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Abbott Elementary Teaches Us All: Sheryl Lee Ralph & Joyce Abbott

Can you remember the last time when the challenges that inner city public school teachers face were the subject of a popular TV series? Abbott Elementary - which has just been renewed for a second season on ABC - does just that. The Philadelphia school on TV is fictional, but the challenges it faces are all too real. Closely based on the school that series creator (and star) Quinta Brunson attended, and especially her experiences with Ms. Abbott, her 6th grade teacher, the show combines art, education and activism. On this month's Meet The BIPOC Press with URL Media, real-life educator Joyce Abbott joins acclaimed actress and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph from the series, to discuss what the show's success shows us about this moment, when educators, especially teachers of color, are leaving the profession in droves. Can a TV show help stem the tide, shift the culture and change policy? Among her many accolades, Ralph starred in the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls. Is quality education for all, a dream? Laura Flanders and co-hosts Mitra Kalita and Sara Lomax-Reese don't think it should be. "The teachers, even though they get the school training, the college training, I don't think anything can prepare you for when you go into the classroom. We're still in the pandemic, all the trauma with the civil unrest - it's a lot, and you have to be willing to invest a lot of time and a lot of energy." - Joyce M. Abbott, Educator & Abbott Elementary Namesake "There is something going on in the psyche of America when we would rather preach injustice, when we would rather tell our children a skewed view of the world. Something is going on in America and the good people, the wise people, must rise up and do better for each other, for all of us to keep the dream of the great United States of America alive." - Sheryl Lee Ralph, Actress & Activist Guests: Joyce M. Abbott: Educator & Abbott Elementary Namesake; Sheryl Lee Ralph: Actress

Episode Duration: 26 minutes and 46 seconds

Episode Number: 309

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