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Christopher Emdin
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Christopher Emdin, is an Associate Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University where he serves as Co-director of the Center for Health Equity and Urban Science Education and Associate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education

Dr. Emdin is the author of “Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation”. Dr Emdin’s work has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and others. He can be reached at

Entries by Christopher Emdin

On Confederate Flags and Body Cameras: 5 Things to Consider

(1) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 3:15 AM

"3:30 in the morning with not a soul in sight
We sat four deep at a traffic light
Talking about how dumb and brainwashed some of our brothers and sisters are
While we waited for a green light to tell us when to go"

The quote above...

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Geraldo Rivera: Failed Hip-Hop Icon

(2) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 3:04 PM

Geraldo Rivera is most famously known for his over 40-year-old mustache that curls up at each end and has transformed from dark brown to grey and then to variations of brown again over the course of his life in front of the camera. He describes it as his signature. Something...

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5 Ways to Teach About Michael Brown and Ferguson in the New School Year

(4) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 11:23 AM

During the first few weeks of school, both teachers and students are going into classrooms unsure about what to expect from each other. Teachers are looking to establish norms, create routines, and develop a positive learning environment for the upcoming academic year. Students are trying to identify whether or not...

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5 New Approaches to Teaching and Learning: The Next Frontier

(3) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 2:27 PM

In my first year of teaching about a decade ago, I was given very straightforward instructions for what I was charged to do. I was told to follow the curriculum, ensure that my students didn't disrupt the classroom, meet the state standards for my subject, and make sure that my...

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5 Ways to Engage Youth in the Fight for Civil Rights

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2014 | 4:14 PM

A few days ago, I placed my cell phone, keys, and wallet in a small plastic bin and slowly walked through a set of large metal detectors. After making my way through the machine, I was asked to raise my hands as an officer scanned me with a hand held...

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5 Reasons Why You Should be Listening to International Hip-Hop

(3) Comments | Posted January 13, 2014 | 3:56 PM

A few years ago I was invited to a university in South Africa to deliver a speech on ways to improve education by focusing on youth culture. I gladly accepted the invitation, and was excited to get a glimpse into South African culture. Once I arrived, I met my very...

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A Change of Heart: Maybe Don Lemon Was Right

(3) Comments | Posted August 1, 2013 | 12:53 PM

Yesterday, I wrote a piece critiquing the venom that CNN anchor Don Lemon spat at the Black community for its lack of responsibility in addressing the "thug" behavior spurred on by hip-hop culture. Since last night, I have had a change of heart. Perhaps Don Lemon is right. Perhaps we...

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On Black Culture, Don Lemon's Got It All Wrong

(184) Comments | Posted July 31, 2013 | 3:29 PM

Earlier this morning, I was sent a video clip of CNN anchor Don Lemon's usually thoughtful and increasingly controversial news segment "No Talking Points." I was expecting some interesting commentary but instead watched him dive head first into a self-righteous tirade about the lack of responsibility Blacks have...

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5 Ways to Stop a Black Scientist: Kiera Wilmot's Arrest

(34) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 4:46 PM

When I was 16, I poured different amounts of baking soda into a couple of half-open ketchup containers to see what would happen. The resulting reactions were fascinating. The baking soda reacted with the vinegar in the ketchup to produce carbon dioxide. The pressure built up inside the containers, then...

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The 5 Causes of Test Cheating Scandals: From Atlanta to Washington D.C

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 3:05 PM

This week, Lawyers for former Atlanta schools superintendent Beverly Hall proclaimed her innocence of charges leveled against her by the Fulton County District Attorney. This proclamation came after details of test cheating scandals in Atlanta, Georgia and accusations of teaching scandals by former schools chancellor of Washington DC,...

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It's Time To End the Harlem 'Fake'

(72) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 10:32 AM

I am a writer, science advocate and education researcher, but at my core I am a New York City hip-hop kid. My life has been shaped by many beautiful moments in hip-hop culture and I've been inspired by the complex ways in which hip-hip navigates the world. New York has...

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Turbans, Hoodies, and Misdirected American Aggression

(29) Comments | Posted August 24, 2012 | 8:19 AM

The first day I heard about the mass shooting of Sikh worshippers in Wisconsin I was moved to write a piece detailing the range of emotions I felt as the details of the shooting emerged. As reports described the religious background of the worshippers, the history of the gunman and...

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Geniuses Unite: The Intersection of Hip-Hop and Science

(17) Comments | Posted June 15, 2012 | 10:22 AM

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit in a room with two brilliant scientists. One is hip-hop icon GZA who has had an outstanding career as a solo artist, but is probably best known as a member of the iconic Wu-Tang Clan. The other, is world renowned...

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5 Reasons Why Romney's Urban Education Plan Is Disastrous

(54) Comments | Posted June 4, 2012 | 4:20 PM

In his most recent comments about education in the United States, and in a sampling of the rhetoric that will soon come from both parties as the presidential debates loom over the horizon, republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pronounced that inequity in education is "the civil rights issue...

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America's Youth Is Uprising: 5 Signs From Our Nation's Public Schools

(9) Comments | Posted April 13, 2012 | 11:42 AM

Last year, the whole world came to a standstill as people from across the globe connected via social media, voiced their collective frustrations with their oppressive everyday experiences, confronted old regimes and sprung into action to topple powerful and seemingly indestructible age-old political structures.

In Egypt, millions of protesters...

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Five Lessons for America from the Trayvon Martin Tragedy

(8) Comments | Posted March 21, 2012 | 4:57 PM

On February 26th 2012, Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old boy who was returning to his family's home in Florida from a visit to a store, was gunned down in cold blood by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain in a gated community in Florida. Trayvon Martin was a Black young man...

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Jeremy Lin: Success and Stereotypes, Five Lessons for Youth

(13) Comments | Posted February 28, 2012 | 3:46 PM

The seemingly meteoric rise to stardom of New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin has become the subject of news stories, the theme of conversations among millions of basketball enthusiasts, and captured the imaginations of youth in classrooms across the United States. The Asian American basketball player, after stints in the...

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Releasing Teacher Ratings Is Bad Idea

(21) Comments | Posted February 22, 2012 | 5:54 PM

The dismal conditions of the nation's public schools, along with the low rankings of U.S. students compared to their peers across the globe, have awakened the general public to be more engaged in the state of education in America. The media has in turn been sensationalizing the...

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5 Ways Red Tails Can Inspire Deeper Conversations With African-American Youth

(4) Comments | Posted January 24, 2012 | 3:52 PM

The new movie, Red Tails, tells the story of the first African-American military aviators in the United States armed forces. The movie describes the overwhelming adversity that African Americans endured in the United States Military and provides insight into the unfounded perceptions of the intellectual capabilities of people of color....

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Five Messages From the "Slavery Math Problems"

(81) Comments | Posted January 9, 2012 | 11:43 AM

News of the "slavery math problems" assigned to 8-year-olds in Gwinnett County, Georgia, a few days ago, has left the entire country in disbelief. Parents, educators and the general public are wondering how any qualified teacher could have posed these questions. I am perturbed by the fact that...

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