Strong community and relationships are essential to our growth as individuals and as a society. In Teach Community, bell hooks offers a virtuous guide for educators looking to honor these two pillars of growth with the young people they serve. By educating with heart, keeping a mindful eye to the consequences of our choices, and acknowledging the values that inspire impactful change, hooks summons us to weave “the discourse of race, gender, class and nationality” into our everyday experiences. If we commit to seeing our world as inescapably interconnected, we can create flexible learning environments grounded in honoring the context each young learner and adult live in each day—cultivating love, trust, and shared commitment as a result.
NOTES FROM A BLACK CHEF: A MEMOIR
Success as a young Black man in America requires a degree of grit and persistence that is incomparable to what is required by his White peers. Award winning chef, Kwame Owuachi, in Notes from a Young Black Chef, exposes this reality by taking readers through his journey in an industry where Black people are historically unaccepted and underrepresented. Despite a star-making turn on Top Chef, cooking for an American President, and opening multiple businesses, Owuachi can’t escape the learned biases and resulting obstacles created by his White peers. This tale of hope and determination is an inspiring read for young Black learners imagining careers where breaking through systemic barriers will be a constant part of their reality.
Imagine the growth we enable when we listen to the oft-silenced narratives of marginalized persons through the mediums in which they feel most free to express themselves. Cartoonist Ebony Flowers, in her daring memoir Hot Comb, found her voice sang most powerfully through an uncommon storytelling medium—graphic art paired with poetic prose. In her memoir, she provides a glimpse into the daily struggles of black women, paced by the powerful story of a young White girl’s disastrous quest to get a perm. Flowers confronts race, class, and the constraints society puts on identity—stifling our sense of self.
THE POWER OF ONLYNESS: MAKE YOUR WILD IDEAS MIGHTY ENOUGH TO DENT THE WORLD
Changing the world is not a privilege inherent only to those in positions of power. Business leader Nilofer Merchant, in The Power of Onlyness, declares that technology, globalization, and the ability to unite a passionate group behind a common purpose can also catalyze change. Through storytelling, thought-provoking questioning, and proven strategies, Merchant gives credibility to the belief that an idea, no matter how radical, can manifest in reality. As you strive to transform education in your community, consider adding this book to your list of motivating reads.
LET MY PEOPLE GO SURFING: THE EDUCATION OF A RELUCTANT BUSINESSMAN
In the memoir Let My People Go Surfing, Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia, Inc., shares his rich journey from discovering his passion for rock climbing and environmentalism to building a multi-billion dollar company that honors those two interests to this day. Life as a perpetual outdoorsman and adventure-seeker inspired Chouinard to sell climbing equipment and use his business to do good in the world. It’s a powerful example, for any young person, of the boundless possibilities they can access when leveraging their interests and passions to create a unique, lifelong, learning pathway that serves the communities they love.