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Lesson 1, Topic 62
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Lead Instructor Copy

Gerald Dessus, M.Ed

Cultural Studies Teacher and DEI Practitioner



A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Gerald Dessus has dedicated his career as an educator to serving youth. After graduating from Lincoln University with a degree in English Education, Gerald began teaching at Alliance for Progress Charter School. In 2013, he served as a founding middle school teacher at Pastorius Mastery Charter School. He extended his role as an educator by serving as a Writing Teacher Leader, Grade Team Leader, Cultural Context Facilitator, and a Summer Mentor Teacher for Teach for America.

Gerald currently utilizes his Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Teaching from the University of Kansas by designing social justice curricula for schools across the country. In addition to teaching at The Philadelphia School, Gerald has continued his work in the community by serving as the Executive Director for Beta Gamma Chi, a national queer-affirming fraternity founded in 2009. He travels throughout the North and Southeastern regions of the United States, facilitating workshops and professional development on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Gerald Dessus’ work has been recognized by the International Literacy Association, The Fellowship for Black Male Educators, WHYY, and the Education Post, among other non-profit agencies.


Think back to a time when you felt slighted or invalidated by something that was said to you. Were you upset? Angry? Confused? Did you doubt yourself? Were you uncertain how to respond? To what extent did one small comment dominate your thoughts or interfere with other tasks you were trying to accomplish? Now imagine this slight occurred in an area where you aspired to have success: in your classroom, during a conference, or in a faculty meeting. How does such language affect your ability to concentrate on your professional and academic responsibilities in these environments?