Councilperson James Cooper has represented Ward 2 of Oklahoma City since April of 2019. Before that he was an AVID middle school teacher in Oklahoma City Public Schools. I met Councilperson Cooper during the Oklahoma Teacher Walkout of 2018, holding up a really cool sign!

Councilperson Cooper is also a writer and an adjunct professor who got his start in public service as a trustee on OKC’s transportation board. Upon being sworn in, Councilperson Cooper became the first Person of Color to serve Ward 2 and the first openly LBGTQ+ individual to serve as a councilperson in our city.

In this episode, Councilperson Cooper and I discuss how systemic racism and discrimination outside of the school community dramatically impact what happens within the school.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Make a list of the systems that are in place within your classroom or school that negatively impact student groups/populations.
  2. Make a list of policies that are in place within your classroom or school that negatively impact student groups/populations.
  3. What next steps can you take to remove those systems or policies?
  4. What hard conversations do you need to have with administration, teachers, parents?
  5. What practical steps can you make daily to hear and see your students?

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