Roberto German 00:01
Welcome to Our classroom. In this space, we talk about education, which is inclusive of, but not limited to what happens in schools. Education is taking place whenever and wherever we are willing to learn. I am your host, Roberto German, and Our classroom is officially in session. In today's episode of Our classroom, we are joined by Afrika Afeni Mills. She's an education consultant, adjunct instructor, and the author of Open Windows, Open Minds: Developing Antiracist, Pro-Human Students. She works with teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators to develop and sustain student-centered learning experiences that are diverse, inclusive, and equitable. Afrika believes that all educators can be motivated, engaged, dynamic practitioners and leaders when provided with the support needed to create student-centered anti-bias, anti-racist, culturally responsive learning environments that inspire wonder and creativity and nurture, diversity, belonging, equity and inclusion. With us today, Afrika Afeni Mills. Hey, my people. I am thrilled to have Afrika Afeni Mills. That's right. Afeni with a A, all right? You say it with a E but you pronounce it with a A.
Afrika Afeni Mills 01:42
Roberto German 01:43
So, get it right, folks. I know there's a temptation to say Afeni and trust me, I had the temptation, but that's why I asked first. We should ask people how they want us to pronounce their names instead of doing what sometimes the people do to me, some of the older folks that I play pickleball with, that they'll-- they'll-- they'll call me Robert. And I'm like, "Hey, my name is Roberto." There's a O at the end. And yes, you should try to roll your R because my name is Roberto, not Robert, not Bob, not Bobby. Roberto. And no, you can't call me Rob ‘cause I don't know you like that. When we know each other, we got a good flow, then you could call me Rob. That's for my people. All right? Inner circle. But if I don't know you like that, don't chop my name down. Don't give another name. Call me by the name that my mama gave me, and my father, by the way, ‘cause I grew up in a two-- parent household. All right? So again, we have Afrika Afeni Mills. She is doing awesome work. But before we get into the work, I wanna start with your name.
Afrika Afeni Mills 02:52
Roberto German 02:53
‘Cause you have a beautiful and powerful name. And I believe names have stories behind them.
Afrika Afeni Mills 03:00
Roberto German 03:01
Some people's stories are more elaborate than others, but stories nonetheless. So I wanna start there because this is our first time really connecting like that, even though we've had connection on the online platforms, this is the first time I've been able to speak to you straight up. And I like to get to know a little something about the folks that I'm building community with and I'm interviewing as a way to just make it a little more personal.
Afrika Afeni Mills 03:27
Totally. Yes. Let me-- And so I’ma—I’ma steal this joke from Uzo Aduba. She was just like, “Yes, my name is Uzo Amaka. I got it for my birthday.” I was like, “I love that. I love that.” Yes, I got this name for my birthday and from my mom and dad who-- ’cause I was born in the mid-70s and my parents weren't quite but official members of the Black Panther party, but they were member approximate, and this is something that was part of their lives. And so, when I was born, they were like, "Yes, we want our baby girl to remember who her ancestors are. We wanna name her after the motherland, and we are going to spell it with a K because that was the original spelling before it was changed." And then Afeni is after Afeni Shakur, who is Tupac Shakur's mom, who was-- who was a member of the Black Panther party. And so, I don't know if they knew this at the time, but Afeni means dear one in Yoruba I believe. And so I was like, “Oh, that's beautiful.” So, yep. That's the story behind my name. Yes. Yes.
Roberto German 04:23
That's great. That's great. That's awesome. I'm glad you shared that. I-I don't–-- I don't know if a lot of folks ask about that, but to-- to me, sometimes I'll read a person's name and it’s-- there's a uniqueness, right? There's-- there's something particular. And so, with your name, every time I was seeing it on Twitter, I'm like, "Huh, I wonder what the story is."
Afrika Afeni Mills 04:45
Absolutely. And when I was a little kid, I didn't appreciate the beauty of it. ‘Cause, you know, like, when you're a kid, you wanna-- you don't wanna really stand out. You wanna be like other kids. And the kids were not kind to me. They’d-- they’d tease me a lot for my name. But I grew to really like, you know, really appreciate my name. So it definitely is a gift for my parents. Yeah.
Roberto German 05:03
Absolutely. Thank you for sharing that gift.
Afrika Afeni Mills 05:05
Yes, Thank you. Thank you.
Roberto German 05:08
So much to talk about today. I'm excited to learn from you. I’ve been following some of your work and really interested to hear about your book, hear about your approach, hear about your experiences, and-- and hear some insight that could be helpful not just to me, but to our audience. And so, I wanna start with your book. Title of your book is Open Windows, Open Minds. I love that subtitle. Developing Antiracist, Pro-Human Students. Wow, that's-- that's a mouthful.
Afrika Afeni Mills 05:47
Roberto German 05:49
But I love it. I'm-- I'm drawn in. I'm drawn in. So what is an anti-racist Pro-Human student and how do you develop such a student?
Afrika Afeni Mills 06:02
Yes. And so for me, I'll tell you a little bit about where the approach to that title came from and it'll connect to-- to-- to your question. So thinking about, like, I've had an opportunity to-- over the past years, I've been an educator for over 20 years. It was about 23 years. And did a lot of work on culturally responsive teaching and learning, which is so-- I still don't feel like people get it, right? But we’re still doing that work on-- on culturally responsive teaching and learning. And then as I was thinking about, like, what does that mean for all students and what does this work look like for students who are not black and brown students? I was like, yeah, you know, white students are, you know, when we think about words like at risk and underserved, I'm like, yeah, white students who are not being taught to be anti-racist are at risk and they are being underserved, right? I don't think we think about that enough. And so, when I think about, like, how do you create an anti-racist pro-Human student? Is that you-- we-- we diligently work toward making sure that we center our shared humanity in the work that we do in schools, right?
So I think that, like, racialization causes a disruption to that. And it–- and it was done intentionally, right? To subjugate, to oppress, right? To separate-- to separate people and to-- to develop a hierarchy. And so this approach to-- to teaching really is about, like, helping stu-- to interrupt that, right? To interrupt that-- that concept of division and subjugation and really helping students, like, using that, the concept of windows and mirrors to truly see yourself and the possibilities that exist for you as a human, member of the human family and see other people with respect and dignity and celebration. So that's what it means to me. And then how do we– how do we-- I mean, this is–- this is definitely gonna be something we dig into a bit more, but I think we create students that way by making sure we do that work ourselves, right? Because most of us did-- were not taught in our K to 12 schools how to, you know, have that perspective or mindset. So I think we really have to begin with our self-work and then we then share that work that we do with giving students opportunities to do the same.
Roberto German 08:01
That's an interesting framing when you say white students are at risk when they're not being taught. And I might be paraphrasing a little bit, but when-- when they're not being taught to understand and identify how racialization is impacting their own lives, their own experiences.
Afrika Afeni Mills 08:20
Yeah. No, you got it. You got it. Yep, that's it. That’s it.
Roberto German 08:24
And I think that's a great framing. I-I think it's-- I-I-I would love to hear more people maintain that perspective and talk about at risk in that sense, right? Because when we're talking about at risk, it's often talking about at risk of dropping out, at-- at risk of low grades, at risk of ending up in prison. And-- and obviously, we're-- often the conversation is centered around students of color, particularly black students, right? Students of African descent, and brown students, you know, Spanish speaking students and generally low income.
Afrika Afeni Mills 09:07
Roberto German 09:09
And not-- not that it-- that conversation should be dismissed ‘cause it shouldn't, right? There's relevance in engaging in that conversation. And I-I do believe there's just as much importance in engaging in this conversation and what you're framing in terms of like, hey, our-- our white students need particular support also for their areas of risk.
Afrika Afeni Mills 09:34
Yes. Absolutely. Right? Like, I know we all see it and I think we need to call it out more, like you were saying too, right? Like when we see things like January 6th, when we see racially motivated shootings and violence, right? When we see those things that are often perpetrated by young white folks, specifically young white men, right? It's just like, yeah, that's absolutely-- it's absolutely a risk, right?
Roberto German 09:55
So let’s-- let's get into some tangible ways that administrators and teachers could do this work. And what-- what you just said is a common thread when I'm interviewing folks who are-- who are doing this, the work that we do, right? You gotta do the self-work.
Afrika Afeni Mils: 10:14
Roberto German 10:15
All right. So we-- we've established that. And-- and I-I want you to share with us what are three action steps that administrators, teachers could take to transform their instructional practices. I know that a lot of your work is-- is grounded in transforming instructional practices and providing the necessary support, providing the training, really coaching people up, challenging and encouraging. And so, we're-- we’re obviously not gonna resolve everything in the short time that we have together, but I think there's some practical advice, some steps that you could offer folks for them to engage now.
Afrika Afeni Mills 11:01
Absolutely. And so I'll say just a little bit more tangibly, because I think sometimes when people hear the reference to self-work, it's just like, okay, I will read a book, I will listen to a podcast, I will watch a documentary. But I will say, honestly, the first step is kind of like really also realizing the need to operationalize your self work, right? And so, like, whether that means you going through, like, looking at the stages of racial identity development. If it means looking at your own racial autobiography, if it means looking at your community where you live, and the who are the authors of the books you read? Who are you voting for? Who are you? Like who are the voices that influence you? Like who are you surrounded by? And what does that mean? Right? Like, what does that mean? So taking that and taking an honest and vulnerable and humble look, right?
And then being like, okay, so I've done this self-work and so I know I need to be able to bring that into the school space, right? For administrators. And so, then that means also I would say, like, operationalize your-- your self work. And then, like, that-- that next step would be, for me, is creating the structures to sustain those conversations in that transformative practice. ‘Cause I think in my experience, so much of what has happened in the past is that folks may have an awakening and start to be like, oh, we need to do something culturally responsive or something anti-racist. And so, we'll bring a speaker in at the beginning of the year in the summer and we'll have an all staff discussion, not even discussion, presentation. And then the work is not even made to come to life in the school space.
And I think the administrators have a lot of influence over what can happen. So creating spaces for people to have that ongoing work and protecting that teacher collaboration time to infuse, not infuse. ‘Cause I don't wanna say infuse because I don't want it to come across as if it's an add-on because it isn't. To make sure that this is the lens with which we are doing all of the work. And so, create those spaces so you don't have to worry, teachers don't have to worry about being like, I don't have time. There's no time in the day set aside for us to do this work. Right? And it's something I-I just really don't have the space to add on another thing. And then as far as like the-- the next step that we would be able to take is to make sure that not only do the structures exist, right?
And that we are having a clear path to doing this work that we need to do to really change our practices and our instruction, right? But that we're also making sure that we are communicating that with the-- the larger school community. ‘Cause I think a lot of times, like when I see this work, it's too often that there are, like, pockets of teachers who have decided that they wanna take on the work and it's not something that's part of the whole school community. And so, I would say that that needs to be part of the work for this. Like, not just the teaching staff, but the whole staff of the, you know, the whole staff in the community, the school board, right? The, you know, the site council. Like, all of the-- the parts of the community is making sure that that work gets spread intentionally and in a way that's gonna be ongoing. So it's not like we're just gonna do this this year, but we are gonna do this. This is our-- our five-- year plan ‘cause every year we're gonna get better at this, right? And then it'll be a long term commitment. So yeah, I would say operationalized self work, create the structures to sustain the work and make sure the work is pervasive throughout the whole school community.
Roberto German 14:01
I like that. I like that. And I-I appreciate the focus on structures, systems, looking at the whole community, really working with all the stakeholders so that things don't get lost in the sauce.
Afrika Afeni Mills 14:21
That's right. That's right. Absolutely.
Roberto German 14:25
It's-- it’s absolutely easy to-- for this work to become an afterthought. And you create–- you have a subcommittee, right?
Afrika Afeni Mills 14:35
Roberto German 14:37
[inaudible 00:14:36] committee. That's their work. They are going to drive that.
Afrika Afeni Mills 14:41
Roberto German 14:42
Maybe the committee experiences some fatigue because oftentimes it ends up being too much work for a subcommittee.
Afrika Afeni Mills 14:51
Roberto German 14:53
Because the work is not spread out, right? It-- it should be just a part of what we do. It's a part of our practice, it’s a part of who we are.
Afrika Afeni Mills 15:01
Right. That's exactly right. ‘Cause that's the thing that doesn't really help. Like, if you have pockets of teachers who are doing the work, and then students are going to other teachers who have opted out and it's not something that's continuous or they go into the-- the-- the lunchroom and they hear cafeteria workers saying things that don't align with what you're saying we believe about students and-- and their families, right? Or they're on a bus and they're having interactions with the bus driver or with other students. You know, like it has to be something that everyone is committed to.
Roberto German 15:29
Absolutely. And so, ba-- based on your experience, as I've read some stuff on-- on your website that talked about what white anti-racist, anti-bias practitioners wish they would've known when they were K-12 students. And so, I'm interested to hear some of that feedback that you've received in workshops you've done. What-- what are at least three things that you've heard folks say that they wish they would've known? Our-- our-- our white brothers and sisters our-- our-- our white allies, our white co-conspirators that are engaged in anti-bias, anti-racist practice. What-- what are-- what's some of that feedback? What are some things, at least three things that you-- you've heard from them that they wish they would've known in their K-12 experience as students?
Afrika Afeni Mills 16:24
Yeah. So I would say the first thing is that so many of them have said they really wish they would've known what it would be-- would've been like to have black and brown teachers and to know black and brown people personally. So, so many of them were just like, “I didn't have a black teacher ever in my K-12 experience, or the first time I had a black teacher was when I went to college, right? Or like, so they didn't really even-- they didn't really have the opportunity to know, not only educators, but people in their community because of the way that communities are still segregated, right? That they-- they don't-- they didn't get a chance to know black and brown people. And so they were like, I really wanted that. I really longed for that as a kid, right? And so, it wasn't something that I had access to, but it's something that I wanted. Because as they got to be adults, they realized that a lot of the messages that they had about people who were racially or culturally, or ethnically different from them were false narratives and deficit narratives. And it only came from the media and from people who also didn't know, you know, have relationships with black and brown people. So definitely what it would've been like to have relationships with people in schools and in their communities who were racially different. They also talked about they would like to have known what it looked like to be a white person who works together in solidarity with folks of color. And that, you know, whiteness doesn't have to mean colonizer and oppressor. It-- it could mean abolitionists. It could mean freedom fighter. It could mean there are so many other possibilities that they didn't even-- they were never even taught. That there were people-- white folks who had-- had done this work.
And then I think also too, that they talked about really wanting to have known that race was a social construct that was created to, so like we were talking about earlier, to subjugate and to separate and oppress, right? That it was created that, you know, that whiteness was created as this, you know, this category of people who were allegedly superior to everyone else. And they-- they were like, we wish that we had known that that was not true. Because growing up with that-- that falsehood, really just, you know, like they see now how it has played out in society at every level. And they wished that from the time that they were really young, that they had had the opportunity to really know-- know those things. Yeah.
Roberto German 18:35
You know what's interesting about this work? And-- and now we were talking about our-- our white brothers and sisters, but we-- we-- we could apply this in different ways, right? We could take different topic areas and-- and apply it to the-- our own biases that we've struggled with or whatnot.
Afrika Afeni Mills 18:53
Roberto German 18:54
It's-- this stuff is so deeply ingrained that you can see why it's so difficult for-- for folks to kind of get over the hump sometimes, or-- or so difficult to-- to do this work, to engage in this work. Like it takes a real commitment, it takes true intentionality because all that stuff is playing in your head and-- and-- and has permeated your being.
Afrika Afeni Mills 19:23
That's a perfect word, yes.
Roberto German 19:25
For years. For years. And now you have folks, right? And depending on who you're encountering or what you're encountering, it could either hit you super hard, right? Because whoever's delivering the message, they may not be thinking about that, right? They may not be thinking about your background and-- and thinking about like, "Hey, you know, well, let me consider my approach in order to be close, right? ‘Cause ultimately, what we should be working towards is proximity. I-I like to talk about proximity a lot and Brian Steven says [inaudible 00:20:01], right? And-- and you know, really when we're looking at how different folks engage in-- in this type of work, right? And when I say this, I'm referring to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging to so on and so forth. That there's all types of different approaches. And-- and some folks might have an approach that's too soft, right? Too passive. And then it allows you to continue in your ways. Your-- your ways may-- they may be harmful, you know. So certain stuff that you've been living with might just-- it might be reinforced by practitioner's passiveness. And then you have the other extreme where you have practitioners that are going, pushing so hard that it might shut you down or it might reinforce the-- the harmful stuff that has permeated as [inaudible 00:20:54]. So, I-I think it's-- it's really important for us to keep the conversation alive in-- in-- in terms of like the-- the certain things that you just mentioned in terms of the feedback you received, like, oh, I didn't know about white abolitionists and there's a couple other terms that you mentioned. But I think it's so important to offer that spectrum of individuals who are modeling examples, both positive and-- and negative. And then also obviously like the-- the-- the-- the framework for-- for talking about, you know, this concept of racialization including whiteness so that people are walking away with greater understanding, but they're also walking away with a clear picture of who they can read up on and who should-- who they could potentially identify as-- as role models that can inspire their work. And then, you know, who they should know about. They're like, "Hey, these individuals that did this way back then, there's a parallel with some of these individuals that you're seeing today that are causing great harm in our society." I don't think I need to name names, but there's some obvious individuals.
Afrika Afeni Mills 22:17
No, right. We know.
Roberto German 22:20
So, you know, thank you for sharing some of that feedback that-- that you've heard from folks. No, I-I-I want us, and everybody might not agree with what I'm saying. That's fine. I don't care if everybody agrees with me or not. But my desire is for us to be able to keep this conversation alive in a way where we can come to the table.
Afrika Afeni Mills 22:41
Roberto German 22:43
And listen. Listen to each other, learn from each other. And, you know, some of-- some of the feedback I've seen folks have shared with you based on the work that you've led seems to indicate that that's happening. So kudos to you.
Afrika Afeni Mills 23:02
Thank you. I mean, I really truly believe it because like, you know, all of-- you know, we think about being an educator and the way we approach teaching and learning with students. And we know that students are not in a space where they can learn if they're an amygdala hijack and they're really going into that like, you know, that panic zone, right? We know that about students and we talk about avoiding that with them. And I'm like, same thing, right? Because we're all human beings. That same thing happens when people get, like, it's that panic space. They're not able to learn and it's hard to change. So we definitely have to make sure it's both. It's like, don't be like this, but here are some examples of how-- who you can emulate, right? Yeah, it's both. It's both.
Roberto German 23:37
So talking about people that you can emulate and people that make an impact in your life, this is one of my staple questions because it's fascinating to me to hear the different responses and who folks are influenced by.
Afrika Afeni Mills 23:54
Roberto German 23:55
And so, if you had the opportunity to have lunch with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Afrika Afeni Mills 24:05
Right now, honestly, ‘cause I'm like, you know this, I thought about this all my life and it, you know, the answer changes dependent on the season of life that you're in. Right now-- right now for me, it's Viola Davis. I really wanna spend time--
Roberto German 24:16
I heard a corporate from her last night. There was a reel that played and I didn't see it ‘cause it was Loreno who was playing it. But I heard the voice and I'm like, "That's Viola."
Afrika Afeni Mills 24:24
Yeah. That's how we know that's Viola. That's Vy. That’s Vy. But seriously, like earlier this year, and I'm very much, I'm-- I'm-- I am an avid reader. I love listening to audiobooks also. And a lot of times what I'll do is I'll get the physical copy and then I'll get the audiobook too and I read along. And I love–-
Roberto German 24:42
You-- you and I have some synergy ‘cause I read the same way.
Afrika Afeni Mills 24:44
We really do. We really do. And so that's one of the most beautiful experiences I had this year was listening to Viola Davis read her own memoir. And there was so much for me, like resonance in her story. And I loved, like, not only being able to bear witness to the hard parts of her story and to connect with that, but also to see like, you know, just to hear her perspective. To hear her humor, to see how much work she's done. To see, like, to hear from her was so powerful. And then to have that followed up by seeing her in the Woman King. And I'm like, I just-- I-I need to meet her. I must. I must.
Roberto German 25:19
She's a force.
Afrika Afeni Mills 25:20
She absolutely is.
Roberto German 25:22
You know, I saw-- I saw Woman King and she was awesome. I mean, she's-- she's just a great actress, right? But I heard they-- she was being interviewed, I think it was either right before or right after the movie came out. She was being interviewed. I think I happened to stumble. Like, I-I happened to stumble on this interview. Well, I wasn't pursuing it, just, you know, it popped up and maybe the radio or elsewhere, wherever it was. Listening to her talk about some of the things that she had to deal with, some of the struggles in terms of her blackness, in terms of her pigmentation.
Afrika Afeni Mills 26:00
Absolutely. Yes. Yeah.
Roberto German 26:02
Right? And-- and the-- the messages that she had internalized from others and what she had to do. Like, the fact that, you know, she really had to wrestle with that. She really had to overcome that. And I-- and I wish I had the clip. And I-I don't remember word for word what she said, but I remember listening to her and just-- just hearing the power in her voice, but also hearing-- hearing the hurt.
Afrika Afeni Mills 26:33
Yes. The pain, right?
Roberto German 26:35
Yes. Yes. It's-- it's very-- it was very real. And it resonated with me. You know, I could really connect with that in terms of, you know, stuff-- stuff I've dealt with and things that I've seen that don't sit right with me, you know, in terms of, again, the notion of-- of blackness or-- or in, you know, when we-- it's almost like you can't talk about that without the notion of whiteness, right?
Afrika Afeni Mills 27:04
Roberto German 27:06
And so, I appreciated the raw truth that she was sharing and more so just the-- the power, right? The-- and the push to overcome those negative messages that could be serious barriers to our own progress.
Afrika Afeni Mills 27:27
That's right. That's right.
Roberto German 27:29
So yeah, she would be a great person-- she would-- to-- to have lunch with and just listen to and learn from and ask questions.
Afrika Afeni Mills 27:37
Totally. And look serious, like following her on IG, like not only that the power in her experience and her voice and all the different amazing things in her life, but she's just mad funny. Like the stuff that she posts, I'm like, I encourage everybody to follow her. Because she just, like, just the stuff she posts is just so, like, I-I-I feel like I've gotten to [inaudible 00:27:54], right? I feel like I've gotten to know a bit about her by the things she chooses to post. And I'm just like, I just really would love to know her in real life. Yeah.
Roberto German 28:02
Well, if you end up having lunch with her, I'm gonna need you to report back.
Afrika Afeni Mills 28:05
Yeah. I'ma try see if I can get you in. 'cause it doesn't need to be me. Like, let’s do it together.
Roberto German 28:10
Listen. Listen. Listen. You-- you've won me over.
Afrika Afeni Mills 28:11
Roberto German 28:16
So what is a message of encouragement that you want to leave our audience with? As part of-- part of what I try to do on my platform is no matter what we're talking about and how uncomfortable it may make people feel at times or-- or how, you know, negative or strand of a topic may be, you know, ‘cause we wanna have honest conversations about what's happening, especially in the realm of education and society in general. And at the same time, we wanna make sure that we're encouraging folks. So what's the message of encouragement that you have for the people?
Afrika Afeni Mills 28:52
Yeah, I have a twofold message of encouragement. The first one is-- and I wanna be able to attribute this. I don't remember who, but I think folks like you can-- like, definitely be able to search it to find out the source, is a-- I believe it's a Mexican proverb that says, “They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds.” Right?
Roberto German 29:11
Afrika Afeni Mills 29:12
So like that, not only us, right? But the students that we're serving, right? There's a lot of-- there's a lot of noise out there right now. There's a lot of people trying to bury truth and wholeness, right? And love. But I'm like, but yeah. But when you get those seeds in the ground and they have a good soil, right? They didn't know we were seeds. I think that's one part of the message. Then the second one is a quote that I saw by a person named Athena Singh. She says, “Never trust your fears. They don't know your strengths.” And so that, those two. Those two.
Roberto German 29:45
You know, you shared that at a presentation recently and I know that because somebody tweeted that and thanking you for sharing that. That was one of the questions. I was gonna flip that quote as a question to have you get deeper into it. I'm glad you shared that's one of your encouragements. I-I read that and I was like, "Wow, that's profound."
Afrika Afeni Mills 30:09
That's right. That's why it's not to say that we don't-- we're not afraid. Like we go through fears. But it doesn't mean we need to be ruled by them. It doesn't mean we need to decide by them or to have that determine what we're gonna do next. That's what the thing is. Things are happening right now by design. It's to deter people from pursuing wholeness as a society. But we can't go for it. We can’t go--
Roberto German 30:29
No, we haven't been given a spirit of fear but the power of love and self-control.
Afrika Afeni Mills 30:32
Yes. Yes. I absolutely agree. Absolutely.
Roberto German 30:38
So where can folks follow you? Because you're doing incredible work and I think more people need to be connected to the work that you're doing. Where-- where can they follow you?
Afrika Afeni Mills 30:50
Yeah, so I try to keep everything updated on my website. So it's just afrikaafenimills.com. But on the platforms, I know I'm like-- I'm having like a-- I'm grappling about Twitter right now ‘cause we-- we know, we know what's kinda happening in that space. But I'm certainly still on there. So they can find me at Afeni Mills on Twitter. I'm also like, if you search for just my name under, like, Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn, I have Open Windows, Open Minds on Facebook pages and IG pages. And I like-- I genuinely-- I know some people are just like, "Yeah." Keep in touch with me. Like I genuinely mean that because we need to bolster one another and stay in community with one another, right? Because we have work to do. And so, I really would encourage folks to please do reach out to me and connect with me online.
Roberto German 31:33
And if folks wanna buy Open Windows, Open Minds: Developing Antiracist, Anti-- Pro-Human Students, where should they go to buy that?
Afrika Afeni Mills 31:44
They-- I mean, they can get it on all platforms. If they wanna connect me personally, I can-- they can get it from me, and then I could try to arrange to get a little autograph in there if they wanted to get an autograph. But wherever you buy your books, you should be able-- you'll be able to-- to buy the book. And so, please do. Please do. ‘Cause I really-- these are conversations we need to continue to have and I'm looking forward to being in touch with those of you who are about the same work.
Roberto German 32:07
Absolutely. Absolutely. And the book is geared towards K through 12 educators, right?
Afrika Afeni Mills 32:13
Yeah, I would say so. I mean, I think like the-- once we get into the actual classroom practices, it's probably more of 3rd through 12 for the practices, because I believe definitely that the littles need a very specific approach and there's not-- there's-- you know, that's-- that's not the-- the full focus of the book. But definitely, I do feel, especially the racial healing first part of the book, would be good for K to 12 and higher ed teachers, any teacher, and parents as well. Parents as well.
Roberto German 32:37
So listen, if you're in elementary, middle school, high school, you teach at any of those levels, if you're a parent and you're really questioning, you need support, you don't know where to start. So that's often what we hear from people. Hey, where do I start? What should I read? Who should I follow? Well, we have given you one more person who is doing amazing work and one more resource in this book. All right. And so, please make sure you follow Afrika Afeni Mills and purchase the book, Open Windows, Open Minds: Developing Antiracist, Pro-Human Students. Thank you for being here. Thank you for-- for sharing and giving us some practical steps in terms of how we can engage. I'm looking forward to continuing to learn from you and-- and see, you know, what other wonderful quotes you're gonna be pulling out there that-- that I could utilize. The-- the-- the-- the-- the Mexican proverb you stated, oh wow. That, I mean, my goodness, that is-- I'm gonna be sitting with that one for a [inaudible 00:33:53].
Afrika Afeni Mills 33:54
Yes. Yeah. It's powerful, right?
Roberto German 33:56
Yeah. Deep. Deep. Deep.
Afrika Afeni Mills 33:57
Yeah, it’s powerful.
Roberto German 33:58
Well, what's next for you before we wrap up? I didn't hear this, but, you know, what-- what's next for you? Where can folks catch you? Are you gonna be doing any presentations around soon that, you know, maybe folks should be aware of?
Afrika Afeni Mills 34:10
Yeah. Well, I'm very excited to say that I will be-- so this upcoming Saturday I'll be in Cambridge, Massachusetts presenting at the Literacy for All Conference. I'll be at NCTE in Anaheim as well.
Roberto German 34:22
See you there.
Afrika Afeni Mills 34:23
Yeah. See you there. I'm excited about that. And then I found out not too long ago that I will be at South by Southwest EDU in the-- in the-- in the new year, right? So definitely, you know, those are some-- some solid upcoming opportunities that folks can connect with me. And then if you-- if you sign up, plus you'll be able to sign up for my newsletter on my website. I keep it-- I keep it popping with the updates and the news about any upcoming events and learning opportunities. So definitely sign up for the newsletter when you go to the website and so you'll be able to keep, you know, keep abreast of those things too.
Roberto German 34:54
Okay. Okay. Awesome. Well, you'll be in my own stomping grounds in Austin.
Afrika Afeni Mills 34:59
Roberto German 35:00
If you love barbecues, Stiles Switch is our spot.
Afrika Afeni Mills 35:04
Okay. I need-- I need the legit spot recommendations, so.
Roberto German 35:07
Stiles Switch on North Lamar. They're not-- they're not paying me for the plug.
Afrika Afeni Mills 35:12
You just believe in the food though.
Roberto German 35:15
I believe in the food. Love is love.
Afrika Afeni Mills 35:17
Roberto German 35:19
And if you want some great tacos, I mean there's everywhere. You could get a great taco over there, but I'd say Valentina's is-- is one spot you could have in mind. And Veracruz Tacos is another one. And then there was-- there's a small little spot next to where I used to be principal is called OneTaco.
Afrika Afeni Mills 35:41
Ohh! ‘Cause I'm gonna be there for a few days I'ma write these down, right?
Roberto German 35:44
Listen. You know how to access me.
Afrika Afeni Mills 35:46
That's right. I know how to find you. I know how to find you.
Roberto German 35:50
All right. Thanks for your time, peace, and blessing.
Afrika Afeni Mills 35:53
Thank you for having me. All right. Same to you. Same to you.
Roberto German 35:56
As always, your engagement in Our classroom is greatly appreciated. Be sure to subscribe, rate the show, and write a review. Finally, for resources to help you understand the intersection of race bias, education, and society, go to multiculturalclassroom.com. Peace and love from your host, Roberto German.