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Friday, April 26, 2019

The world is what teachers read in their classrooms

James Baldwin said: " Literature is indispensable to the world. The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way a person looks at reality, then you can change it.”
If you find yourself perplexed by racism in America? You need look no further than which books are being read in our homes and schools.

You can learn a great from what books are in a classroom, which books are being read,
Which books teachers are choosing to read with their students,
You can learn a great deal about a school, by listening to their morning announcements. Schools have a 180 opportunities every school year to either affirm and celebrate diversity, or not.
You can learn a great deal by looking and listening to what happens every school day.

I would argue that one teacher embracing diverse books,
One school embracing diverse books,
One class embracing our beautiful symphony of American diversity does change the world,
One teacher embracing diverse books in their classroom, does indeed change the world,
Diverse books in our classroom, will indeed alter the way the children view the world.

Teachers don't have to wait for a mandate,
Teachers can start changing the world one classroom at a time.
Teachers can change the world?
Teachers can fight bigotry?
Teachers can be the bringers of truth and humanity,
But, only when the diverse books in our curriculum, in our school libraries, and in our classrooms are being read and celebrated.

Diverse books can indeed alter how future generations see the world,
The reading choices one teacher makes can indeed change the world,
Truth be told, the reading choices one teachers makes also can indeed endorse a status quo that changes nothing.
Children are what they read.
Literature is indeed indispensable, literature does alter the way we see the world, each other, and ourselves,
What teachers read in their classroom, "can" change the way future generation see the world.

Teachers read the books that alter the world,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
CCSU Literacy Center Director

If you like to listen to the tune that inspired my walk this morning its.. For What It's Worth- Buffalo Springfield cover by the Del McCury Band and Friends

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

TEDxCCSU 2019 Defending The Arts, Music, Imagination and Play in our Public Schools

It's Happening, it's coming, it's a night for spreading good ideas, and hearing and seeing amazing people tell their stories in 15 minute slots...
Only a hundred can come, but over 30,000 have viewed our TEDxCCSU Talkers online.
Get ready for TEDxCCSU 2019 Defending The Arts, Music, Play, and Imagination in our public schools.

Registration will go up on Saturday...But Some Teasers
2019 TEDxCCSU Talkers 
An amazing Bronx Principle Luis E Torres whose school PS 55 is renowned for Champion Steppers, for putting on unbelievable Broadway Musical like productions. A community school, not a Charter School, not a Magnet School, a regular public school where art, music, imagination, and play strive. Where Academic Excellence is connected to the arts. A school where children come first, and the arts strive. Why? Because the arts save Principal Torres's life.
Marcel Bonnici is an accomplished YouTuber, Guinness World Record Holder and CCSU student from Rhode Island. He joined YouTube as AstonishingStudios to showcase his LEGO vending machines. Boasting 600,000 subscribers, Marcel works with brands like Taco Bell and General Mills, and was recently accepted into Northwestern's Master in Robotics program. Marcel, the kid who at 11 wanted to be great at something, but didn't know what...until he looked down at his handful of Legos. You are not going to want to miss this one people.
Barry Lane that amazing troubadour of joy, hope, and song is coming back. He tells me a school without music is a prison not a school. Barry wants us to know music heals, music inspires, music matters. Most of all Barry Lane wants us to know music belongs in our public schools. 
We have two other great talkers, but hey I don't want to give it all away. Come Saturday I'll share all.
Also, we have two new exciting TEDxCCSU Team members coming on board. But, you'll have to wait until Saturday to find out about them. Both were former TEDxCCSU talkers themselves.
President John Adams said: "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."
We say it is time that painting, poetry, music, the arts, play and imagination become the core of every child's education in America. It's the music, the art, the play that give a child's imagination flight. This TEDxCCSU is dedicated to those who understand the Arts matters.
If you're HIP, you'll be in the house!
Have we got a show for you...Get Ready for TEDxCCSU 2019, 
Jesse The Walking Man Turner
An image and the word from one of our First CCSU TEDxCCSU talkers Dr. Mark Naison

Finally if you are interested in the song that inspired my morning walk today it's Nat King Cole's Mona Lisa

Thursday, April 4, 2019

April 4, 2019, All I have is this hope for redemption

It's not victory we seek, it's redemption.
April 4, 1968 to April 4, 2019, 51 years since hate took the life of Dr. King on this dark day.

I am trying so hard to be the kind of man Dr. King would approve of. I hear you Martin "Hate is too great a burden to bear." But, Hate has shown it's face at our places of worship, schools, communities, and even at our venues of entrainment.
Bob Marley sang 'How long shall they kill our prophets...While we stand aside and look?"
Now hate has come for our children, our quiet faithful prayers, and our family members seeking some enjoyment through music and dance.
My heart is heavy today, not light, my never give up attitude takes a dent every April 4th.

Even if the President of the United States of America can't see hate RISING...
God sees all, and everything in my heart is telling me God is not liking the hate he sees rising in America.
Our President is not the only denier.

Was not old Pharaoh a denier?
Was not old King Herod a denier?
Was not old Jeff Davis a denier?
Were not those Sunday School bombers deniers?
Was not Governor Wallace a denier?
Were not those Hijackers who flew planes into those towers deniers?
Are not every single one of these Mass shooters deniers?
Are not these hate deniers, people not capable of redemption?
Redemption cannot live in the heart of hate, it requires at the very least a heart full of love.

So, it's not victory I seek,
There can be no victory that heals this kind of pain.
As Nelba Marquez Green wrote on that White 8 by 11 paper at her beautiful daughter's Ana Grace's service telling us... LOVE WINS!

I know redemption, because I have see it on Ana's mother's face.
I can talk to it,
Walk with it,
shake hands with it.
But, I have yet to earn it.

Dear Lord, give that old time Redemption,
Redemption like that old Slave Ship Captain John Newton.
The captain who became Rev Newton,
The captain who found Grace on his knees in the storm.
That captain who never sailed again.
That captain gave us that hymm that promises us redemption through Grace.
It's that amazing grace I seek.
Come seek it with me,
I promise you, the seeking eases every storm.

I go to Hartford, not for victory,
Victory was something I found on the playing fields in my younger days.
It fleeting at best, and if you play hard enough you learn its the defeats that make the player.
I don't need victory.

I want something more meaningful,
More lasting,
More moving.
I am seeking redemption.
Today, is just one more small step to a redemption.
That redemption reserved for the saints.
I know Dr. Martin Luther Found it.

I want a redemption,
I know I am not any kind of worthy of,
But if it finds me...
Although, not worthy, I will sing it until the end of my days.
Let me shout it out..
It's redemption I seek.

What victory could there be? Victory will not bring back the heroes and innocents we lost to hate.
What vengeance could bring them back?

No, I am going to Hartford to be with Dr. Marin Later King's Redemption People.

Bob Marley said it all;
'But, my hand was made strong
By the hand of the Almighty
We forward in this generation
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs
Redemption songs"

Here is my 2 and half minute movie redemption seeker reflection on going to Hartford.

Moral Monday CT Education Ambassador
CSU-AAUP State Due Justice Liaison
Granson of Jesse S. Turner,
Husband of Carolyn Turner
Father of Erin Turner
Teacher of teachers,
Just another one of Dr. King's redemption seekers.
Dr. Jesse P. Turner

If you like to hear the tune that inspired my walk this's Bob Marley's Redemption Song


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Imagine A Living Dr. King

There will be days like this....
I'm not sure how to deal with 51 years of a world, without a living Dr. King.
It's good to be teaching tonight at the CCSU Literacy Center. Doing some small good for children and teachers.
It's good to be thinking about being at the capital on Thursday to remember April 4, 1968, and reflecting on how to honor Dr. King on April 4, 2019.
Oh, but, how I wish, I was standing with a living Dr. King instead.

Just the thought of that chills my bones.
Just the thought moves me.
Just the thought propels me to do more.
Just the thought of standing with a living Dr. King, gives me all I need to stand on Moral Ground.
Just the thought!

My determination is strong,
My motivation is honorable,
My stance is moral,
But, I still have this hole in my soul for that living Dr. King.

Imagine Dr. Martin Luther King, calling out this hater in the White House?
He wouldn't need any tweets to call that hater out,
Cause we, all know he would be banging at the doors of that White house built by slave hands.
Imagine Dr. King ,calling both political parties out for giving tax breaks to billionaires and millionaires while cutting funding for the poor?
Imagine Dr. King, calling out these political leaders who can give billions for new war machines, While cutting funding to our public schools?
Imagine Dr. King, calling out these GOP Voter Suppressors?
Imagine Dr. King, calling us all to the border to defend children in cages?
Imagine standing with a living Dr. King.?
Standing against an America that gives much to the wealthy, the powerful, and the connected, While it tells the poor to go hold a bake sale?
Imagine a Living Dr. King standing with labor, for health care for all?
Imagine what a living Dr. King calling us to to justice?
Imagine a living Dr. King linking arms with "Black Lives Matter" activists?
Imagine a living Dr. King?

Yes, there will be days like this,
On days like this,
I have a living Dr. King in my heart,
My heart, shall make these days, my best days,
Days I shall remember and honor Dr. King through my actions.

There will be days like these,
Moral Monday Connecticut Education Ambassador
Dr. Jesse P. Turner

"When it's not always raining there'll be days like this
When there's no one complaining there'll be days like this
When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch
Well my mama told me there'll be days like this."

If you like to listen to the tune that inspired my walk over the Avon Mountain this morning...its Play for Change cover of "There Will Be Days Like This