Teague Parker, Facilitator
Why are you an educator/do you work in education?
Being a theatre artist brought me to the world of education! I would lead improv workshops every week through college, TA acting & playwriting classes, and soak up all the ways you could pass information. It felt to me that arts & wellness practices were not accessible to the public, so, as life continued, I became invested in bringing arts wellness practices to anybody and everybody that felt that needed them!
What Black educators did you look up to as a youth?
Black artists tend to be the educators I look up to: specifically Black stand-up comedians. Growing up with a recording of Richard Pryor, I learned that you could express yourself in such a way that taught millions about an experience. Take it a step further, and you can teach people how to bridge the gaps that disconnect us. Richard Pryor did this through comedy, which made me believe that you could do it through any medium you chose.
What does it mean to you to be a Black educator in school spaces?
It means arriving authentically. We live in an age where being true to your identity can be a radical act of protest. To be professional, to be goofy, to be playful, to be sincere, to be vulnerable; allowing all sides of myself to arrive in the school space gives me the opportunity to show that, “Yes, Black people are this way too! How would you like to be in this world?”
How are you a part of your family/heritage legacy?
My family is redefining what our legacy means to us. As a mixed child, there’s thousands of strings to pull on in terms of legacy. Our family has taken all the pieces that we believe empowers us, and try to stop any traditions of pain & pressure that may have stayed longer than they needed.
What’s one thing you’ll do to celebrate or uplift Black History this year?
Gonna consume a lot of Black art!