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Back in Session

A judge with a gavel


It's that time of year. The traffic is heavy in the morning and picks up again around 3 PM. School has resumed in some countries.

We have another month of summer vacation for Antigua's primary and secondary schools. However, the first-semester medical students started this week.

I delivered an interactive reading strategies lecture on Monday. Students responded to the content with an almost frenetic energy to learn. In my imaginative replay, hands leaped into the air to offer thought-provoking answers to questions.

After the class, the pessimistic voice inside said, “How long will this last?”

The surge in excitement of new semesters often dwindles after the first challenging exam. Some of the smiles I witnessed this week will change as the reality of work and tenacity necessary for success in medical school settles into the campus corridors.

Universities in the US will look different in the coming years.

In July, the United States Supreme Court ruled that colleges can no longer consider race in admissions. Justice Robert argued that affirmative action reinforced racial stereotypes and violated the Equal Protection Clause. This decision will significantly impact access to higher education institutions for students of color.

Some students will get into college based on their academic and extracurricular performances. Yet, because race and racism continue to restrict opportunities, others will lose in the educational game to gain social and economic mobility.

Conservatives applauded the ruling. In the CNN article cited above, Cruz and Trump are among the Republicans quoted in favor of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

I wonder how the school culture may evolve where I teach. The American University of Antigua College of Medicine’s mission statement pledges to “offering opportunities to underrepresented minorities.” "Underrepresented minorities" in the United States include Black and Brown people

Although race is not part of the mission statement, we can assume it plays an essential role in achieving the institution's goals.

Yes, the university exists abroad, but it functions similarly to schools in the States. American students can receive federal financial aid to cover tuition and fees.

It’s difficult to assess the impact three weeks after the historical overturning of affirmative action, but we can believe “A Change is Gonna Come,” as the late Same Cooke sang. If Trump is reelected by some miracle or another illegal act of white supremacy, the Supreme Court's decision serves as a precursor to more challenges for racialized minorities in the US.

If you are wondering about the purpose of this blog post, the call to action follows this sentence.

We must use our talents, skills, gifts, and resources to support our schools. Students need us. We must develop innovative educational ideas and contribute to causes that impact underserved communities.

Administrators must work with teachers to create environments that encourage learning and applying skills with the potential to influence injustices.

School is back in session on multiple fronts. Students will begin classes soon, and teachers will return to the workforce to educate and liberate.

My wife and I are attempting to prepare our children for a successful school year. They have mandatory academic assignments due when I return home from work. Much to their chagrin, the children have parental control settings installed on their devices.

The disconnect between where we are now and the future of education is bigger than we can comprehend. Still, we can’t give up on our students, teachers, administrators, and institutions.

Whether you have children heading back to school or you are returning to a job after vacation, this is our time to make meaningful contributions to education. How? That's for you to decide.

My job is to push you this Friday toward actions that resonate with you and your environment.

See the video below of a memorable summer trip with my daughter. The break from my routines helped me think differently about this academic term's goals.

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1 Comment

'After the class, the pessimistic voice inside said, “How long will this last?”'

Do not use the thought that 'the devil made me do it'.

Ho, no, you gave staightforward wisdom.

Thanks, Dr. Lindsay

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