Supporting Our Teachers

Looking for  Soldiers by Eileen Eady Recently I got my current issue of "Education Matters" a monthly publication from the Association of American Educators.  I was disappointed to find such a negative publication toward teachers. This is my letter to the managing editor. Teachers all over the country are under attack. We are barraged with parent complaints, threats of test scores being used to determine employment, and pressure to bring students up to grade level who come to us behind....more

Educators for Reform

by Eileen Eady My fellow teachers and parents: Throughout history we have seen injustices in our country battled. We fought to get the vote for women and minorities. We, Americans, have seen change come from voices united in protest to unjust situations. Now as we go to our classrooms and schools every day we are marching into a battle zone. The time has come for the Americans in this country to unite and fight for the most important issue in the country....more

I realize that teachers are not the only ones responsible for educating our children and I ...more

Free to Just Be

Dear Delilah,There are a number of things I could write to you about today. I could write about how on this day last year, I was on Day 4 of a 5-day hospitalization; your father and I scared that you might be taken from my womb prematurely, and that you might not be the perfectly healthy little baby that you are. I could write about how we just enjoyed a weekend of beautiful, sunny, 80 degree weather, and how the very same weekend last year, it snowed!...more

The Something I Can Do

Dear Delilah,Tomorrow, when we embark on our morning walk, we will set out on one of our familiar routes. We’ll need to make a break in the routine though, a stop at the school a few blocks from home. Why? Because that is our polling place and tomorrow is Election Day, so we’ll be stopping there so I can cast my vote.I try to be aware of and informed about the political issues that are relevant in any given election, and pay close attention to the ones that are the most important to me....more

A Tent City Tour in Haiti

 There is a well-worn dirt road that runs between the Health Clinic compound and the tent community of Noailles, home to over 5,000 people, and [singlepic id=53 w=320 h=240 float=left]just one of many tent communities in the rural sprawl of Croix-des-Bouquets. On my first afternoon in Haiti, I joined the team from the Haiti Empowerment Project to tour the area. Seven of us walked down the road – six Americans and one Canadian, along with several Haitians working as translators. For most, this was a return trip. Terri Bucci, for example, has been travelling back and forth to Haiti for the last six years as the director of the project. For two of us, however, it was very much a first.<!--more Keep Reading...-->[singlepic id=55 w=320 h=240 float=none]<span style="color: #ffffff;">.</span>There’s nothing quite like walking into abject poverty to make you painfully aware of your wealth, your full belly, your watch, your shoes, your sunglasses, your backpack with its small store of emergency rations, your bottle of clean water, your camera. God, that camera. It seemed suddenly huge and shiny and exorbitantly expensive. It bounced against my hip as I walked and I felt sick about it, sick at the thought of taking pictures of the despair around me, of the filth, the naked children, the torn tents. How could it be okay for me to tour this place – to spend a week touring places such as this – and then jump on a plane at the end of what amounted to an adventure and just leave? I knew my intentions were decent ones – that somehow my pictures and stories would help – but when that first small child tugged on my arm and told me he was “<em>guangou</em>”, that he was hungry<em>,</em> it was pretty damn clear that my intentions wouldn’t be feeding, clothing, or housing him any time soon.First, I noticed the children: their enormous eyes, their wide smiles, the way they greeted us excitedly. They called out “<em>Blan, Blan!</em>” – literally “White, White!” – to get [singlepic id=52 w=320 h=240 float=left]our attention and that call brought out more of their friends. They ran to meet us, to hold our hands, to hug our legs. Sometimes they asked for money or food, but mostly they just wanted to be close. And like children everywhere, they were full of laughter and silliness. It was the children who put me at ease with my camera. “<em>Photo, photo</em>” they said, posing with their friends and then crowding around me to see the results. They pulled faces at the lens and fell down laughing at their own ridiculous images. And I soon found out that my French and their Creole were close enough for us to understand each[singlepic id=56 w=320 h=240 float=right] other. So, as they checked out my weird tucked-in belly-button, my skin, my hair, I talked to them about their friends and their families. We shared high-fives and hugs and they showed me their toy – one palm-sized mechanized music box, the kind a fast-food restaurant might include in a children’s meal. A dozen kids were sharing it and the battery was wearing down but they got me to dance to the tinny sound anyway, laughing as I stomped about in the dust. When it was time to leave, to head back to our guest house, I told those kids they were “<em>vraiment belle</em>” - truly beautiful - then I hid my eyes behind my sunglasses so they couldn’t see my despair. I’m fairly certain they would have tried to console me.That visit turned out to be typical. Every time I walked through a tent community, or got out of a truck to visit a school, the children came running and they made me their friend, holding my hand as I walked.[singlepic id=51 w=320 h=240 float=none]<span style="color: #ffffff;">.</span>On our first evening, clouds rolled in over the mountains and thunder rumbled nearby. I sat on a chair in the wicked heat, working through my notes, semi-aware that I was looking forward to the storm. I hoped it would cool things down just a bit. And then I remembered the tents. Rain for us meant a cool breeze in our rooms as we slept; rain for those in the tents meant women would be holding their babies all night so they could sleep and everyone else would be standing to avoid the mud.[singlepic id=54 w=320 h=240 float=none]<span style="color: #ffffff;">.</span>None of this is okay. It is not okay that they are hungry, that they sleep on dirt and gravel, that they stand when it rains, that they are malnourished, and get their water from a well miles away. It is not okay that I, on the other hand, have a camera to take their picture and the wherewithal to travel on an airplane to see this for myself.And that, my friends, was just the first day.There is a well-worn dirt road that runs between the Health Clinic compound and the tent community of Noailles, home to over 5,000 people, and [singlepic id=53 w=320 h=240 float=left]just one of many tent communities in the rural sprawl of Croix-des-Bouquets. On my first afternoon in Haiti, I joined the team from the Haiti Empowerment Project to tour the area. Seven of us walked down the road – six Americans and one Canadian, along with several Haitians working as translators. For most, this was a return trip. Terri Bucci, for example, has been travelling back and forth to Haiti for the last six years as the director of the project. For two of us, however, it was very much a first.There is a well-worn dirt road that runs between the Health Clinic compound and the tent community of Noailles, home to over 5,000 people, and just one of many tent communities in the rural sprawl of Croix-des-Bouquets. On my first afternoon in Haiti, I joined the team from the Haiti Empowerment Project to tour the area. Seven of us walked down the road – six Americans and one Canadian, along with several Haitians working as translators. For most, this was a return trip. Terri Bucci, for example, has been travelling back and forth to Haiti for the last six years as the director of the project. For two of us, however, it was very much a first....more

Autistics Speaking Day

I originally posted this on my website No Stereotypes Here, and thought I'd share it here. ...more

When the Refrigerator Is Empty: Thinking About the Census Poverty Report

Once there was a Barbie doll who, thanks to feminist activism, was taken off the market. She said this awful phrase, "Math is hard!" Sexism notwithstanding, math is hard for many people, but some math is undeniably clear: Such as over 43 million Americans live in poverty. We all can agree that is "too much, too many." ...more

We all "need to respect and value other people,an obligation that extends from simple courtesy ...more

(VIDEO) Essence, Identity, and Advocacy: On Essence Magazine's New, White Fashion Director

Having a black woman as fashion director, it is hoped, will mean that the content of the magazine will be empowering to black women. That is, that the director will be sensitive to the historic and ongoing racist idealization of white femininity that makes black women's bodies, hair, facial features, and skin color seem to need fixing. ...more

As a teenager and young adult living in a predominantly white town in Minnesota, Essence became ...more

The real reason I retired—more time for political activism!

I started my blog in order to write about retirement issues—the decision, the process, and the actual experience of leaving the paid work fo...more