The Power Work

Worth Work Podcast

10-08-2022 • 46 mins

Worth Work in full effect. This episode focuses on the relationship of power in our teaching profession in individuals and in the system. What do we gain when we give up power? How can we shift the culture so power is more evenly distributed? A real gem in this episode is around the 30:10 mark hear a story from from a few years from students (now in college) about how they were able to shift the power dynamics at their school in a event called Time to Talk, where adults had to be the primary listeners and how that student voice impacted the school. As always tune in to the end where Desmond and Jesse freestyle rap with key words of the episode.

01:36- Desmond- "Its good to understand power to use it in ways that isn't based in default conditioning and the need to self protect. That is the impetus if you will. The question is How do we use power in a way that can bring equity and inclusion into classroom spaces as well as the world.

02:24- Jesse "When I'm empowered I feel it in my chest and solar plexus, thats when I'm using all my genius and gifts to make the world a little better.... When I'm feeling threatened by power or unsure of my own power, I get in my head...being aware of the dynamics of power in my own body.

02:50- Jesse -"On a collective level... I'm contemplating power in all the hierarchies we live in. Having access to things you need, food, water, shelter. Today power is symbolized in money...

03:20 bell hooks in Teaching to Transgress: "It was only when I began to interrogate my fear of power that I began to understand that power itself was not negative."

4:10- Desmond -"As a black kid, I'm navigating power structures to get my needs met. Not from a place of inherent self worth as a human being... which is the default of the culture.... In our culture You have to prove yourself before you have power.... to bring change and inclusion we have to recognize that every person has power.... We have to interrogate it for ourself to understand it's not the force thats the issue, it's the use of it."

05:30 What is the definition of power? Brene Brown in Atlas of the Heart. Echoing Martin Luther King Jr. "A defintion of power is the ability to take care of needs and effect change."

06:07 Jesse- shares how his realizing of social power came when he participated in courageous conversations about race working for Step Up and realized he had a certain amount of power because of his skin color.

06:43- Desmond refers to wheel of power or privilege. This tool helps us realize our social location in our context.

08:34 Jesse- "Courageous conversation was the first time I could own my power in terms of race. I look at my power as my genius and abilities I can contribute to my community. I can give and receive.

10:30 Desmond- "I've been thinking of the domain of spiritual power... Spirituality I was raised with taught me to turn inward, and by turning inward and connecting myself, with my body... There is innate wisdom in my body that guides me.... We need to recognize that there is something larger than us that effects us. It doesn't have to be gods, angels, demons, it can be the culture. The culture effects us....That force that is culture in collective story and sense making, has a spiritual component we need to pay attention