Leigh Patel is a researcher, educator, and writer. With a background in sociology, she researches and teaches about education as a site of social reproduction and as a potential site for transformation. She is an Associate Professor of Education at Boston College and works extensively with recently immigrated youth and teacher activists. Prior to working in the academy, Professor Patel was a journalist, a teacher, and a state-level policymaker. Across all of these experiences, her focus has been on the ways that education structures opportunities in society, and her daily work has been with youth who are marginalized through those structures.
As part of our 2013 Education Justice Listening Project we interviewed educators, students, parents and organizers about what’s the best path forward for improving public education. In this clip, Leigh reminds us of an often deliberately-obscured fact: that the public education system belongs to us. What does it mean if we take action based on that idea?