Thank You Renee Poussaint

by dmenkart on December 20, 2010

Renee Poussaint with Edwidge Danticat at Busboys and Poets.

Renee Poussaint has advanced the work of Teaching for Change as a special consultant since the spring of 2009. Renee is nationally recognized and respected for her work as a documentary filmmaker (Tutu and Franklin: A Journey Towards Peace), award-winning television network journalist, and co-founder of the National Visionary Leadership Project. She has brought her expertise from all of this work to Teaching for Change, providing invaluable guidance on communications and organizational development.

Renee has also played a direct role in communications, travelling with Teaching for Change staff to Mississippi for professional development and introducing key author events at Busboys and Poets (Patricia Hill Collins and Edwidge Danticat.)

Most recently Renee literally rolled up her sleeves to make two beautiful planters to adorn the entrance to our office. Among her many assets is a green thumb.

Renee’s consultations are generally held over lunch at Eatonville Restaurant with Teaching for Change’s Executive Director. This has become a fruitful and very enjoyable tradition — one that we look forward to continuing in 2011.


Jack on the Road and in our Schools

by dmenkart on November 30, 2010

Jack Gordon has provided professional photography services for Teaching for Change since September. After traveling around the world capturing images for IntraHealth International, Tahirih Justice Center and Catholic Relief Services (just to name a few), Jack found his way back to the DC area and into the offices of Teaching for Change. He told us that he wanted to use his photography skills to benefit community oriented social justice non-profit organizations like ours, and has since been on duty at a couple of our author events and parent organizing school visits with Tellin’ Stories. His work is included with Teaching for Change’s flickr photo collection. Jack strives, through his work, to reflect a dedication to service and community-building, and we are proud to be one of the organizations to which he dedicates his time and talent.


Just one of the many fabulous photos we have to document our work in schools thanks to Jack. These young ladies at Brightwood Education Campus (DCPS) posed for a picture by Jack Gordon at their Back to School Night.


Donor Profile: Regina Y. Swint

by dmenkart on November 7, 2010

Regina Swint, with guest Darnell Somers, celebrates her new book.

Regina Y. Swint reached her goal of publishing a book and had a party to celebrate. Called The Other Side of 30, she dedicated the book to her Uncle Harvey Greene Penn, Jr. who reminded her of Langston Hughes. Therefore she was particularly pleased to hold the party at the Busboys and Poets in Shirlington, named for Langston Hughes.

She generously donated the $745 in proceeds from her celebration to Teaching for Change in honor of our 20th anniversary.  Regina explained, “What Teaching for Change is doing for our teachers, youth, and families is near and dear to my heart.”

Signing book at celebration.

Regina Y. Swint is a native of Rome, Georgia and an alumnus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Colorado Technical University. She serves in the U.S. Army and will deploy any day. We will keep her in our hearts and look forward to her safe return.


Donor Profile: Nizam Ali

by dmenkart on September 4, 2010

Nizam B. Ali — co-owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl, son of Ben Ali, and former Teaching for Change board member is donating a portion of the royalties from the book Ben’s Chili Bowl: 50 Years of a Washington, D.C., Landmark to Teaching for Change.

From the days when U Street was hailed as “Black Broadway” to today, Ben’s Chili Bowl has been a key gathering place for the local community. On August 22, 1958, Mahaboob Ben Ali and Virginia Rollins, opened a hot dog and chili shop on U Street. They never imagined that Ben’s would become world-renowned or such a beloved restaurant in the nation’s capital.

The images in Ben’s Chili Bowl: 50 Years of a Washington, D.C., Landmark provide a look back over the 50-year history of Ben’s Chili Bowl, U Street, the Ali family, and the patrons who have helped define Ben’s as a key D.C. landmark.

Many thanks also to co-editor Tracey Gold Bennett for this donation.


Donor Profile: E. Ethelbert Miller

by dmenkart on August 6, 2010

We are honored that E. Ethelbert Miller, a man of many talents, has been a long time friend and ally of Teaching for Change.

E. Ethelbert Miller is a poet and author of almost a dozen books including the most recent publication The Fifth Inning (PM Press and Busboys and Poets).  He is the board chairperson of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and since 1974 has served as the  Director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University. Here, in his own words, is why he supports Teaching for Change:

“Teaching for Change is building a better tomorrow for our children. I feel blessed to be a witness to the motion of history.

“Oh, and where would educators, parents and students be without the Teaching for Change bookstore located at Busboys and Poets? This place is a combination of Eden, Mecca and Oz.”


Professor Sonia Nieto.

Sonia Nieto, internationally respected scholar on multicultural education, is donating a portion of the royalties from her latest book, Dear Paulo: Letters from Those Who Dare Teach to Teaching for Change and Seeds of Solidarity. We received the first check from Paradigm Publishers in March of 2010, just in time for our 20th anniversary campaign.

We already benefit from the contributions Sonia Nieto makes everyday through her research, writing, public speaking, and her unwavering commitment to social justice throughout her work. While retired from teaching, she stays in touch with and supports her students throughout the country.

It is a much appreciated honor to be selected as one of two organizations to receive this donation.


Joann Malone served on the Board of Teaching for Change in the 1990s and was one of the participants in Teaching for Change’s educators tour to El Salvador.

She was a well-loved social studies teacher for 20 years in DC and Maryland, also offering classes on peace studies and coordinating diversity workshops. Recently retired, she is preparing to publish a book about her life called The Power of Love: How a Nun Became a Revolutionary. The book describes her role in the DC-9 action against Dow Chemical’s involvement in the Vietnam War in 1969. We look forward to her reading at our bookstore at Busboys and Poets once the book is ready. In the meantime, you can follow her new blog. The Blair High School newspaper published a story about activist educators, including Joann Malone.

Along with Joann’s contribution to the 20th anniversary fundraising campaign, she wrote: “Thank you for the privilege of being remembered as a board member of Teaching for Change. It was an honor then and an honor now to be associated with the fine work of Teaching for Change to educate and inspire young people.”


6th Annual Tindle House Party Fundraiser

by dmenkart on November 16, 2010

For six consecutive years Teaching for Change board member Kate Tindle (left) has thrown a house party at her home in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia to raise funds for Teaching for Change. This year she teamed up with another board member, Sharon Grevious (right), to double the fun. Sharon, who is a fabulous singer, brought down the house with her band Upgrade.

It was a wildly fun and successful event. Over 25 generous donors contributed to the 20th Anniversary Campaign, raising a total of $1,725. If you would like to host a house party to support the work of Teaching for Change, email associate director Allyson Criner at


Donor Profile: Kimathi Tull

by dmenkart on August 11, 2010

We love our motivated supporters, like Mr. Kimathi Tull.  Originally drawn to Teaching for Change by his sister, Mr. Tull, a Myles Horton Donor, remains a steadfast supporter because he appreciates the practical and solution-oriented approach Teaching for Change uses to make schools a place where social justice is not left at the door.

He especially admires our bookstore:

“The bookstore is great; one of the things I like about it is that the selection of books is excellent. I go to Busboys and Poets once a month, and I always find myself buying books because of the selection they have. Often times I go in and walk out with several books because they have titles that just JUMP OUT at you, that spark an interest that makes me want to read and keep reading.”

Thank you Kimathi!


Donor Profile: Robert Babiak

by dmenkart on August 6, 2010

Robert Babiak is an annual donor to Teaching for Change. Originally from Pittsburgh (and forever a Steelers fan), this 20+ year educator lives in Alexandria, Virginia and works in Charles County, Maryland. Here is why Robert Babiak supports Teaching for Change:

“Being an educator myself, I strongly believe that education is a way to uplift and empower people to improve their lives, and ultimately, society.

“I am a former social studies teacher and now Principal at a middle school in Southern Maryland. I often share materials from Teaching for Change with my social studies teachers who are looking for ways to engage their students.

“I am pleased that Busboys and Poets provides an opportunity for Teaching for Change to reach more educators and beyond.

“I will be staying connected with Teaching for Change and will continue to get the word out about the great work being done.”


Beyond Heroes and Holidays

June 25, 2010

Close to 60,000 copies of Beyond Heroes and Holidays have been used in schools and teacher education courses since it was first published in 1998. The book continues to be popular.
“The latest “last word” in anti-bias curricular material? It’s got to be Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to K-12 Anti-Racist, Multicultural Education and [...]

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Caribbean Connections: The Dominican Republic

June 18, 2010

In 2005, Teaching for Change partnered with the Yale Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies to publish Caribbean Connections: The Dominican Republic, a unique resource for middle school readers to adults.
We are honored that award-winning author Julia Alvarez wrote the foreword. In it she said, “…And so you, reader, are now holding one end of a string [...]

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