March 2021 - Radical Action Circle
By: Abby Twyman | March 25, 2021
March is Women's History Month and the full moon in this month is called the Worm Moon because this is the time of the year the worms get to work fertilizing and aerating the soil for a new season of life. During this cycle, we are centering our conversations around Anti-Racist and Anti-Sexist activism, particularly by first listening to the stories of three honored guests who live and breathe the work.
Click on the guests below to learn more about their stories and listen to the podcasts!
Reflections, Questions, and Actions from Gathering #1
Who do I want to be for myself, for my community, for the world?
Who am I in this historical context?
Who do I consider my ancestors and elders, beyond bloodline, personally and professionally?
What if we “refund” education? “Re-fund” as in fund it again, but also get a refund for bad service.
Could behavioral scientists plan and seek federal funding for academic remediation? Social/emotional learning? Parent coaching? Who might fund such a project? Who would our mentors and project leaders be?
List of questions about things we know about, and frame it as, “is X working?”
- Is the curriculum working?
- Organizational structure (administration, et cetera)?
- Funding (federal, state)?
- Teaching assistants/para-educators?
- Teachers (educated, supported, mentored, coached)?
- Classroom structure, organization, grades, and kids?
How do we know what’s “working”?
How do we define it?
Reflections, Questions, and Actions from Gathering #2
I have a hard time working within systems because I can see what’s broken, and other people can’t see it.
It’s hard to communicate that I see a problem and I want to help solve it. Other people see it as an attack.
Need constructive identities, balance, virtues to deal with liabilities. Limiting factors: mindsets and identity/narrative.
The CEO, a woman of color, had retired, and most of the new executives were white men, one after another. I decided to point this out, saying I was disappointed with the direction they’re taking, and they should invest some time and money into recruiting more diverse candidates for top corporate positions, who better represent the people on the front lines. I’ll allow two business days before I follow up again.
Book recommendations: Rebooting Capitalism and The Nurture Effect by Anthony Biglan
I’m here to get energy from other people who want to change things and focus that. I’m particularly interested in things that aren’t meeting their purpose, like the prison system.
Any action is radical action. I have to make an effort to connect with people in my community. I’m focused on what I’m doing so it’s hard to get out and meet people.
The idea of telling our stories, creating narratives to define who we are is an important one. We need to constructive our identities, create balance, and clarify the virtues needed to deal with liabilities.
Many companies following George Floyd's murder last year engaged in the performative action of putting together a committee dedicated to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). It’ll help to collect data on what they’re doing and what effects they’re achieving or not achieving. That way they can be held accountable.
Thank you to everyone for using your privilege to compel people to take a stand one way or another.
I identify with being the person who sees the problems. I’m an idealist, seeing the perfect version of things, but I think most people aren’t as idealistic.
Many companies that employ BCBAs do early intervention and the focus of their performance metrics are on the profit rather than the impact. The people running them are not behavior analysts and don’t know what we’re doing or what’s beneficial for anyone.
I think the group got pigeonholed in early intervention because of the money, but I think there are better things we can do. The people on the ground aren’t being compensated for the legwork we’re doing. We may end up starting a union. Co-ops are also a good idea.
How are we reinforcing the people we’re putting pressure on? If we want to effect change, we need to reinforce incremental steps.
People are afraid that the principle is a blank check. People don’t know what they have to give up in order to be responsible, so they use a presentation mindset instead.
Reflections, Questions, and Actions from Gathering #3
Could I write a script for a monolog for a professional presentation to draw attention to the issues for which I care deeply and use this as a platform to catalyze change?
Could I get enough grant funding to provide an intensive remedial academics program for students who have been neglected by the system?
Could I express myself by regularly publishing articles on current issues presenting my take on complicated situations in an effort to reframe the conversation?
Could we create SAFMEDS for the Foundational Toolbox terms and use as a study aid to teach people this vocabulary as well as coach on Standard Celertion Charting?
Could we create a network of learning coaches who provide intensive remedial academic intervention to children and adults historically neglected by the system?
Could we promote the reframing of conversations starting with the disconnection of assumptions and use of an alternative vocabulary to frame issues?
Could the State and Federal governments fully refund education which would effectively empower families to take charge of their collective education?
Could an organization hold companies accountable for implementing effective systems change measures to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Could everyone frame issues in terms of what everyone wants and what steps we all need to engage in to change the foundation of the system?
Could everyone commit to using a systematic approach to problem-solving in order to stop getting stuck in assumptions and create a world in which we're not afraid of helping each other?
Reflections, Questions, and Actions from Gathering #4
Champion the evolution of the educational, behavioral health, and criminal justice systems.
Advocate recognizing and celebrating our differences while also inviting change to expand and reach new potentials as a community.
Build and nurture community connections through shared positive action.
Inspire others to look on learning more and changing their opinions or actions through modeling reflective listening.
Lead through modeling my actions by aligning my behaviors with my values.
Establish and maintain a space to unite people in a positive feedback loop of mutual support.
Cultivate and nourish partnerships through shared joyful experiences.
April Radical Action Circle Cycle
Join us for the next cycle of the Radical Action Circle which begins 4/10/2021 at 10:00AM Alaska Time (11PST/2EST). Click here to register. We will be focusing on Anti-Ableism Activism during Autism Acceptance Month and centering the stories of those impacted throughout their lives.