Empowerment Starts Here

This site is dedicated to the professional and academic work of Dr. Angela Dye.

Ep68- The Case of BLM with Henry Leonard

Empowerment Starts Here with Henry Leonard (click here to listen).’

Scroll down to access links and other resources mentioned in Episode 6- “The Case of BLM with Henry Leonard.”

Henry taught for Milwaukee Public Schools for 27 years.   He served adjudicated youth, immigrant populations and special needs students across all grade levels.  In addition to serving as a teacher, Mr. Leonard served as a MTEA union representative at the building level for 12 years.  In that position, he mentored, organized and represented educators through all of the Act 10 years, the MPS takeover attempts and most recently, the successful MPS referendum campaign.  With all of that, his greatest accomplishment has been the ability to create engaging relationships with thousands of MPS students.  He keeps in contact with dozens of them every year and have become personally invested in their lives beyond the classroom.

Currently, he is working the 2020 election season.  Canvassing people allows him to get a very raw feel for where many constituents are coming from.  He gets the opportunity to understand peoples’ needs and different perspectives.  At times it can result in an extremely empowering experience where open dialogue reveals a sense of unity or connection.  Needless to say, he is looking forward to Covid ending so that he can get back to these experiences.   

I met Henry when I was serving as a substitute teacher and I immediately saw him as a kindred soul.  Henry and I would go on for two years to discuss issues around teacher’s rights, school leadership and what we each believed to be instructional priorities for students.  While we often disagreed about the roll out of each of these areas, I was drawn to him nonetheless because of his deep passion for the work, his relentless acceptance that the work is political if it is anything, and his unwavering readiness to get his hands dirty.  Being back in the traditional school setting has, among many things, reminded me of how unwilling educators are to get political and I found the opposite to be true for Henry.  Anytime I came to Henry charged about my convictions for teaching and learning, the professionalization of teachers and the dignity of our students, Henry was always—I  mean ALWAYS—there.  Our conversations could linger for well over an hour and I knew that with our connection, I would one day bring him on the show.

Today is that day.

It was a pleasure talking with Henry about black lives matter on my podcast. Please take a listen. I hope you will enjoy the conversation as much as I did.

More show notes will be added later…

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This entry was posted on September 29, 2020 by in Uncategorized.
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