2018 Social Justice Activist Nominee Profile

Gabriel Tanglao has drawn on the skills he learned from his union’s leadership trainings to develop sessions on racial justice for educators, students and communities, and to influence policy makers.

Gabriel has developed and facilitated topical sessions which include, “Racial Justice: All Day, Every Day,” “Take a Knee: Leading on Racial Justice to Demand Equity,” and “Growing a Movement: From Roots to Fruits.” He presented at NEA National Leadership Summits, and Minority & Women Leadership Training Conferences.  At the state level, Gabriel has facilitated “Social Justice,” “Cultural Competence in the Classroom,” “Understanding the Association,” and more.

Gabriel has also built the skills to impact policy makers.  As an alumni of the New Leaders Council Fellowship and a Senior Fellow with the Millennial Policy Initiative on the Commission on Education, Gabriel is advancing equity in education through public policy.  He will be addressing the school-to-prison-pipeline in the work he is authoring for the New Leaders digital magazine.

We caught up to have a conversation with Gabriel at school where he advises the Model United Nations, National Social Studies Honor Society, and is a STEM mentor.  We talked about what inspires him, what role students play in this movement and the biggest challenges facing public education today.

Vote for the 2018 Social justice Activist of the Year!

What spurred you to become an educator activist?

Love for my students.  Love for my profession. Love for my community.

 

Why should social justice activism matter to educators?

If social justice is not a core value or burning aspiration, then why become an educator?

 

What role do students play in movement building, especially in light of the new political environment?

Young people have always been the spiritual fire and guiding light from the beginning of human society. They give us purpose, direction, and motivation to keep moving forward.

Shout out to the students leaders in my U.S. History I Honors and AP U.S. History courses — Lemon Club, Together Everyone Can Help (TECH) Club, Creating Creative Children (C3) Club, Minorities Represented Club, and Genders & Sexualities Alliance at Bergen Tech in Teterboro — former student leaders in my AP Economics, Personal Finance, and World History courses — Model United Nations and National Social Studies Honor Society at Bergenfield High School — and the amazing humans involved with Teens Talk About Racism.

 

What is the role personal stories play in social justice activism?

Our beautifully diverse experiences that shape our personal identities are vital to our shared journey toward collective liberation. As political and economic forces tear at the social fibers that connect us, our stories hold us together.

 

What is the biggest issue facing public education today? 

Our culture that feeds “the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism” is the biggest issue facing public education today. We need to transform our culture.

 

What song gets you fired up to do this work?

“Never Let Me Down” by Kanye West ft. Jay-Z and J. Ivy.

 

What message would you most want to tell educator activists just starting out?

Protect Your Passion. Stay Well and Healthy. Keep Moving Forward.

 

Vote for the 2018 Social justice Activist of the Year!

 

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