Parents…STAY WOKE!

by Brandi T. Brown

We are HYPE! Wait, we are beyond HYPE about Roni Dean-Burren, the Awesome Textbook Changing Mom for STAYING WOKE!

One of the things I didn’t know until I became a parent was from the moment you begin to have restless nights during your pregnancy until years after your newborn is born, you are WOKE! You try to dose off, but your baby begins to cry.  You think as they get older it will get better, but then they learn how to get out of bed and make it to the side of yours, so you are just WOKE…It seems like all the time!  Oh but then, you think when they start school and especially high school, finally you can sleep, but absolutely NOT!  Parents, we must STAY WOKE! Our children need us to pay attention to every little detail of their personal lives…their friends, their likes, dislikes, their circles of influences, their hangouts, social media spots and their beliefs.  And we MUST STAY WOKE on their EDUCATION!

It is no secret parent participation in a child’s education decreases as they get older.  The PTA meetings, the fundraisers, the parent-teacher conferences all slow down as the child enters into secondary school.  But we are HYPE because Roni Dean-Burren, a former HYPE Intern and HYPE Parent STAYED WOKE and was recognized nationally on the Larry Wilmore Show for doing just that!

Roni’s son, Coby Burren, a fifteen-year-old Pearland, Texas student and past HYPE Freedom School Student sent a text message to her about a caption in his World Geography textbook in the section on “Patterns of Immigration”. The caption read: “The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.” Roni, who is also a former high school teacher and now a University of Houston doctoral student, could have only discussed the mistruth in this caption to her son, but instead she posted the mistruth on Facebook because she knew thousands of other Texas high school students received the same textbook, and many of them may have mistaken that caption for truth.

Coby’s text message to his mother has woke a lot of adults up, including the CEO of the publishing company, McGraw-Hill. This series of events is a great reminder that as adults, we must STAY WOKE!   We do not have time to doze off while educating our youth.  We must utilize the educational system, but as parents, individuals, communities, churches, and businesses, we must engage in our young people on their level and where they are academically.  We must know what is being discussed and utilize the out of school time to mentor, teach and educate them on our truth.

Roni is a great example of how we should STAY WOKE.  She has demonstrated why parental involvement in a child’s life is key.  Parents, we are our children’s best advocate and usually the most influential person in their education when we are WOKE.

So kudos to Roni Dean-Burren receiving the Larry Wilmore’s Stay Woke Award!!  Through both Coby and Roni, we are HYPE about these reminders from them demonstrating the importance of #educateourtruth:

1)  Having the after school talk with your child about everything including school and their education, creates thought leaders and outstanding advocates for change.

2) Parents are our children’s first teachers.  Read, write and share with your children.

3) No matter the age, you can make a difference…A HUGE Difference.

Roni Dean-Burren has earned her STAY WOKE award, how will you earn yours?


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