The Young and the Woke

The Young and the Woke

The Young and the Woke is a podcast that gives the mic to high school students in Oakland, California to tell their stories. Step into the shoes of these students as they eat school lunch, ride the city bus, vote at the polls, and generally speak their minds. On this audio journey, keep your ears open for how students awaken to their sense of purpose and what helps them find their way. Contact us at theyoungandthewoke@gmail.com.If you want to support this podcast, please consider a donation at https://give.classy.org/CommunityReadyOUSD

Episodes

September 27, 2022 12 min

If you are a teacher, do you ever wonder about life in other schools? Or when you were a student, did you ever have that feeling like some students had it better or worse than you did? These are the seeds of curiosity that too often get squashed in the daily grind of classes and responsibilities. 

But what if we allowed those seeds of curiosity to grow into action? What if we took the chance to see how other students and teachers li...

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You are tuning into "Creating Space to Talk About Race," a special series where we hear from a racially diverse group of Oakland Technical High School students reflecting on their experiences in the Race, Policy, and Law academy known as RPL. In this episode, the students turn their attention to cross-racial solidarity and what it might take for us to get there. They speak candidly about the challenges and successes that th...

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For over a year now, conservative politicians and pundits have weaponized "critical race theory" in attempts to turn out voters. Enraged parents have been protesting at school board meetings about what they fear is the indoctrination of their children.  Few, if any of them, have ever stepped into a classroom where students of different backgrounds are discussing race. What would the students themselves have to say about the...

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January 31, 2022 10 min

For over a year now, conservative politicians and pundits have weaponized "critical race theory" in attempts to turn out voters. Enraged parents have been protesting at school board meetings about what they fear is the indoctrination of their children.  Few, if any of them, have ever stepped into a classroom where students of different backgrounds are discussing race. What would the students themselves have to say about the...

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January 25, 2021 11 min

This is a special episode on indigenous ways of knowing and how we can awaken to the wisdom of indigenous communities. I was lucky to catch up with my friend and colleague Shane Safir as she interviewed Denise Augustine, an indigenous leader and educator from British Columbia. Check out this episode to learn about how indigenous ways of knowing can help us heal our relationship with one another and to the land we live on.

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October 16, 2020 9 min

This episode features Ozzy Johnson, a student in the ninth grade in OUSD. He is one of more than 1500 ninth graders taking Ethnic Studies this year. As someone who has spent close to a decade organizing for Ethnic Studies, developing curriculum, and supporting Ethnic Studies teachers in OUSD, I really wanted to hear what students had to say about the class. In this episode, Ozzy gives his take on Ethnic Studies, politics in general...

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In recognition of Labor Day and all of our teachers, I caught up with Jah-Yee Woo — long time Oakland teacher and Oakland teacher of the year in 2018-19. We’ve worked together over the years on various initiatives in the district from civic engagement to Ethnic Studies to the graduate capstone. Sit back and listen to her story: how she became a teacher, why she’s passionate about centering youth voice, how she continues to learn an...

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In this episode, I catch up with two students who were featured on this podcast before. Don't worry, we recorded the interviews online, so no social distancing guidelines were broken. Given all the changes that are happening in our world during the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to hear from young people, particularly high school seniors who are at a critical moment at the cusp of adulthood. We hear from Fremont High School studen...

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March 10, 2020 11 min

There’s no shortage of advice out there for how teachers should teach, but little of it comes directly from students. And that’s why in this first episode of our second season, I travel to Castlemont High School to talk to two students in the Sustainable Urban Design Academy about what makes learning powerful. America and Jessica are juniors and they take Green Urban Design with their teacher Ms. Jacobson. In a recent project, they...

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Students, especially low-income students, don’t have the luxury of taking expensive college classes and building up debt while they “figure things out.” What if we could expose students in high school to more college, career, and community experiences to help them understand how to pursue their future goals? In this episode, we learn about Dual Enrollment - a program between Oakland Unified School District and Peralta College that ...

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On September 20th, more than a thousand youth from Oakland Unified School District participated in the largest climate protest in human history. This was a response to the international consensus that we have to cut our carbon emissions in half within the next 11 years to prevent irreversible damage to the planet. In this episode, we hear from Skyline High School students, including protest organizer Angelica Perkins who works with...

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In today’s episode, we meet Tayland Sou a senior in the Community Health Equity Academy at Castlemont High School. He cherishes East Oakland. It’s as if his home, his block, his school, and his community are coursing through his veins.  All the generosity and support he receives are what fill his heart, and it’s that positive energy that he gives back to his home community. 

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August 13, 2019 11 min

Check out our back to school episode! In this episode, we meet Midori Butler - a student in the Media Academy at Fremont High School in Oakland, California. She helps us contemplate the importance of teaching in the lives of students, particularly those who have faced many challenges in their lives. Midori has overcome a lot in her life to get to where she is. She's put herself on a fast track to graduation by taking a college ...

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December 26, 2018 10 min

In this episode, we learn about Leonardo, a senior in the Health Academy at Oakland Technical High School. His story paints a picture of how the path to high school graduation isn't always a straight line, but rather a windy road full of twists and turns. There isn't a GPS device to help you navigate all those curves, many of which are uncharted. Instead, it takes the wisdom, guidance, and resources of an entire village. Th...

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