Change Maker classes for young children and parent evenings dates,coming soon!
When: 8:15-9:30 pm
Watch a talk on your own then meet and discuss with me and others.
“Let’s Talk Truths: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for young people”
A talk from “Dignity and Justice for All”
at the JFK Library Keynote presentation by Dr. Debbie Reese
Registration sliding scale
$5-$25 Thank you!
Zelle Victor L Bradley Jr. 617 905 8429
Once registered email me firstname.lastname@example.org will send zoom link and talk before 9/22/21
Who is Dr.Debbie Reese?
Although Debbie Reese’s popular American Indians in Children’s Literature blog may not further her academic publishing needs, it feeds her first loves as a parent, teacher and librarian.
Reese, of the Nambé Pueblo tribe from New Mexico, is an assistant professor of American Indian studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She began writing her blog in May 2006.
Motivation to begin the blog grew out of her own frustrations as a parent and elementary school teacher over the dearth of accurate resources for teaching about American Indians. According to Reese, much that is taught about Native people in U.S. schools, from preschool through college, is laden with errors and stereotypes. The purpose of her Web site, she states, is to help people develop a critical stance when evaluating American Indians in children’s books.
“I wanted to write something for teachers, librarians and parents who don’t have the time to read academic journals,” she says.
The blog, entitled “American Indians in Children’s Literature: Critical Perspectives and Discussion of American Indians in Children’s Books, the School Curriculum, Popular Culture and Society-at-Large,” provides critiques of popular children’s books about American Indians, lists of recommended books and resources, holidays and Native- themed lessons, first-person stories by parents and teachers, images of Indians in children’s books and best sources for books about American Indians as well as information about native-related current events and topics.
Reese has been surprised by the blog’s popularity, which averages 500 hits per day. Links to her blog are listed on numerous Web sites of teacher, librarian and tribal organizations, including the Internet Public Library, ReadWriteThink and School Library Journal. According to data she keeps from her respondents, more than 75 professors within the academy use her blog in classes.
She lists the blog among her academic publications but says she doesn’t know if it is valued. Since more and more professors are looking at the Internet as a venue for publishing and information, she maintains hope that eventually her online work will receive greater weight within the academy. Reese was just awarded “Best Writer of the Year for a Website” from the Wordcraft Circle, an organization for indigenous writers at Michigan State University.
Deeply grounded in her heritage, she is the only member of her family who doesn’t live on the reservation at the Upper Village of the Nambé Pueblo. Moving to Illinois in 2001 to work on her doctorate proved to be somewhat of a culture shock, she admits. She missed daily walks on land on which her ancestors had walked. But rather than succumbing to homesickness, she was determined to create a Native community at the University of Illinois. She was instrumental in creating an American Indian house — not just a wing, she jokes — on campus and a tenure-track American Indian studies program. The program is one that does not study American Indians, she states, but is one that works for and with Native people and communities.
Reese is currently working on her book, Indians as Artifacts: How Images of Indians Are Used to Nationalize America’s Youth. In the book, she questions the feel-good romanticized narrative in the United States about good Indians and bad Indians as often portrayed in books such as The Little House on the Prairie.
Future plans include setting up a center for the study of children’s books about Indians at the university, which, coincidentally, has the largest collection of children’s books in the country.
- Learning on zoom
I am constantly checking the barometer on where my young people are at emotionally, physically, and mentally. Most importantly, I want to ensure we are having fun as we’re learning! My classes keep kids engaged and having a great time while they learn to be activists for change in their communities and better citizens for the world.
- What are people saying about the Change Marker classes?
“When the pandemic necessitated online instruction Victor was an overnight expert at Zoom classroom, where he combined dance, singing, learning, and meditation to hold the attention of a 4-year-old for an hour, 3 times a week! No easy feat, as we all know. Victor also recognized the importance of checking in with the students 1 x 1, and my child looked forward to those times when he could “show Victor” whatever he was into.
My son and I also participated in Victor’s virtual Changemakers class, where Victor brought his signature calmness and wisdom to hard conversations. While some of the changemakers were familiar to us, the repetition and new perspectives were valuable, and they always lead to new conversations. After Victor’s class my son and I had a lot of conversations that started with “I want to be a changemaker but I don’t want to go to jail.” We talked about how jail is scary, but some people (like Gandhi) saw it as a time for learning. We also talked about how we could create change without going to jail, and how not all changemakers (Sonia Sotomayor) go to jail to make a change. These are the types of conversations that I want to be having with my son, and Victor’s class gave us that opportunity and the tools to have them together and for me to feel good about the outcomes. “
I feel so lucky to have had Victor in my son’s life and my own.
-Kate Elwell, parent
“We are extremely grateful that both our boys had Victor as a teacher.
His presence is warm, calming, and reassuring. “
“Victor has a passion for teaching and it shows through the care he gives each student. “
-Jackie Carrington, parent
“Victor’s teaching style uses kindness and compassion to give his students room to question, experiment, make mistakes, try again, and learn. I watched with joy as he extended this to my child, and realized with gratitude that it extended to me as a parent too.”
“Victor Bradley brings together two forces—young children and social justice—which when brought together will make our world a better place. As a tremendously nurturant and knowledgeable early childhood educator he has a profound understanding of the complexity and power of young children’s development. “
—John Hornstein, Founding Faculty Member,
Brazelton Touchpoints Center
“My child attended Victor’s online
‘Diverse People of Power’ class. He immediately requested that I get his books on several of the ‘changemakers’ that Victor had presented. He was impacted by these stories and has now started a child-led activist club for his peers at his school.
Parent of Malik (7 years old)
”Teaching activism empowers young people to make big changes in the world, even though they’re small.”
Victor L. BradleyJr.
Anti Racists/Bias Educational
”Never too young to change the world
Learning on Zoom
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