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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 07.01.22

“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder

"It’s Greek to me!”

I finally get the expression, “Its Greek to me.” I don’t understand a thing here and that’s the beauty of it. When you visit a country where the writing system doesn’t resemble what you know, you begin to understand what it feels like to be dyslexic or a beginning reader. Visual cues like hand gestures and facial expressions start to play out in verbal communications but this writing stuff especially for someone like me who is dyslexic is for the birds. When I finally found something written in English, it was a beauty. I found this sign was in a crafts village I went to on the island of Tinos where people specialize in the old ways of sculpting marble.

A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.”

—George Santayana

This week in New Orleans, Anthonette and David were at the gigantic ISTE conference. We are already planning a big splash at this conference around B-Unbound, The IBPLC and BPLiving for next year. The Executive Director of ISTE, Richard Culatta is going to do a big promo of our work. We are all connected through LEGO.

Joe Frazier on roadwork

This was a notable week for the 311 Credential and for Charlie’s HFFs incredible work in South Carolina where it is not often that the stars align so well at the state level. South Carolina is one of two states that meet the mark on placed-based/work-based learning. Their state policies are way ahead of everyone. That said, Harbor Freight Tools also has one of their largest hubs there. The team Charlie assembled has now gotten HFFs to be a statewide program with actual cost-sharing support. Lots of hard work and roadwork went into this endeavor and it goes to show as South Carolinian Joe Frazier always noted, you got to do your roadwork if, you want to stay in the game.

Next week in Newark, the 311 starts. There’s lots of roadwork done here as well. A bunch of us have been on calls all week making sure all the pieces are in play. In a week, the 311 pilot will run in Newark. After that with the support of the carpenters union, workforce development, industries and districts, we can take it to other places around the country.

I’m really looking forward to Big Bang and seeing everyone assemble after all of these COVID years. We are bringing a number of students from our BPL new forms, new measures initiatives. As a preview, I’ve been in touch with Alisha Daga who is coming all the way from Mumbai, India by herself to attend. Here’s an excerpt from her email about the incredible work she is up to and what she will present.

“On a brighter note, there's a very interesting project that I've taken on recently for Big Picture Living along with some students at NEXT. As you may know there is a lot of disparity in India, and in Mumbai, with regards to education and resources especially. But health is such a crucial aspect of our life that we wanted to take it to the underprivileged and rural side of Mumbai and spread the word about the 6 measures. We have already conducted one session and our target audience is students at orphanages, municipal schools and disability centers. I wanted to share this with you because I thought it's a new initiative that we have taken up with BPL.”

All in the Year 1972: Roe vs Wade, The Equal Rights Amendment and Title IX written in 37 powerful words

As the majority of us in this country grieved over the Roe vs Wade decision, something else happened. Last week, in the midst of the Roe decision, Title IX celebrated its 50th anniversary. It passed June 22, 1972. Title IX is the only one of these three laws on solid ground and there are very good reasons for this. It was introduced in the Senate by Birch Bayh but it was moved forward by Representatives Patsy Mink and Edith Green. Behind the scenes, I’m proud to say, it was crafted by The Godmother of Title IX, Dr. Bernice “Bunny” Resnick Sandler yet, another graduate from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn. FYI, Bunny is not a ‘pet name’, it is Yiddish for Bernice. Bunny’s doctoral advisor was our friend Bill Sedlacek and she was unrelenting in her research and deep dives into data that made this brilliantly crafted 37-word piece of legislation law. Yep, 37 words and that is the beauty of it.

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

While Title IX is best known for its impact on high school and collegiate athletics, the original statute made no explicit mention of sports. The United States Supreme Court also issued decisions in the 1980s and 1990s, making clear that sexual harassment and assault is a form of sex discrimination. In 2011, President Barack Obama issued guidance reminding schools of their obligation to redress sexual assaults as civil rights matters under Title IX. Obama also issued guidance clarifying Title IX protections for LGBT students through Dear Colleague letters.

Four years apart in age both Shirley Chisholm and Bunny Sandler were born in Brooklyn. My research for the chapter I’m writing on Congresswoman Chisholm turned up this excerpt showing Shirley Chisholm’s important role in the passage of Title IX. Here’s Senator Bayh’s recollection of what happened when she testified in front of the Senate

Senator Bayh: “Rep. Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress, testified in front of the committee and the tide started to change,” Bayh said, she said 'Gentleman, you know that I'm discriminated against all the time because I'm black. But that's nothing compared to how much discrimination I get for being a woman.' Now that spoke volumes to the senators."

My hope is that we all move forward with new champions of democracy as Unbought, Unbossed and Unbound as these women were.

Be well!

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