Gabriel

Gabriel A. Tanglao — Story of Self

 

My name is Gabriel Anthony Tanglao. My last name means light.

As in, light a fire to blaze a trail, lighten hearts, and enlighten minds

Let the bright dreams of my brilliant students shine

 

The roots of my Filipino ancestors run deep

From first Asian migrants in North America, to Manny Pacquiao and Miss Universe

From the tribesman that killed Magellan, to farm workers that organized a labor movement

 

I am a proud public educator. And you’re about to get schooled.

But drop the C for compliance, H for hatred, and O for oppression. What do U have left?

The cornerstone of democracy, “the stone that the builder refused,” is the SOUL of our schools.

 

SOUL means Society On Upward Ladder. Student’s Owning Unity & Love

Servants Organizing Underground Legends

Teaching, at the core, is the truest form public SERVICE

 

Organizing is a about power to the people.

The Underground Railroad is the new bullet train to FREEDOM.

Our youth, who will one day change the world, are LEGENDS of history and herstory in the making.

 

Buried in these schools is our collective SOUL.

Under the decay of corrupted politics that starve young bodies, minds, and spirits from the nourishment of truth.

Crushed by the weight of gold-plated charters schools that exploit communities of color for wealth and status.

 

Much like the Columbus Charter… Nina, Pinta & Santa Maria whose broken bows were used to construct prisons for indigenous people

Or the Middle Passage Charter… African people in chains, devoured by the belly of these hungry ships

The original school to prison pipeline.

 

Emerging from the swamps of our colonial legacy, a new greed-soaked oligarchy so slick and slimy, like the BP oil spill.

The race-system is their weapon of mass destruction dropped on every village, town, and city where melanin makes you a target.

Slashing children with budgets cuts $10 billion deep into education.

 

We, the people, are still alive and breathing.

Our collective heart beats war drums of HOPE and REVOLUTIONARY LOVE.

Rallying educators — defenders of our youth, our democracy, our truest values

 

What if we started a soulful revolution?

Imagine an army of educators, shielded by their unions, armed with science and math; language and history; arts and music; culture and love;

with communities fighting for social-, racial-, and economic justice

 

Stood together in solidarity in the voting booth, and in the streets; in school board meetings, and state houses; in digital space, and physical space; in homes, and classrooms; in our minds, and in our hearts; in our spirits, and DEEP in our SOUL

Called out, cried out, spoke out for public education: all day, every day.

 

[2018 NEA National Leadership Summit: Think Global, Act Local Workshop]