This week’s SmallBites is a round table with Jonathan Reidenouer, Hal Roberts and Emily Witt, three people shaped by the fundamentalist Christian community who have come to embrace the need for representation and cultural literacy.
Why is it so hard for people from the Evangelical movement to embrace what some in the community call “woke” ideologies? Why do some church organizations draw a line when it comes to having uncomfortable conversations on topics like race, gender and American History as learned in schools, even as they ensured that all students are seen and represented?
In this round table, we follow the journey of three school and community educators as they talk openly about their journey from Evangelical church circles to understanding the importance of representation and cultural literacy.
You can follow Jonathan Reidenouer at @JReidenouer
After 15 years working in restaurants, Jonathan got his graduate degree in Education in 2011 and has not looked back. Since then, he has worked as a math teacher in an alternative school and as a substitute teacher in both public and private schools. Self-employed for seven years now, he is a professional tutor who specializes in math, test prep, and writing. Last year marked 15 years of marriage to spouse Dayna, who is a copyeditor and fiber arts enthusiast. Since first gaining access to the internet, Jonathan has spent time learning all things about American history that weren’t taught in school.
You can follow Hal Roberts at @HalLRoberts
Hal Roberts is a retired superintendent after serving for 38 years in education, with 30 of those in leadership. Hal taught students in grades 4-12, coached boys and girls 7-12, served as athletic director, elementary principal, high school principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. He has spent the last six years researching both leadership and neuroscience and how those relate to each other.
You can follow Emily Witt at @witty_witt93 or view her work at https://www.emilylwitt.com/
Emily is an Austin-based playwright and communications professional working for Texas Freedom Network, a multi-issue progressive & advocacy organization. Previously, she worked at CASA of Travis County, helping to expand the diversity of their volunteer base to better serve children and families within the child welfare system. She earned her BFA in Playwriting from Chicago’s DePaul University, where the mainstage production of her play about our country’s barriers to abortion access, Mrs. Phu’s Cleansing Juices (and also salads), received a Distinguished Achievement Award for Playwriting from The Kennedy Center. She spends her free time volunteering at SAFE (an org serving sexual assault and domestic violence survivors), going to as much live music as possible, and hiking with her dog.