I’m very grateful to be honored by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), University of Washington Chapter. Last week, they granted me the Courage in the Pursuit of Social Justice Award for “[my] courage in undoing racism in Seattle public schools classrooms, despite administrative attempts to interrupt [my] work.”
See my short speech (that probably went on for too long) here (at about the 1:21:30 mark).
While such accolades have always felt good, I have not always felt entirely comfortable broadcasting such honors beyond a few close friends and family. However, since the Seattle Race Curriculum Controversy, in which Seattle Public Schools worked very hard to stain my reputation and career to cover its own mistakes, I’ve evolved a bit.
I now appreciate these awards because they create a narrative that counteracts the one district leaders tried to tell–one based on two faulty investigations and the misinformation of one White family trying to impose a colorblind approach to race on a well-established study of race.
I also appreciate the recognition because of what such recognition says about the Seattle community. There are so many here who take bold stances against injustice, who aren’t afraid to call out the missteps of those in power, making me so proud to call Seattle home. Heck, at the meeting in which I was honored, AAUP professors were in the process of forming a union!