A+ for teachers: The Reporter's Message by Laura Onyeneho
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Giving our educators their flowers

This is a new month! And hopefully if you are reading this, you are in high spirits as we slowly entering into our new phase of normalcy during this pandemic (yes we are still in a pandemic). The pandemic taught us how fragile life can be and to appreciate what we have as well as the people around us.

The first full week of May is Teacher Appreciation Week. Educators were just one group of heroes during this pandemic that deserve all of their flowers. They’ve worked hard to help students adjust to virtual learning at the height of COVID, back into in-person learning. The work they do for our society and communities is the Lord’s work because it truly takes unwavering dedication, passion, empathy, patience and drive to find creative ways to support students academically, socially and emotionally in addition to being overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated.

Educators have the lives our future generation in their hands every day, challenging and encouraging our youth to be upstanding citizens in their communities. Even though we should be celebrating this year-round, don’t forget to honor your favorite educators who’ve had an influence on your life and career.

Megan Thee Stallion Day

It was only a matter of time before Megan Thee Stallion would officially have a day dedicated to her in the city of Houston.

Mayor Sylvester Turner issued a proclamation to the three-time Grammy-winning artist and philanthropist along with keys to the city. This symbolic gesture according to the mayor means that “individuals who receive the key are responsible of upholding Houston’s values and represent the best this city offers.”

Megan is no stranger to the challenge. She regularly provides education, health and housing assistance through her nonprofit Pete and Thomas Foundation in honor of her parents, and the launch of her “Hotties Helping Houston” fundraiser help Texans after the infamous 2021 winter storm.

May 2 wasn’t just a day to celebrate Megan’s dedication to the Houston community; it honored both her mother and grandmother’s birthday on the same day. The one thing I respect about many Houston based hip-hop artists is the fact that no matter how famous they’ve become, they will always remember where their roots are.

Colin Kaepernick comeback?

At the height of his NFL career, quarterback Kaepernick put everything on the line to take a stand against racial inequities and police brutality. Since then, it has ignited conversations around activism in sports. Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016, but the thought about returning has certainly crossed his mind. In an interview with the “I Am Athlete” podcast, he said, “I know I have to find my way back in…If I have to come in as backup, that fine.” He believes todays NFL should be more aligned with his views. He’s trained behind the scenes for five years and now, he is back in the headlines with news that he is looking to return to the field this year and suggested the Seahawks as a potential team.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell openly encouraged teams to sign Kaepernick in 2020, but not a single team has hosted him for a workout. Social media has had mix reviews about it. Some argue that all his efforts will be for nothing playing for a league that doesn’t truly care about Black lives, while others are in support of free speech and his goal to return. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...