ARTICLES / Press Releases
Systematic racism is the biggest issue facing the country and the world. It has recently been highlighted by the George Floyd movement. But, African Americans and other people of color have lived with the impact for generations. From stolen and enslaved people, stolen property, stolen intellectual property, and cultural misappropriation. It has taken a world-wide pandemic, a shutdown and a short video of George Floyd’s death to ignite and bring the issues to the forefront. Technology has allowed the issues to unify the mindset of a diverse group of people from around the world. A call for change, a call for improving policing, access to capital, and access to equitable justice.
In 120 days, the world changed. It took the perfect storm to focus the attention on racial inequalities and injustice. I did not say a good storm; people dying from COVID-19, without access to enough food, a lack of access to medical care, and the negative economic impact, are all bad. But the reality is the economic inequity is the underlying foundation for racism. A lack of access to medicine, access to opportunities, access to education, all of this is enforced by systems that discriminate because of race.
The activist have made some very valid points. The protesting is based upon the fundamental rights spelled out in the constitution. But the constitution has not been equally applied to or protected African Americans and other people of color. And, for clarification; the looters and thieves should be punished but not peaceful protesters. African Americans and other people of color must be treated with the same respect as human beings and American citizens as every other member of our society.
The people fighting change are like the dinosaurs, they will become extinct. The spotlight is shining bright, many in positions of power will not survive and that is a good thing. Companies and governments will have an opportunity to address their culture and address the negative impact of systemic, institutionalized racism. The adage “the only thing guaranteed is change” is so appropriate in the new wave of change. Those that do not understand that the world is a diverse and different place are like ostriches’ putting their heads in the sand.
Diversity is America’s superpower; we still have not decided to fully embrace it. Talent, creativity, and intelligence do not know color, but opportunities have been limited for African Americans and other people of color. When are we as a nation going to take the steps to ensure our future, and live up to the words in the constitution and make opportunities available for all? Even the research supports the fact that diversity makes it better for everyone. “Inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87% of the time.” and “Diverse Companies Produce 19% More Revenue” both quotes from Forbes magazine. The numbers don’t lie but change is often hard, and change must happen if America is to grow in the right direction.
I have been an entrepreneur my entire life, I am also an African American man. So, I have seen the greatness and opportunities that America offers but I have also seen and experienced the inequities of America. African Americans and other people of color do not want nor need a hand-out, we just want the opportunity to compete without the additional burden of systemic, institutionalized racism. The barriers to capital, quality education, and jobs impact the entire nation and reduces productivity.
During my seventeen-years as a certificated English teacher, I saw firsthand the inequities in the educational system. I taught students in urban Los Angeles in some of the worst schools in America. I also taught extremely wealthy students and international students and the inequities are real. I have worked on statewide assessments still in use for the State of California and taught courses for Boston College. Educational inequity impacts people for life by limiting access to economic opportunities.
No one deserves to die like George Floyd! And, far too many African Americans and other people of color have been victims of a system stacked against them. Our police must be held accountable not disbanded. Our companies, leaders, politicians, institutions, and the government will be held accountable one way or another. Will you be a part of the solution or a part of the problem?
In my opinion, the most significant thing ever stated by Martin Luther King was “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
So, where do we go from here? Technology will continue to be a window into every action and inaction. What are you going to do? The decision is yours and will determine how we move forward from here.
Reginald Grant, MS Ed.
Business Strategist, former NFL player, and retired English teacher
More on Reginald at ReginaldGrant.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Reginald Grant, MSEd selected for the State of California
English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) Team
February 01, 2020, Sacramento, CA, Reginald Grant, MSEd has again been selected for the State of California English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) Team. From a pool of about 275,000 teachers, approximately 40 highly qualified educators are selected to participate in the development program. This team works on the Standards setting for the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC). The summative assessment for all English Language Students. The event is hosted by The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) and Educational Testing Service (ETS), the developers of the standardized test. This is the second time Mr. Grant has been selected to work on a statewide exam, in 2011 he was on the California High School Exit Exam (CASEE) Review Team.
Grant is considered a leading expert on Reaching and Teaching African American and other urban youth. A certificated English teacher, since 2002 teaching urban youth, English Language Learners and international ESL students. Has a Master’s in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction with an emphasis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). A former NFL player for the New York Jets, he also finds time to serve on several boards of national organizations working with youth. Including the NAAAA presenters of the “Watkins Award” for scholar-athletes, Powers Women’s Network and the GCUMM, General Commission on United Methodist Men.
He is the author of "Thoughts of An Urban Teacher" (2017), "Effective Mentoring in the 21st Century" (workbook 2017), "Success Stories Insights by African American Men"(2016)(book and textbook), “A Case for Bilingual Education” (2015),“A Teacher’s View Education in America.”(2014) and numerous teacher guides, workbooks, and articles.
He is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of others and sees education as the force for change. He is an alumni member of Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society. Prior to entering education, he was a businessman and professional athlete (New York Jets, NFL & Ottawa, CFL) after graduation from the University of Oregon. He often speaks on Culturally Inclusive Curriculum, ESL, Mentoring, and the Winners Mindset. He is a co-founder of eSportsInstruction.com, Grant Language Academy and A Family of Authors. Visit him online at www.reginaldrant.com
Creating a Culture of Success
by Reginald Grant
Published in Academica.com, EzineArticles.com,Linkedin.com ( 2016)
Most of us strive to be successful in whatever we endeavor to attempt. Creating a culture of success in our homes, our work environments’ or teams is a difficult task at best. As parents we want to help our kids to thrive and succeed in everything. As a teacher in the classroom I want to create an environment that allows every student to achieve individual success. To help them grow and improve on a daily basis. As a business professional or leader we want the environment to lead to profits build on the success of the group. As a coach we need to win to be considered successful, winning is built on the individual efforts of many for a common goal.
Thus, success is measured in many ways and for many purposes. For parents it’s the light going off in your children’s eyes when they make a new discovery or achieve a small mile stone, from taking their first step, doing well on an exam, scoring the winning goal or in a thousand other ways. I see creating a successful mindset for ourselves and our children as part of our reasonability as parents. There isn’t a manual for parenting despite all of the books and modern tools, it is still a trial and error process. Children respond to things differently and are as individual as our finger prints, so we must adapt, adjust and strive to figure it out. Creating a home culture is an ever evolving process and we must place our children in situations they can safely learn and grow in. Despite our culture of instant gratification and everyone wins all of the time, failure is to a part of that process. Successful people embrace failure as one of the steps to success. We must nurture our children and yet help them understand that success is a process.
I read an interesting article on Clemson football Coach Dabo Sweeney and the adversity he faced as a child and young man. The ever present theme of the story was perseverance and his determination to make the best of every opportunity. Thus, he has turned a floundering program into a national powerhouse by developing a success oriented culture. By nurturing and caring for the people he’s charged to oversee and motivate, from his players to his staff. The same qualities displayed by the contributing authors of my book “Success Stories Insights by African American Males.” When I was a high school head football coach my biggest challenges were all of the outside influences and the historic culture of the programs I was charged to change. So many of the elements of the historic culture of the programs were hidden and lay below the surface. I was too focused on the internal elements, was a bad politician and did not address the impact of outside influences well enough. Sweeney has done that and created a culture of success.
The same problems inherent in development of a sports team permeate a business. It’s a group of individuals with very diverse backgrounds that need to work together for a common goal, business success equals profits. Creating a culture of success for a business is a daunting task and leadership must provide the direction that leads to success. Creating that culture takes a focused vision that must be dynamic and purposeful.
In our schools I have often seen leadership that was focused on achieving goals related to success on the standardized test. Yet, they too often forgot that like a home individual success is the determining factor in the success of the group. They too often talked about creating a culture of success without including opportunities to adequately motivate the individual students. Many times they used artificial rewards and arbitrary collective goals. Too often they did not connect the students to alumni who had gone though the same situations and circumstances to succeed. They often did not paint the picture and vision of the world of opportunities’ open to the students. Successful schools especially in urban and challenging environments’ must be more diligent in connecting the students to real world success stories and people.
Different societies, nations and even the sub categories’ within in those groups see success so very differently. Even within groups of people of similar backgrounds, religions, socioeconomic status and ethnic group’s success can be views with different lenses. How do you define success? Is it money, fame fortune, a relationship with god, who knows but you? But one thing I do know is that success does not happen without commitment, a commitment to your family, business, mission, or team and it always includes a vision and a goal. Does your vision of success help others? Or are you looking for success in all of the wrong places and things?
Author Reginald Grant host the weekly radio show " A Family of Authors Radio Show" on the Kulturezinenetwork.
His latest interview with with Pulitzer nominated author Aura Imbarus is an educator, professional speaker, and the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, a Pulitzer Prize entry and Amazon best-seller, "Out of the Transylvania Night" A Story of Tyranny, Freedom, Love and Identity.
The Family of Authors website: http://www.afamilyofauthors.com