“Neighbor teaching” — teachers in low-income schools live in the same community as the students they teach. The idea is simple — and almost completely absent from conversations about school reform in low-income communities. The prevailing assumption seems to be that this practice is impossible or unimportant to improving education or communities. As a result, it is largely invisible where it does occur or unimaginable as a purposeful component of a strategy for educational transformation.
This may be a hopeful moment. Millions have taken to the streets to challenge police brutality against unarmed Black people, and, more broadly, against systemic racism. A series of incidents captured on video put on display the everyday ugliness and violence of our nation’s legacy of injustice based on race and class. Urgent voices are insisting that Black Lives Matter and are chanting for change. This creates a window of opportunity for our country to shift direction fundamentally.
But what this moment in history ultimately means for racial justice will be determined not by what people say, but…
Michael lives in the Irvington community in Baltimore City. He practices anti-racist neighboring and works to build communities where all children can thrive.