Our Guiding Principles
Our werk as educators is rooted in the shared belief that;
We are unapologetically Black. We seek to affirm Black lives in every aspect of our werk. We boldly love ourselves and our people. We make no apologies for that. No elaborate reasoning or explanation needed.
We are all extensions of one another’s beauty and medicine to one another’s pain. We are more powerful when we stand together as one. Only through understanding that we can still be a rose while allowing someone else to be our soil, water, and sun. Inversely, we have the ability and obligations to give life to one another by serving as those very same things that caused us to bloom.
We write our own narratives. We are not stifled by the false stories authored about us as Black people. We define ourselves, for ourselves. We will not be pressured into obligations of perfection to protect the image of our people, nor will we be Playdoh, our bodies, minds, and emotions, molded into caricatures that don’t show our genius. We produce. We create.
We have a strong selfie game. We are self-reflective. We look at our practice and evaluate how we can improve. We are #yesfilter, pulling from different places, people, and experiences that can add to us being the selfie we hope for. We are also #nofilter. We real and raw. We deal with the stuff that’s not pretty.
We build a space that affirms Black youth. Free from racism, classism, and adultism.
I am Silver Danielle. I am a justice seeker, educator, intercessor, and lover of Christ. I am a Black Hip-Hop Feminist of Faith. I am an indigenous Detroiter. I am fiercely differently abled. I am a native speaker of Ebonics. I am the product of the Detroit Public System and a Detroit charter network. I am a Black radical activist. I am a thinker. All of these things cultivate the educator I am and the person I present to my students daily. But I am also an English speaking, college-educated, American citizen, who attended private school and grew up in a household with two incomes.
I reject notions that would suggest that any of these identities make me good, normal, or better than those without any or all of these identities. The areas in which I am marginalized do not negate the areas in which I am privileged. I fully accept the responsibility of checking my privilege as often as possible. I believe it is a gift an honor to be an ally and acknowledge that at times my sole role as such is to shut up and graciously learn from those with lived experiences. I reject any savior mentality but rather choose to leverage my privilege to be a tool for cash poor, community and street educated, and undocumented sisters and brothers to use as they see fit.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Michigan State University and a teaching certification from the University of Michigan. In college, I performed various roles including president of the Black Student Alliance. My commentary, both during her college years and post-graduation, have been featured in The State News, theGrio, Lansing State Journal, The Huffington Post, ABC Channel 7 News, and PUSH Radio. Additionally, she has served as and guest lecturer of Women’s Studies at MSU and UM-Dearborn.
Currently, I am an English language arts teacher at Detroit Leadership Academy where I am a two-time nominee and winner of the Golden Apple Award for teaching.