This is an awesome video by Sam Seidel. I have been following his work and just ordered his book titled hip hop genius. I am excited to read it and add to my small collection of hip hop meeting education books. Chris Emdin’s Urban Science Education for a Hip Hop Generation was the first of the collection. I am hoping to make it down to NYC for the march break to take part in a hip hop education conference! –> http://www.tc.edu/HealthDisparitiesConference/
Tonight I was in Regent Park at the Regent Park Film Festival for a screening of The Interrupters. The film has not only left me speechless for the entire documentary but motivated to get even more involved with my school and community. The screening was held in the new Regent Park Arts and Culture Centre Daniel’s Spectrum. Community, front line workers, teachers, students and change makers gathered for the screening followed by a Q and A session with many activists.
The movie about stopping violence in Chicago could easily be set in Toronto or my Scarborough community. The message is strong, of an epidemic sweeping North America of violence and repeating of the status quo. We follow Ameena, Cobe and Eddie (the interrupters) around the Chicago area from the group Cease Fire. They are true heroes, mentors and role models not only for those who they work with but for any documentary watcher. The courage, love and experience they share through the film is beyond words. The idea is to confront the violence and stop the chain of retaliation. From the movie, we see the vicious cycle of poverty, broken homes, prison terms and violence. I can see where the analogy of a disease comes from, it spreads, infects and repeats.
When I think of my own students in my school and community, I see them in this film. I see a lack of opportunity for youth in my area. I am grateful for having teachers who care, community groups like Pathways to Education and Boys and Girls Club who keep the students safe and support them outside of school. The panel suggested that change needs to come from higher up, from politicians to do the right thing. Hiring of more police officers will not put an end to violence. We need to get youth engaged, educated and become meaningful members of their community.
For all the teachers reading this, making a connection with a community group with your school. For all the community groups reading this, make that connection with the local school. All those in the community, see what you can do to get involved.
The Movie: http://interrupters.kartemquin.com/
Cease Fire http://cureviolence.org/
Regent Park Film Festival http://regentparkfilmfestival.com/
Yesterday we watched Blood in the Mobile. A documentary about the mining of minerals like coltan and cassiterite from mines controlled by arms group in the Congo. We had a large class discussion about action we can take when an issue happens and we want change. It is us as consumers buying products, large companies purchasing from companies that in turn purchase raw materials from arms groups in the Congo. Our consumerism is funding civil conflict and destruction. We watched the Story of Electronics (from the creators of Story of Stuff) and then we talked about action we can take. I showed them the Phone Apes program from the Toronto Zoo that recycles the minerals in the phones so that forests don’t have to be torn down in the Congo. This is a environmental, social, and political problem all combined in one. Science and Technology do not operate in silos but infused in our lives.
An action I showed my students today was a powerful message using hip hop and spoken word to relay a message about blood minerals in our phones. Watch below:
Come Clean for Congo: http://www.enoughproject.org/