Allyship at its Best?

Black Teachers Lead the Way

Episode 6: Allyship at its Best? Black Teachers Lead the Way

Show Notes



Have we unintentionally reinforced a stereotype about Black and white teachers in the last two episodes?  In a majority Black school, do the Black teachers carry the social-emotional weight (and expertise), while the white teachers are the instructional and academic experts?  That’s definitely not the story we wanted to tell about Bailey, so in this episode, we address the issue head on, inviting teachers and teacher leaders to talk about how Black and white learned to work together by working together over time and by facing “difficult conversations” about race head on.   We take up the difference between “transactional allyship” at the beginning that morphed into “allyship in action” as trust and understanding developed.   We look at the sometimes invisible labor that Black educators are asked to take up (and what it costs) and the phenomenon of epistemic injustice that Black educators experience all too often.



00:00  Introduction: Allyship across Color Lines, Barbara Stengel

03:20   The Danger in Narratives of Erasure Global Literacy Team Leader Whitney Bradley, Stengel

07:18   The Costs of Allyship Exceptional Education Team Leader LaKeisha Harding, Math Team Leader Kelly Aldridge   Boyd

11:57   Invisible Labor  Stengel, Karen Dorris Wolfson, Bradley, Harding

19:14   Acknowledging the Critical Role of Black Educators  Stengel, ELA Teacher Charlsie Wigley, STEM Coordinator Julie Hasfjord

25:20   But Missing What It Cost Them?   Stengel, Math Teacher Madison Knowe

27:01   Epistemic Injustice  Stengel, Aldridge, Bradley

31:34   From Transactional Allyship to Allyship in Action  Stengel, Bradley, Aldridge

37:58   How Leadership Shapes Allyship  Harding, Aldridge, Stengel, Wigley

42:02   The Sawyer-Jasper Model  Stengel, Bradley

45:40   Not Afraid to Talk About Race  Stengel, Aldridge, Resident Alex Casarez, Knowe

52:40   Allyship at its Best  Stengel, Science Team Leader Sarah Prawel

56:57   Next Time:  What Success Looked Like in the Lives of Scholars



In this sixth episode, there are references to a variety of social, educational and historical news and commentary. You can find sources to find out more about these at our website:

Chasing Bailey is a podcast about a group of teachers, leaders, and others who dedicated   themselves to changing the fortunes of a failing middle school in Nashville TN from 2012 to 2016.

They succeeded, but their achievement was bittersweet.

In 2016, the district closed that school.

Still, those who were there knew they had stumbled onto something special, some       important educational truths    that might help all of us find our way out of the morass that COVID 19 has left us in.

Our Host is Barb Stengel, a retired professor of educational practice at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. She is a self-described fan of the Bailey experiment.

Between 2012 and 2016, Barb spent one day a week at Bailey, coordinating the school’s collaboration with Peabody, and serving as an informal cheerleader while also learning from this remarkable effort. She knew early on it was a story worth telling. So over the past year, Barb has spent time with dozens of staff, students, parents, and district administrators who were eager to talk about their experiences.


Chasing Bailey is hosted and narrated by Dr. Barbara Stengel, Vanderbilt University.


This episode was edited and co-produced by Brenna Fallon.   The executive producer is Dr. Lowery Woodall, Millersville University of Pennsylvania.


Our theme music is Midnight Blues by lemonmusicstudio.  Occasional music for this episode includes Soul Food by Chris Haugen and Good Friends by Caffeine Creek Band.


New episodes will drop on the last day of the month.  You can find us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon, and Stitcher, and nearly anywhere else you find your podcasts.


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