Showing posts from 2020

The Queen's Gambit Cared More About Games Than the People Who Played Them

How many of you have watched  The Queen's Gambit  limited series on Netflix?  How many of you fell in love with the beauty of the cinematography and the choreography of chess?  How many of you dusted off your old chess set or went out and bought your first one as a result of your binge-viewing?  How many of you were enchanted by the story of orphan Beth Harmon (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) and how her stoicism and hardship was rewarded by an international platform where she was paid to play mind-games? Raise 'em high, friends.  I know you're out there. I'd heard from many friends and saw folks on social media gushing about the series and so when I ran out of free episodes of  Survivor  right at the end of my semester (don't tell me things don't line right up in this life), I decided to check it out.  I'd heard mostly good things but one sort of sardonic and vaguely scathing review from Louis Virtel on the podcast  Keep It  where he was essentially rolling his

Asset-Based Community Development and Critical Social Theories: One Community Practice Social Worker’s Theoretical Toolkit

Stocking My Community Practice Theoretical Frameworks Toolkit While there are many theoretical frameworks and contexts readily applicable to my projected future life as a social worker, this essay will examine two umbrella theories: Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) and Critical Social Theories, especially Critical Race Theory, Feminist Theory, and Intersectionality.  By utilizing these frameworks and lenses, my goal is to see beyond the surface and discover places to dig deep into the work of supporting community groups and policy initiatives in such a way that it is the impacted community members themselves who self-determine who they are, what they stand for, and what goals they’d like to set to strengthen their shared world. Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) In 1993, Kretzman and McKnight wrote a “guide about rebuilding troubled communities” that was meant to be “simple, basic, and usable” with “wisdom flowing directly out of the experience of courageous and creative

An Open Letter About Remote Learning -- and Those Who Administer It -- During COVID-19

In her book Teaching to Transgress , feminist writer, activist, and academic bell hooks speaks of educators as having the potential to be healers: to heal themselves, to heal their students, to create a better, more curious, and certainly more inspirational world.  Her writing reflects on how she grew up in the 1950’s when desegregation landed her in the culture shock of having all-Black classmates and teachers to mostly white and how that changed her relationship with education, something she loved so dearly.  She writes, “That shift from beloved, all-black schools to white schools where black students were always seen as interlopers, as not really belonging, taught me the difference between education as the practice of freedom and education that merely strives to reinforce domination” (hooks, 2014, p. 4).  For hooks, the classroom became a battleground from very early on and it wasn’t until she stumbled upon the teaching of Paulo Freire and Thich Nhat Hanh that she started to see tha

Consciousness-Raising: How the 1968 Protest of the Miss America Pageant Sparked the Women’s Liberation Movement

 co-authored by E. Clayton, Z. Raglow-Defranco, and S. Wolf Introduction The New York Radical Women’s (NYRW) group catalyzed the second wave of feminism. Only existing from around 1967 to 1969, their use of consciousness-raising and the media helped to encourage hundreds of women to join the feminist movement (Dow, 2014). The atmosphere that motivated the NYRW to form was one where many radical movements, including anti-war, civil rights, and several others were gaining traction within the United States (Library, 2011). The NYRW founders wanted women’s oppression to be addressed alongside the other reforms and wanted women to have larger roles in the civil rights and anti-war movements. New York City at the time had a diverse population of around 7,800,000 people and was rapidly growing in size (City, 2001).  The NYRW’s group wanted to address the issue that women were not taken seriously in political or socioeconomic spheres because of their oppressed social status. To address this co