Author: ShaRhonda Knott-Dawson

ShaRhonda Knott-Dawson is the mother of two free-spirited, strong-willed girls and has a husband who should be appointed a saint for co-existing in the madness that is their life. She writes on politics, education, current events and social justice. She is also a taco enthusiast, a proud member of the Bey-hive, and truly believes that she will be receiving her letter from Hogwarts any day now. Find her on Twitter at @S_KnottDawson.

Thanks, Mayor Lightfoot, for the Feminist, Anti-Racist Messages Your Fashion Choices Send CPS Kids

For Chicago Public Schools students, what is appropriate clothing is a huge issue. While about 80% of CPS schools have a dress code or uniform policy, students themselves usually have very little say in decisions about what clothing is considered appropriate at school.   In CPS, school rules about clothes range from simple guidelines like white tops, navy bottoms, to…

What ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Means for My Black Daughters and the Schools They Attend

As the Black mother of two Black girls, I am always acutely aware of how Black girls are harmed in this society. However, there are some moments in America, when it is amplified that me and my girls, are truly at the bottom of the totem pole of those deemed in need of protecting. This weekend, the Lifetime docu-series, “Surviving…

This West Suburban Black Mom Skipped “America to Me.” Here’s Why

Our community has been captivated by the Starz docu-series, “America to Me.” But I haven’t watched the show myself. Not because it isn’t interesting; rather, I didn’t watch it because racism and racial achievement gaps in Oak Park are topics I have been writing, talking, and fighting about since my husband and I decided not to place our children in…

A Love Letter to Parents of Kids With Special Needs and Disabilities

Dear Fellow Parent Warriors, While every parent has strong feelings during the early part of the school year—excitement, nerves, even a little worry—our special tribe of parents with children who have IEPs (Individualized Education Plan) or 504 plans feel all those feelings plus some. Our worries are much more complex than just wondering whether our kids will fit in (we…

Racial Crossfit: Movies Edition

As I prepare myself for my seventh, yes, seventh, viewing of “Incredibles 2” with my daughter, I was inspired to have a new movie-themed racial crossfit! Lucky for you, the assignment is not to watch “Incredibles 2” seven times without going crazy. And for you high school English and social studies teachers, this is an assignment you can do right…