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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 9.22.2023

“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder


For years Dennis and I have been hoping for someone to write a history of BPL and the Met. In Pam Roy’s about to be released new book, Parenting From the Passenger’s Seat – Youth Driven Adult Supported. How Our Children Develop Capabilities, Connections and Meaningful Lives., she does just that in both text and audio formats. Chapter 5 of Pam’s book brilliantly lays out the history of BPL. It is really great to read and listen to. Attached is the audio file for Chapter 5. Much thanks from all of us.

More on parenting from Namahana….

On Wednesday, Kapua and I were interviewed by Cat Mariko Black, a communications specialist who works with Namahana School on explaining to future parents of the School what advisory is as a step toward orienting them to BPL design through the concept of ʻĀina – to have the understanding that all things within and around this world are part of an interconnected fabric that makes up our realm. Aloha ʻāina is to live with this understanding and apply that knowledge in one’s work and lifestyle.”

What was supposed to be an hour-long interview turned into something way longer. Why? Because we both had lots to say and riffed off of one another. Cat played the parent who wants to understand what Namahana is all about but is still wedded to a traditional school model. There will be a series of these interviews conducted over the next month. We both thought it would be a good idea if Pam Roy as a parent did one of those interviews since her book is geared towards parents and families grappling with the education of their children. More to come.

Elite Back Men and B-U

Timothy Jones and I had a Zoom call about an initiative called Elite Black Men. Timothy is one of the leaders of this youth-driven adult-supported work in Charles County Maryland. Our conversations revolved around Elite Black Men becoming a B-Unbound site. Another part of our conversation was about us both growing up in BKLYN and going to the same Boys Club in Brownsville across the street from Coney Island Joe’s. There’s lots more to this story reserved for another time and place. Anthonette and I will keep this work moving forward. Here’s an excerpt from NBC Washington about the program - https://www.nbcwashington.com/community/in-the-community/elite-black-men-group-charles-county-community/3274278/


We are always at a crossroads in our work. Do we go as we know or do we know as we go?


Whenever I’m at a planning meeting for a conference in this case, the BPL Leadership Conference in December, I’m always at the crossroads with the questions: Do we go as we know or do we know as we go? It is in my nature to get bored pretty easily. I’m always doing things differently and thinking about new ways. For years, being at conference planning meetings is always a challenge and it is always interesting to see where people’s feet move around these questions. One thing new that I liked was the notion of using Carlos’s lenses of Love, Care and Vulnerability for our school visits at Leadership. This is something we haven’t done before.


The LEGO Final Report is attached here for those who want to see all the work our team did on BPLiving, B-U and IBPLC. Scott and his evaluation team did some incredible work here. Next week, we will have the evaluation of Harbor Freight Fellows ready. I’ll send that one out as well.

Stuart Foundation meeting for Southern Cal grantees.

Andrea and I attended a Stuart Foundation So Cal gathering of their grantees. I can only say that once again, it was great to have a foundation bring their grantees together face to face and not have any agenda. I wish more meetings were like this one. So much was accomplished both intentionally and serendipitously. Here’s a few things: Years ago, I wrote a chapter for a book with Karen Hunter Quartz on real-world learning. Karen is now Director of UCLA’s Center for Community Schooling and is doing TA work for the state on Community Schools. All that said, we are now back in contact and when Andrea spoke with her about the IBPLC, she told Andrea she wants to explore the possibility of UCLA being the vetting and warranting agent for the IBPLC. Then, I met with Alysia Bell who is not the Director of UNITE-LA. She invited me to a meeting next Thursday that’s a retirement party of sorts for an old friend, the former director of UNITE-LA, David Rattray.

Today Carlos and I do a follow-up Zoom with Stedman Graham about doing work in Chicago and Los Angeles aligning our collective work. There will be lots of more to come out of this.

Be well!

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