literally for more than a century in the United States America and Canada, this is what black and brown people have talked about more than a century. And we've oftentimes been told to stop complaining. It's only being highlighted as a problem now because it's particularly white teachers who are outraged. Right? So the same thing happens when we're talking about the problems of the curriculum and then teachers say in my classes, I can't control what you all are doing.

Well, that's not true. And so this is why I blame teachers because as college university faculty, if you brag about having an awesome, inclusive based curriculum for your courses, but then you're sitting in faculty meetings right beside people who have exclusive curriculum and y'all are just hanging out, then you're to blame. Because if you can coexist with exclusion, coexist with educators who are not educators because I do not believe in pedagogy and education that's exclusive. So no, I'm not going to declare you an educator if you're exclusive and how you define knowledge, education information, if you're sciences, Mathematics, arts literature is musics have Children from preschool, including in PhD programs in M. D. Programs coming from all of that around the world, believing that white people discovered the most notable forms of sciences. Medicine, Mathematics and health, if you can coexist around people who perpetuate that, then you yourself a horrible teacher, no matter what you put in your own classes.

And this is what I always tell students in my classes at the college level. My focus is showing you how my course connects with the other courses in this department and the other courses throughout your life in schools. So that you can see the conflict. You can see the contrast and you can challenge yourself to say mm And I also believe in public knowledge, meaning I tell students all the time, I'm gonna give you a whole bunch of stuff as students are like, well, what do we have to read? I'm like, guess what? Here's the awesomeness of choice. There's a bunch of stuff that you don't have to read from my class, but you have access to this so that you never feel like you're stuck with what the teacher told you is fact. And unfortunately, most teachers don't do that and they will say that they don't have the time, the resources that they're not allowed whatever the response. But then this is why I tell teachers what is your deal breaker then?

Like you can't claim that you're teaching students how to learn and self reflect. But you yourself as a teacher. You're not learning and self reflecting. You're just regurgitating and doing what you're told to do yourself. So how are you teaching K through 12 in College University otherwise, wow so many great points here. I just really appreciate that you, you have made me think a lot about, you know, that idea of like not being able to coexist with exclusion really hit me specifically, because I think in so many, particularly the first few years I was teaching so many instances, I was like, okay, well I have control from my class so I can make my curriculum, you know, this way or whatever, but I do sit next to folks in the staff meetings who are not doing this and who are problems, like creating larger problems, right, That that need to be addressed. And so how do we, as, um, you know, faculty and, and staff members at all levels as you said, K through college, really think about what does that look like to hold one another accountable?

Not just ourselves within the four walls of our classroom, I think that's a very common phrase that teachers are like, I could control what's in the four walls of my class, I control, you know, and we are part of a larger community, You have Children that are now going into these other classes that you they're they're your students and they're in these other classes and they're, you know, that is also your responsibility even beyond who is actually on your roster of students, right? But, but I think that's a really important thing to name. And I just wanted to say thank you for naming it. I also love that idea of public knowledge and just being able to share and offer choice. I'm really a fan of like the choice and even larger like student voice and like how do we co create with students and we are not, you know, the holders of knowledge and I think all these things that you've named um that as a practice and is thinking about like how do I sustainably curate these resources that enable students to see a wide um you know, array of types of materials, of sources of materials, of all of this stuff to sense make and and really think about that from a pedagogical standpoint is helpful as well.

Um if there are, you know, teachers listening, but also leaders listening, how do I facilitate that capacity in my teachers and how do I encourage them to know that that's really important to do? Um I think those are, those are really powerful questions and as we move into this, this next question that I have for you, you know, what does that look like in terms of action? Right? I think a lot of this is it does require require a sense of bravery and of like discomfort like this is different. I'm challenging now, not only my own pedagogy and doing that self reflection, but I'm challenging my colleagues too and I'm I'm bringing them along for this for this bride of advancing justice and really thinking about how we do this well together. So, I'm curious to know what your thoughts are for people who want to get started with this. Yeah. So the first step is, if you are a teacher, why are you a teacher step one? Okay. And I asked the same thing when I do trainings for medical and health professionals, when I used to do trainings for police departments. Anyone who's controlling these central components of our lives that are required, parts of our lives need to first say, why am I in this?

Because I used to also teach teachers. They were required to take some of my sociology courses. So why are you doing this? Why are you in this field of expertise? You can say you love Children, but what does that really mean? Right. What does it actually mean? And then from there I asked teachers to self reflect on why they brag about their work quite often. So, you'll sometimes see teachers in space is who will say I am a wonderful teacher. Here's materials. I'm doing. I am exhausted. I'm spending money on my own pockets. I'm just amazing. And I say, well, I appreciate teachers. Now let's talk about the inequities part. And then teachers oftentimes step back and say, well, that's not my fault though, Right. So this is where I also have to address again. Thousands of years of education systems, thousands of years of schools, thousands of years of also informal education again, like I said earlier, whose fault is it?

And also why brag about yourself? If you can't explain how your part is contributing to the larger puzzle and the larger issues like are you bragging about your part so that you can be celebrated or are you now motivating people to take the knowledge you're providing so they can challenge other classes. And this very much connects with race, socioeconomic status as well. Because there's certain groups of people who are allowed to brag about outrage Like we can talk about this United States America the whole 2016-2021 outrage that new awareness that new consciousness people are saying, I did not know this about America in the world and indigenous people and black people in particular are saying, where have you been? We have literally centuries of writing, centuries of spoken words, centuries of music lyrics that address this.

We have centuries of photos even. And it's also scary when history teachers say that they are just realizing stuff. 2016, because you're a history teacher who has degrees in history, you're Certificate teacher teaching history, but yet you didn't realize this stuff until 2016. So you have to understand you were learning white people's version of local, national and international history. Not only did you learn that, but you've been teaching that to every generation of people from thereafter. And it took 2016 and 2021 for you to say wow and you were supposed to celebrate that like yeah you finally got here. That's I don't celebrate that. That's exhausting. That's insulting. That's condescending to people who have done this work for centuries and even thousands of years around the world who have been punished for doing this work. That includes teachers who have been fired from jobs for bringing in factual history, factual sciences, factual mathematics and arts and literature czars who've been punished and while they're being punished for facts, their colleagues have stood around compliant and complacent.

But yet 2016 2021. Yeah we've got this. I always tell people when you become a new voice for equity and education now you have to be honest about the people who were punished before your voice and how you allowed them to be punished and what are you doing to not just apologize and take them out to lunch but to reverse that punishment in some way. So this is where it's really difficult because the 2016 2021 outrage has just shown that despite black people, indigenous people L. G. B. T. Q. I. A. People who include black and indigenous people marching and protesting for centuries on the western hemisphere alone A lot of people did not know about protest and marching until 2016 despite the fact that Europeans when they stole this land they themselves were protesting and marching because they were mad at, you know, Britain, right?

So the protest and march thing is so new to these people and their teachers. And so they think that screaming in school board meetings means that something's happening. And that's why I tell people change is not a part time job. Like you can't march down the street screaming a school board meeting and then you're back to just repeating the same curriculum and materials that are the problem in the first place and blame everyone else. That's why I tell people if that's your routine, then instead of going to that school board meeting to yell instead of marching down that street and that includes, we're talking about critical race theory instead of doing all of that, sit down self marinate and do the work that you should be doing, but that you're running away from so that you can be visible all over social media bragging about yourself, but you're literally not doing anything beyond the adult popularity contest.

So this is where teachers need to to do that. The same thing that they tell school decision makers and school officials. If you saw your superintendent yelling at school board meetings marching down streets throwing up critical race theory flags. And then that superintendent got back in the office, like, let me take a nap, let me do this, hashtag if I take a nap, you'd be really angry because you know that that person is not doing anything and they're getting paid a whole lot of money, not do anything. Teachers are not getting paid a lot of money in most school districts. And of course that's connected to the, you know, the property value and all that in school district. But teachers have to understand how many of them are doing something very similar to what they criticize the school officials for doing. And that's where that honesty and self reflection needs to happen and hold each other accountable while saying, I appreciate you While also saying we really have this next step that we've been procrastinating on for fear of losing a job.

And I've had people tell me, well they can fire all of us. If you really think that then sure, You know, if you think that a school district and fire all the teachers or you know, it's not going to ever be all the teachers boycotting. But if you think that they can fire 10 teachers at the same time because you all refuse to teach white only insist gender only materials. Okay. That's what they want you to think. So this is where I just tell teachers, just to be honest. If you don't want to do more than you're doing, stop pretending you do on social media, stop pretending you do when you go to school board meetings because after a while the families and communities and students who have really bought into what you're selling them. they're gonna be like, okay, I've been lied to by school officials and by the teacher who claimed that they wanted to make changes as well. Thank you so much for making those points and, and, and really emphasizing so many pieces, right? Like let's make sure that one what we're teaching students or the things that we're practicing ourselves because we can't be teaching students to self reflect and pause and do this work without us actually doing that as well.

And then also it works the other way as well. If we're talking about, you know, elevating these concerns to politicians and to superintendents and those folks like being able to do that work ourselves is critical and I love your, your focus on curriculum as well to be able to say like this is where so much, so many of things are perpetuated in policy and and all that, but so much is perpetuated in curriculum in the curriculum we teach. I think the history example is a great one. And as a former history teacher, I can say like it is like, I would shudder at what I was reading was in like I taught in new york. So the regions exams that were tested, there's like this requirement to teach to the test and I remember seeing specific questions where this is the prescribed right answer that the student will get credit for this and I know that it's false. I know that it is not historically accurate. That this is like a white perception and and like like this history that has been manipulated and as the teacher you're kind of like okay I can teach you like this is what the regions will tell you is the correct answer.

So when you take this test, I guess you put that answer but I want you to know really what, what is true, you need this information also. And so it takes so much self work, especially as history teachers who were not properly educated by their institutions to go do that work on your own to go learn that history and yes, that should be paid work. That should be work that you know like that that educators are paid better but it's absolutely necessary if we don't want to continue having these conversations about what's actually factual and what's not in, you know to actually teach history properly for future generations. Like we need to make that investment. So I just, I really appreciate you naming all of that stuff and really resonates with me. I'm I'm wondering specifically you talked about a lot of things you talk about libraries, talk about curriculum um like accreditation and policy and things are also things that are, that are pieces here. And so I'm wondering are there specific either success stories of like this school that you know, I've worked with has really dug in and done this work and this is what it looks like or recommendations for kind of like where you would suggest people start like once they do that self reflection.

Like what does that look like in terms of advocating at an accreditation level and really doing the work to revamp their curriculum to be historically accurate and inclusive and responsive. Are there, are there things that you suggest there? So first we have to say, how do we define success stories? Right. So you can define success stories as schools that have said, we're going to take this next step. What does it mean for? The outcome is always the problem because a lot of people will say that they are willing to ruffle feathers and I always tell people this should not be based on political parties and a politician you like because literally every political affiliation is designed to harm schools and to harm education. It's all the same telling you to comply. So I always have to explain that because a lot of times people will say, well this political party is going to do this and this politician, I'm like, well they want you to think they're gonna make changes so that you won't challenge them to make changes.

So success stories oftentimes are not long term. So when I say, okay, you're gonna make this update, but now you're gonna do annual assessments just like pretend that that's a requirement for cultivation, even if it's not, but you're doing it for your yourself. The annual part is where people miss out because they're like, we did what we could do the end. This also happens with schools and the people making the changes do not fit the demographics of the school. That's part of the white savior syndrome. So even if something does change for the better. Is that really a success story? Is it really a success story when white people are the ones to say we're going to remove the prevalence of white version history who that's not successful, right? Just like if we're talking about L. G. B. T. Q. I. A. Rights and materials cis gender heterosexual people should not be the main decision makers and it should not be based on cis gendered heterosexual people's signature and approval because that's not equity and it's not freedom.

It's permission from the power majorities. So this is where we always have to say, How do you define success? What is the long term lasting vision? You have to remember every change can be reversed when you go to sleep because the moment you say you're going to make a change, even if you're doing it behind the scenes, you're definitely not the only person who knows what's happening. So the people who don't want that to happen, which includes many people who they themselves have minorities identities. They're working to reverse that because we have to remember the same way we critique police departments and the funds that they receive the same way we critique medical and health fields because of the billionaire pharmaceutical industry around the world, we have to also critique schools, districts and schools themselves and how they benefit from this huge publication industry. The publishers, the connections between the creditors and standardized test producers, people understand this when we talk about academia, they're like, oh my goodness, schools are making so much money.

Colleges, universities are profiting from this and this and this. I'm like, do you all think that that just starts at the college level? Like What do you think is happening? Not even always behind the scenes at the K through 12 level? Why do you think there's certain publishers that are the most profitable? And I tell teachers this as well, when you're talking about who chooses your books, why do you keep agreeing to use those books? And then they'll say we have no choice. But I'm like, do you not have a choice or are you scared to to say? I mean, because we have years of people who've actually done research content analysis, right? You know, you know, your historian, you know, the historian, content analysis for historians for generations have gone through journal articles, books that are published and they said, you know, we did a sample of 300 history books and here's what's in there and what they found is what we always knew, which is how they depict how this land was founded by Christopher columbus, you know, all that stuff centuries.

But then unfortunately even after those content analyses, people tend to just pick on texas and florida as though this doesn't happen in literally every school around the world. Like soft and polite, white dominance in history is still white dominance in history. Like even if you say, oh we'll put Frederick douglass in the textbook or Harriet tubman, I did not ask you which black people we could put in there. Why do you think that you control that? That's still like dominance. Right? So I mean there's there's so much that goes into this, but this is again where I just say people have to just sit down and say, will they do this continuous work or will they say we've made the change? We've had a committee, we've had some trainings that mean nothing. We've had some professional developments that mean nothing. We've made sure we didn't anger the decision makers and then they have to be honest about the meaning of tokenism.

Like if you're just adding one chapter, if you're just adding one book from Toni Morrison. For example, if you're just, you know, inviting an indigenous person to come in, do a presentation, we can still complain. And I believe in boycotting schools as much as possible as well and teachers don't want to lose their jobs. But I always tell people if we have to comply to that, then it's definitely not gonna change. Yeah, absolutely. So to to be able to dr Shelton Eakins was on my podcast before saying, you know, we teachers need to be able to put their jobs on the line, right? And then, and I love that that phrase and just thinking about um you know, what does it mean to actually do the work that people purport to do or want to do? Like you're saying, like on social media and like saying, you know, I'm interested in doing this or I'm marching or whatever. Like, are you actually willing to put your job on the line? Are you willing to and not to like reduce the the, you know, financial dependence that people have on their jobs and they provide food to their families, But also like what are we really doing if we're not risking um, you know, our jobs or that security that we have as educators um to be able to do this right?

Like to be able to do the education the way that education should be done and to have that freedom dream and lift that out. So I really appreciate you naming that. And I also appreciate that you you mentioned a couple different things that we talked about curriculum, but then also that decision maker piece I think is so critical. And so my research is in shared leadership and like what does that look like when you bring in various stakeholders and that to me that's like a continuous piece. It speaks to the continuity that you're emphasizing as well. So if you just have the same power structure, you can have voices here and there that like answer a survey or whatever and you make these small chances choices or changes, excuse me. And like, okay, maybe that's a little bit of something, but really what we want for that long sustainable changes, who's making these decisions? How do we bring folks together? How do we have a team that is representative? And I love that you brought up tokenism that is not token is stick because what we've seen in the research from student voice, specifically putting 1 to 2 students on a panel of 15 decision makers who are all adults is going to silence those students because their tokens, they're not actually 50% for example, of the committee.

And so I think that's a really important thing to, to name as we think about, you know, what it looks like to be a cow as as the school decision making body or you know, as teachers. And so I don't know if there's anything else that you wanted to add before we wrap up. I want to make sure that you're able to share everything that you want to share. And then I can move to my final questions, but I just want to appreciate to all the excellent points that you've made so far. Thank you. And I also want to call out teachers unions. Of course not every place has teachers unions, but the places that do have teachers unions, It is very rare to find a teachers union that addresses library materials accreditation and school curriculum and the text books and the demographics and cultures represented in the authors and publication. And teachers unions will address salary, but they don't show an ability to multitask in addressing health access, access to restrooms for various gender identities, non identities and so forth.

So this is also where I blame teachers unions, where they do exist. That's why I always, whenever teachers unions celebrate an increase in salary, I say, will now send us a report to show how this increase in salary correlates with changes in the curriculum. I can't celebrate people's increase in salary if the people, they're claiming to be there to help are still suffering in the same oppressive schools, you're getting paid more. But what else? Yes. Oh my gosh, I agree so much. I think there's, there's a whole conversation about like the, we can have around unions and like how unions can be great and also how they have been, you know, manipulated and and manipulate the system to not uphold, in fact, in many cases, like actively like uphold oppression, um, and injustice. And so I think that's, that's so important.

And I love the idea of like, how are they correlated and asking that question. Um, I think that's a fair one to ask. So, so thank you. Thank you for naming that. Um, as we kind of come to close what is, I know you have suggested so many things and so many, you've made so many great points that I think are really interest. They lead to introspection and they lead to really thinking a little bit more critically about what it means to be a quality teacher and the teacher who advances justice. And so as we think about all of those things, is there one particular thing that you want folks to remember? Or one thing that they can kind of do as they end the episode and start doing the sustainable pieces of work that we were talking about today. Yeah. So I will say take a pause from social media for a while, that's the first step because that's the first step required for self reflection. So many teachers and medical health professionals mirror what they say on social media.

They're not doing it in real life, but they're just ranting on social media, getting to get celebrated. That's why I say that again, the adult popularity contest. So I do social experiments where I just read what teachers and what medical and health professionals say on social media, giving each other high five. Talking about equity and change making and blah blah blah. And I always say if even 20 of you were doing what you claim to be doing on social media, number one, of course, you'd probably get in trouble at the work, but things would be changing a little bit more. So that's the first step, I tell people is take a pause in what you're saying and claiming to other people to get celebrated and to not be blamed. Take a break, maybe a couple of breaks and self reflect and say why do I have to convince myself and convince other people that I'm helping and am I really helping?

And this is also why I tell people when I do trainings, write down, what are you contributing in a good way? Then write down what is your excuse for not contributing other stuff? And I say, excuse, I don't say explanation. I say, what's your excuse? And then I say after you wrote that, excuse, what did you post on social media in the past month that pretends that you're actually doing the good work, that now you're admitting, you're not doing like literally there are teachers on social media who say that they're doing some good changes when you stay well tell us more, they don't have much to tell us because it really was a change. And this includes sometimes when you find teachers who have pages upon pages of wonderful reading lists, wonderful books, but I keep telling them we have a lot of reading lists.

Is this changing the curriculum? No, it's not changing the curriculum, it's still treating minorities people as special topics courses and sub topics in certain months out of the year, like you have a reading list when you're not busy reading this book created by white people, cis gender people, men, heterosexuals, religious majority. So this is where I just say first, take some time. Take a break from That popularity contest where you want to be celebrated amongst other teachers, especially during COVID-19. Take a break because you will self reflect more effectively when you don't have to put on your acting attire. You know, we talk sociologically this notion of life is a stage and symbolic interaction is um, life is a stage how we act.

Sometimes we act for ourselves. We we especially act based on how we're responding to other people and how we want people to see us. So I want teachers to think life is a stage. How are you performing and what do you really know is not happening but you're performing like it is happening including on social media. So that's the first step. That is a powerful first step. Thank you for sharing that. And, and I think that a lot of people are going to have either interest in following you on social media or connecting with you or or having follow up questions and follow conversations. People who are interested in your training, um where can anyone who's listening go to to get that information or to connect with you to kind of continue the conversation with you after today's episode. Thanks for asking. They can find 365 diversity, but just keep in mind, I do not forever have conversations like you're not gonna pick my ear as black women were expected to just allow people to pick our ears every day.

And and for free of course based on this idea that as humans, we can just keep talking, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk talk and nothing happens, nothing changes. You're just talking. So I want people to know if you contact me, we're not just gonna share ideas. I need you to be doing something more than that. And one thing I appreciate about many educators who have podcasts, they actually are doing the work. They're not just waving around signs like they're literally doing the work and their point of podcasts like yours is connecting people who are doing this work so that when people contact each other, they're talking about collaboration based on action and not event session, vent sessions are very good for mental health and physical health. But vent sessions need to have the next process because we can't vent for the rest of our lives because the power majorities if they know that all you're doing is venting at lunch meetings.

They know you're going to be at work the next day regardless. So people who contact me or whatever the case may be, it has to be being prepared for challenges. And if you're uncomfortable with what I say, ask yourself why because I'm saying the same thing I'm saying now, I might use stronger words. But if you're offended, think about the minorities people who don't have a voice. So that's just something to keep in mind in terms of contacting me, don't say, hey, I just want your opinion on this. No, I'm not doing that, nope, nope, nope nope. What's your opinion on that? And then let's go to the next level. Oh my gosh dr Dennis, you have been a wealth of information and insight and I have loved this conversation. So thank you so much for agreeing to come on the show. It has been an absolute pleasure to talk to you today. Thank you so much. You're amazing. If you're leaving this episode, wanting more, you're going to love my live coaching intensive curriculum bootcamp.

I help one department or grade team create feminist anti racist curricula that challenges affirms and inspires all students. We leave current events into course content and amplify student voices, which skyrockets engagement and academic achievement. It energizes educators feeling burns out and it's just two days plus you can reuse the same process. Any time you create a new unit, which saves time and money. If you can't wait to bring this to your staff. I'm inviting you to sign up for a 20 minute call with me, grab a spot on my calendar at www dot lindsey Beth Lyons dot com slash contact until next time. Leaders continue to think Big Act brave and be your best self. This podcast is a proud member of the teach better podcast network, better today, better tomorrow and the podcast to get you there, explore more podcasts at teach better dot com slash podcasts and we'll see you at the next episode.

82. "Change is Not a Part-Time Job" with Dr. Kimya Nuru Dennis
82. "Change is Not a Part-Time Job" with Dr. Kimya Nuru Dennis
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