Tech, Equity, Advocacy and Balance

Rafranz the Blerd & Band Geek in a Super Conducting Super Collider Interview with a Chicago Reporter

I often struggle with trying to find the balance between the constant fight for diversity/equity and my inner blerd who gets so happy about new tech that my face hurts.

When I’m in edtech professional learning spaces, I’m often so consumed with the lack of diversity of people and content that it’s often hard for me to navigate those spaces, even when I am there to speak.

…actually, especially when I am there to speak and absolutely when I am the only person of color at all.

…and especially the only black person because it’s 2017 and we’re still far too connected for this to still be a thing.

Back in the day, I used to participate in twitter chats daily and loved connecting with so many people until it became almost cyclic that we seemed to rehash the same topics over and over but under a different hashtag.

No one wanted to discuss real issues, aside from the tech and as much as it pains me to say this, they have every right just as I had every right to back away and ignore.

Social media is amazing but one thing that I’ve learned this year, especially in this political landscape, is that if I allowed what I perceived as negative to consume me…I would lose myself in it.

I regret so many disagreements that stemmed from twitter conversations. Rarely did they help at all. The fact that we are still having some of these same conversations is proof of that.

I never thought that I would be in a space where I disliked the gist of my work but I did because I took how others approached their own learning to heart and it impacted my ability to find joy in spaces where I used to.

That’s not who I want to be.

That’s not who I am.

I arrived at this edtech space because of that 13 year old girl in this header image being interviewed by a man from a state that she never imagined that she would see.

…that same girl who screamed for joy when her dad brought home that Tandy 1000 that she got to teach him to use for his job.

…that young divorced mother of two who cried tears of joy the first time she connected to her own internet at home via AOL

…that teacher who defied insane directives and instead opted to have kids make videos with the 10 ipad 1s that she borrowed from her librarian

…the aunt who watched her nephew, armed with an ipad that she could barely afford, learn art through youtube

I’ll always be an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusivity but I am also just a girl who still geeks out about technology.

That’s not a terrible thing either.

In a perfect world, there would be many of us fighting for the education and access that our kids deserve.

In an even more perfect world, none of us would have to question the lack of intentional diversity.

While I can’t magically make either of these worlds appear, I can choose how I engage. I can find balance in where I know my voice is most effective and where it is not and I owe it to my inner 13 year old self to never forget this.

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