When I introduced my guest, Dave Carr, in Part I of this episode I set up the discussion by describing Los Angeles on fire. Literally. In 1993 the city was still reeling from the repercussions of the riots the previous year. Compton, where Dave taught, was dealing with a major demographic shift as more Latinos were moving into the city populated by mostly African-Americans. While the racial tensions were real and the riots had long lasting effects on the city, there was also another reality. A reality that many of us can forget. I forget sometimes. That it was also a city of people working, praying, shopping, laughing, mowing their lawns, going out to eat with their families, kids playing in sports leagues on any given weekend. Just living. In Part II of Episode 8, Dave helps us understand that, at the end of the day, despite divisions or struggle and lack of access to resources, progress is possible - whether it’s young people coming together through music, a low-rider show or even Latinos joining the basketball team. Dave also reflects on his own evolution from teacher to principal. As a teacher, he learned that sometimes young people need discipline and structure and as principal, sometimes young people need a shoulder to lean on.
April 3, 2017