Support Dr. Hayes

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Field Notes, Scholars, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized

PROGRESSIVE PUPIL FOUNDER DR. ROBIN J. HAYES

SUES FORMER EMPLOYER THE NEW SCHOOL

OVER BEING FIRED AFTER REPORTING DISCRIMINATION

AND BEING TOLD TO “DO LESS AROUND DIVERSITY”

While Robin was a tenure track professor at The New School, she directed the award-winning documentary Black and Cuba, produced the prize-winning play 9 GRAMS, and collaborated with community-based organizations throughout the US, Great Britain, and Germany. The lawsuit her attorneys filed today alleges the university’s senior leadership subjected Robin to years of harassment, disparate treatment, and inequitable compensation because of her race, gender, color and sexual orientation.

After she reported this discrimination to Human Resources, she was fired.

With this action, The New School destroyed Robin’s future prospects for tenure as well as her ability to teach and mentor students full time. Since Progressive Pupil was also headquartered at the university, the organization’s community engagement and creative work has been negatively impacted by the loss of office space and other administrative and academic support.

Unfortunately, Robin’s lawsuit is just the most recent in a string of discrimination allegations against the The New School. The New York Post reported that university administrators refused to investigate or fire a straight White male professor who was accused of repeatedly raping and kidnapping students. No, we’re not exaggerating. Recently via Twitter, an African American student claimed administrators at The New School pressured her to leave the university after she was attacked by white supremacists on campus.

The university claims to be a bastion for social justice and dissent, while its senior officials repeatedly refuse to address discrimination within its ranks.

This hypocrisy is The New School Hate. Don’t let them get away with it.

  1. Share graphics from this link – http://bit.ly/SupportDrHayes – on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook with the hashtags #TheNewSchoolHate #SupportDrHayes Tag @TheNewSchool @davidvanzandt.
  2. Tell university president David Van Zandt to Stop The New School Hate and Support Dr. Hayes  dvz@newschool.edu  212-229-5656 
  3. Share this post with a friend.

You can read the complete lawsuit at http://progressivepupil.org/thenewschoolhate/.

When They Ask To Touch Your Hair, AGAIN

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Authors, Field Notes, Parents, Prisoners, Scholars

Many of us women, people of color, and members of the LGBT+ community dread these first few days of the new year. The prospect of returning to campuses, nonprofits or companies where we are isolated, harassed, and blocked from success can be disheartening. In my own life, discrimination fanned the flames of doubt and shame I internalized through living in a society where I rarely saw anyone who looked like me-or loved like me-enjoy professional success.

If you’re steeling yourself against microaggressions, mansplaining, or other inappropriate discriminatory behavior, remember two things.

1. It’s Not You.

Discrimination is not something you can prevent with professional excellence, code switching expertise, or fitting into racial or gendered norms of behavior. It is driven solely by perpetrators’ allegiance to White supremacist, sexist and/or homophobic beliefs. (Whether that allegiance is subconscious is not your concern). Discrimination is illegal precisely because it has nothing to do with your actions.

2. You Are Not Alone.

Chances are you are not the only person at your campus or organization that desires a more inclusive atmosphere. To the extent that your feedback is solicited or you have decision-making authority about diversity-related programs, suggesting more trainings and cultural events might jumpstart the constructive conversations about equality and inclusion your organization needs.

I am hopeful for progress. The more we speak up, the swifter change will come. Happy New Year.

Yours in Solidarity,

RJH PhD

Don’t Be Alarmed

Posted Leave a commentPosted in #BlackLivesMatter, Activists, Allies, Field Notes, Parents, Scholars, Students, Teachers

It is so easy to focus on the negative right now. To endlessly repeat in our minds everything that is wrong, wrong, wrong about White supremacy, fascism and the deplorable people who hold those ideals dear. It has taken me a minute to quiet my own mind and gain some clarity.

The swastikas brandished in Charlottesville last weekend are no different than those placed in dormitories at The New School last November. The murder of ally Heather Heyer is along the same despicable lines as the killing of Black student Richard Collins on the University of Maryland’s campus. For some time now, White supremacist violence has been resurging. And that is terrifying. I am everything these people hate. So many of my loved ones are everything they want to disappear.

The good news is- as Nobel laureate Toni Morrison pointed out-this outbreak of hate is the quaking desperation of people who are losing. Losing ground. Losing support. Losing power. Even with champions in The White House.

The most important thing we can do now is to raise the already swelling tide of opposition to this latest iteration of fascism. A simple way to help is to invigorate dialogues in our communities that promote equality. Events such as diversity trainings or timely programs for Latino Heritage Month are proven to build compassion and acceptance.

Progressive Pupil offers workshops and programs that can help. If our work is not right for your school, place of worship, or company; please also consider the services of The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.

Don’t be alarmed. Be part of the solution.

Bigots can’t win.

Yours with Love and Solidarity,

Recognize

Posted 8 CommentsPosted in #BlackLivesMatter, Activists, Allies, Artists, Field Notes, Parents, Prisoners, Scholars, Students, Teachers

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 4.53.55 PM

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Between screening Black and Cuba and working on my new multi-platform project 9 GRAMS, I’ve spent some time this summer thinking about the Black woman’s image.  Of course in one way or another I’ve been thinking about it my entire life by looking in the mirror and beholding the relentless glamour of my mother and grandmother while I was growing up. In creating films that center Black women’s perspectives and – frankly- a lifetime of struggling to valorize my own, I’ve come to realize the most empowering and aesthetically beautiful representations of Black women are the ones we create ourselves.

Last Chance

Posted 10 CommentsPosted in #BlackLivesMatter, Activists, Allies, Artists, Authors, Field Notes, Parents, Prisoners, Scholars, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized

Today, the New York Times reported in an astonishing video on racist, islamophobic, homophobic and misogynist statements emboldened by the Orange one at his campaign rallies. One attendee remarks, “this is the last chance…to preserve the culture I grew up in.” Please share with a friend who is considering not voting this election year.

 

"Stop Killing Us" 3 Things to Do With Your Grief and Rage

Posted 7 CommentsPosted in #BlackLivesMatter, Activists, Allies, Artists, Field Notes, Parents, Prisoners, Scholars, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized


Police dressed in riot gear accost peaceful protester in sundress. Baton Rouge. Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Reuters.

To be candid, this past week I’ve struggled to write Field Notes. As you know, at Progressive Pupil we strive to remain optimistic. A steadfast faith in the power of collective action and community-based leadership, rooted in the successes of social movements in the past, drives our work. Hearing the news of the killing of Philando Castile in Minneapolis, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, and Delrawn Small in New York, as well as witnessing the grief of their children, tested that faith.

I lost my mother and grandfather (who was a surrogate father to me) a few years ago and understand the pain of losing a parent as an adult. I can only begin to imagine the despair losing a parent causes a child. Seeing Alton Sterling’s 15 year-old burst into tears, nearly collapsing from grief, while his mother expressed outrage about his father’s death overwhelmed me with sadness and frustration. At a press conference, they stood in front of a sign that read “Stop Killing Us.”

Limonade III: Healing the Haitian Diaspora

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Authors, Black Resistance Reading List, Books, Field Notes, Parents, Scholars, Students, Teachers

Haitian American musician Wyclef Jean with Haiti’s flag 

During the Caribbean Studies Association 2016 conference I met a number of brilliant young Haitian-Americans, including a 20-something Cornell PhD candidate whose project focuses on Black feminist political theory in contemporary novels by Caribbean authors. Her mother emigrated from Haiti before she was born and left the country permanently in the early aughts. I had to admit to her my ignorance of the precise details of Haitian history that motivated her mom to leave Haiti.

Limonade II: Of Zora and Zombies

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Authors, Black Resistance Reading List, Books, Field Notes, Uncategorized

Clockwise from left: author Zora Neale Hurston, Hurston and her partner Percival Punter, and Haitian “zombie” photographed by Hurston during her fieldwork 1936-1937.

On the tap-tap (Port-au-Prince take on the dollar cab/combi/collectivo) from Touissaint Louverture airport yesterday, I had the good fortune of running into Prof. Daphne LaMothe of Smith College. An expert in African American literature, Prof. LaMothe shared with me that Zora Neale Hurston wrote the essential novel Their Eyes Were Watching God here in Haiti in just seven weeks.