By Angelica Flowers
One of my favorite Loudspeaker Films video is called "Like Father Like Son." I believe this video should be shown at schools in urban communities to have a positive influence on the young black men in my generation.
We are happy to announce that our first three short films, TEACHED Vol. I, are now available for streaming on Vimeo-on-Demand! We made these films because we believe that more people need to understand how and why we still have a race-based "achievement gap" in the U.S. More people to understand the consequences of inaction especially for low-income urban youth who are hit hard by our failure to provide every student with an excellent educational experience.
At the beginning of February, the Loudspeaker Team had the great joy and honor to fly out to Washington, D.C. to hold an interview with David Johns, the executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans! I could tell from his Twitter page that I was going to enjoy meeting him, but those tweets did not prepare me fully for how much of an inspiration Mr. Johns truly is.
The area in which a child lives should not determine where he/she goes to school. After watching the our new video entitled "Because They Can: A Parent's View", I realized that the methods of teaching carried out in the area that a child lives may not match his/her learning style or satisfy their desire to learn different things.
Some of the highlights from the TEACHED film series in 2015 include:
An Interview with DeRay Mckesson
New Team Members
The Atlantic's Race & Justice Summit
Sharing the Code of Oakland
Introducing the Future of Tech
As this year comes to a close, my heart breaks for Tamir Rice's family and to all the many others who have lost children to such senseless and violent acts with little to no accountability or justice to follow.
How could anyone watch the video of police driving up directly in front of Tamir and instantly shooting him without feeling the force of that bullet in one’s own chest?
We have entered and are gaining equality in many fields that were male-dominated just a few decades ago—medicine, law, business and economics to name a few—and we are now earning more college degrees than men, but we remain behind in attaining careers in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs in America.
Girls may bring natural ability and curiosity to math and science, but somewhere between Kindergarten and high school they lose their enthusiasm and leave the more advanced classes to the boys. Research suggests that even teachers may unconsciously discourage them.
I believe there should be more public schools for the arts. For students, like me, can have a school they can go to. A school to show off their talent and help them expand it more to go further with it. It could be located in urban areas for children of color to have somewhere to go.
Writing is an artistic way to get to know a person or to get people to listen. When I write, I try to make the reader stay engaged and feel what I’m experiencing:
Occurring this year on December 1, #GivingTuesday helps to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.
TEACHED’s mission is to highlight the multifaceted experience of underrepresented communities through film. Through this campaign we hope to increase our outreach of those we are able to put on the loudspeaker. We believe that these underrepresented stories are important and wish to share them across wide audiences of parents, students, and policy makers to facilitate discussion among community members on these demanding issues.
Those who are interested in joining TEACHED’s #GivingTuesday initiative can visit http://www.teached.org/donate/ .
Suicide among young people is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., and most are linked to poor mental health. Adolescents dealing with mental health issues simply aren't getting the help they need, especially in educational settings. I believe that if schools would take the initiative to incorporate mental health services for young people suffering in silence, suicide among teens would drop dramatically.
In DeRay Mckesson on Why Blackness is Not a Weapon, TEACHED creator Kelly Amis sits down with the young civil rights crusader who, since driving to Ferguson, Missouri to take part in the protests surrounding the police shooting of Michael Brown, has since become one of the nation's go-to visionaries on how a future America would look if equality became our true priority.
For the past few weeks, I have been helping my parents and fourteen-year-old brother get ready to move from their small town in New Jersey to Charlotte, North Carolina. As we packed up fourteen years' worth of memories into cardboard boxes, I felt a wide range of emotions: nostalgia, as I looked at my middle school report card; amusement as I stumbled across an embarrassing photo of my older sister; and a tinge of selfishness as I wondered how life would be different now that my parents would no longer be ninety minutes away.
But tonight, as we shared one last dinner together before their car ride south, I felt an overwhelming sense of fear – not for being alone, but fear for my little brother as he leaves the home he has always lived in, the friends he has always had, and the small town where nearly everyone knows who he is.
Watch On the Loudspeaker with Van Jones, and read Producer/Director Kelly Amis' article, In Oakland, it's Either Code or Be Coded.