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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 6.9.2023

Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder

“The search for truth and knowledge is one of the finest attributes of man,” Einstein once said. “Though often it is most loudly voiced by those who strive for it the least.” My quick two on the events this week

Every Picture Tells a Story

This week the photos just kept coming in from last week’s BPLiving Day and BPL Graduations. Here are just a few.

Graduation at New Legacy Charter in Aurora, CO

Here’s some photos principal Sara Kahn sent me from New Legacy’s graduation, an amazing school where everyone graduates together mother’s, father’s, daughter’s and sons. Sara was also principal of the San Diego Met. And, there’s Steven Bartholomew, Executive Director at New Legacy and former advisor and principal at The Met in Providence on the side as well. How do two people from two different places who are principals at our schools end up in a new place they move to and end up doing what they are doing? Kismet!

Cup of Joy - Learning to Leave

Scott and I did a segment for Cup of Joy on Learning to Leave with Chris and Karla. Cup of Joy has a nice relaxed feel to it. It is just the way it should be with its own style and verve.

Every time I’ve done a book talk, they never come out the same way twice. There’s always nuances that present themselves. That day, it was about the James Beard Awards that were given out this week. In the book, we wrote about how the James Beard Award made changes to how they judge chefs and restaurants to ensure quality and equity. “Not long ago, The James Beard Award (which recognizes culinary professionals in the US) got ahead of the curve when they assessed contestants for, the values of respect, transparency, diversity, sustainability, and equality, as well as taste and service. After they did this, guess what? The number of women and the overall diversity of people winning the award has dramatically increased, and the variety of foods and how they are served have changed significantly. They achieved equity through changing the standards, not by standardizing.” Take a look at this year’s James Beard award winners. Later in the week, I did another book talk with Jason Krobatsch from Education ReImagined. This time, Jason will edit from the audio recording what we discussed and that will appear only in text, no video and no audio. This is yet another way to tell the story. VerdeXchange

While I was Down under, BPL was invited to the VerdeXchange the largest environmental conference in the world. Our students were the only young people there and if you take a closer look in this Where’s Waldo type photo, you will spot some BPL staff. Our students were a big hit at the conference and through their voices many adults got a glimpse into the future that young people live in more than we do.

For the past week, there’s been a convergence of work that focused around the youth refugee population in Atlanta, GA. It started out with an ASA meeting when we were asked to meet with members of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Atlanta. It turns out that twelve years ago, Justin Howell was one of the authors of Met South, a very well-written charter that was submitted to the Atlanta School Board and rejected. That’s another long story. At that time, Justin and this school were both connected to IRC. Now, I come to find out that Justin is the Executive Director of the IRC in Atlanta, Miami and Tallahassee. Justin and I got on a call this past Sunday and now we are excited to start working together. Then the next day, I met with our Board member Gary Kraut to catch-up on what’s going on so, I mentioned the IRC work. Turns out Gary has been supporting this work for decades. Then, on Monday I’m on a call with the Bay Area Regional Collaborative (BARC) and their Executive Director Mary Weinstein tells me that they also work with a refugee population in the Bay Area. There’s way more to this week-long convergence but suffice it to say, it is a set of amazing coincidences to say the least. Our work here is to give youth and young adults access to adults around their interests doing work that is meaningful to them via B-U. There’s more time to put the pieces together next week. Finally, down below is a picture from the Hip Hop Ed Conference at The HUB in the Bronx. This photo gets added to the Learning to Leave Gallery. Keep ‘em coming. Much appreciated.

Next week, I’m back in Providence for a few days at the Met Graduation and a “kinda, farewell” to Dennis from The Met. More to come on this one…. Once the youngest principal. Now the oldest. What more can I say.

Be well!

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