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Jesse Hagopian: #BlackLivesMatter at school

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In this ninth episode of Black Work Talk, host Steven Pitts welcomes Jesse Hagopian, an Ethnic Studies teacher at Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington.  The public schools in the United States have been near Ground Zero during this confluence of COVID, the recession, and the fight for racial justice and because of this, education has become a flashpoint for political struggle. Jesse has been active trying to ensure that any school re-opening takes places on a timeline and fulfills key conditions that best serves the interests of students and staff, not the needs of outside political actors with their agendas. Prior to the pandemic, Jesse worked with others from around the country developing a liberation pedagogy and working with his union (and others) to build a social justice unionism that has the power to transform education.  Recently, Jesse has edited two books collecting essays on making teacher unions a force for racial and economic justice:

  • Teacher Unions and Social Justice: Organizing for the Schools and Communities Our Students Deserve
  • Black Lives Matter at School


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