Teacher Brittany Rogers tells the story of resisting pressure from her family to leave the Detroit Public Schools for a job in the suburbs — until she experiences her lowest moment.
Asenath Andrews recalls the day, 32 years ago, when she found herself suddenly faced with the challenge of educating teen moms and pregnant girls.
And Imani Harris describes what it’s like to go to school every day, worried about her personal safety.
They are three of the five storytellers who will take the stage Friday night at the Charles H. Wright Museum for the School Days storytelling event hosted by Chalkbeat and the Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers.
“Storytelling is a very powerful artform,” said Satori Shakoor, who is the creator, curator, producer and host of the Secret Society, which holds a monthly storytelling event at the Wright.
The audience on Friday will come away “with five different perspectives on Detroit schools — none of which you will hear on the news,” Shakoor said. “You’ll hear part of it on the news. You’ll hear the sound-bitey stuff but … (these stories) will challenge the stories that are proliferated out there. … You’re going to learn something.”
Chalkbeat is hosting the event as part of its official launch in Detroit. Teachers, parents and school leaders have been invited in hopes that stories told on stage will spark conversations that will lead to needed school improvement.
“I hope that by the end of the evening, everyone will feel a call to action,” Shakoor said.
In addition to Rogers, Andrews and Harris, two education reporters will take the stage: Chastity Pratt Dawsey, a graduate of the Detroit Public Schools who now writes about education and other issues for Bridge Magazine, and Erin Einhorn, Chalkbeat’s Senior Detroit correspondent who is now navigating the Detroit schools for her own children.