Meritocracy, Social Justice Education, Black History, Safe Spaces: 12 Articles I’ve Been Reading This Week

From The New York Times: Death, The Prosperity Gospel, and Me

“Blessed is a loaded term because it blurs the distinction between two very different categories: gift and reward. It can be a term of pure gratitude. “Thank you, God. I could not have secured this for myself.” But it can also imply that it was deserved.

“Thank you, me. For being the kind of person who gets it right.” It is a perfect word for an American society that says it believes the American dream is based on hard work, not luck.”

From Cult of Pedagogy: A Collection of Resources for Teaching Social Justice

“When I set out to find good resources for social justice teaching, I was looking for classroom-ready materials, lesson plans with supplementary texts or videos that would prompt students to learn about, think about, and talk about social justice issues. I also hoped to find some that would actually teach students about activism, about how a citizen zeroes in on a problem, formulates a solution, then does the grassroots work necessary to see that solution come to life.

Some of these resources fit the bill perfectly, especially the first one on the list. Others do not include lesson plans at all, but serve such an important and innovative role in social justice education, I thought they were essential to include here.”

From Quiet Revolution: 6 Illustrations That Show What It’s like in an Introvert’s Head

“Dear Extroverts,

We love your energy and your excitement. But as introverts, we sometimes feel misunderstood. We wish you could visualize what’s going on inside our brains—you might be surprised! Here are six illustrations of what it’s like to be in our heads.”

From The New York Times: The Myth Of Welfare’s Corrupting Influence On The Poor

“…in many countries, “we encounter the idea that handouts will make people lazy.”

Professor Banerjee suggests the spread of welfare aversion around the world might be an American confection. “Many governments have economic advisers with degrees from the United States who share the same ideology,” he said. “Ideology is much more pervasive than the facts.”

What is most perplexing is that the United States’ own experience with both welfare and its “reform” does not really support the charges.”

From Longreads: Seven Stories For Martin Luther King Jr Day

“Below are seven stories about (or by) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., exploring different facets of his life and legacy.”

From The New York Times: Blacks See Bias in Delay on Scalia Successor 

“After years of watching political opponents question the president’s birthplace and his faith, and hearing a member of Congress shout “You lie!” at him from the House floor, some African-Americans saw the move by Senate Republicans as another attempt to deny the legitimacy of the country’s first black president.

And they call it increasingly infuriating after Mr. Obama has spent seven years in the White House and won two resounding election victories.”

From AutoStraddle: 50+ LGBTQ Black Women You Need to Know Because We Are Awesome

“Black queer women are magical. We’re innovators of style, technology, science, art, music, and all other sorts of badassery. Two years ago Riese put together a list of 100 LGBTQ Black Women You Should Know. This year for Black History Month, we’ve included another 50 Black trans and queer women that you absolutely must know about.

These women are athletes, actors, musicians, pop culture icons, activists, scientists, doctors, clergy members, and so much more. They showcase just how different and unique trans and queer Black women can be.”

Deray Mckesson on Social Media

From Richard Meinke: A White Male in Multicultural Affairs

“Please do not capture underrepresented population’s experiences by reading textbooks or looking at statistics. This knowledge helps in gaining awareness to challenges students may face, but it doesn’t capture how unique each experience is.

My students may experience and perceive their Blackness differently, and it would be ignorant on my part to generalize each of their experiences due to information I read in my student development theory book.”

From Wilderness Voices: Multicultural Affairs and White Folks Running Things

“We’ll look around one day if we’re not careful and have all-White student affairs divisions and people will claim to not know how that happened but talk about how progressive it is and how social justice-oriented they are.

I can’t think of anything more insidiously racist than for White people who already occupy 90% of student affairs positions on campus to lobby for the right to also occupy the other 10% as well, while not lobbying for more equitable racial representation of the other 90% of positions in the field.

I can’t even.”

From The Culture (For Harriet): #BlkWomenSyllabus: Here are 25 Must Reads for The Empowered Black Woman

#BlkWomenSyllabus was created in response to the violation of 21-year-old Charnesia Corley by a deputy in Texas. Corley says she was sexually assaulted by the deputy during a traffic stop on June 21.

The hashtag was initiated by Dr. Daina Ramey Berry and is a archive of writing and resources to empower Black women. Scholars, historians, writers, editors and more have contributed to the growing trend.”

From Everyday Feminism: Signs Your Anti-Oppression Space Isn’t as Safe as You Think It Is (With 3 Steps to Make It Better)

“Do you believe your communities are safe and welcoming for all? This comic shows some of the ways you can tell if not everyone feels that way.This practical information is vital to our understanding of why intersectionality is a priority.”


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW



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I’m a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities.

“Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian” is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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