President Obama will recognize Project Exploration
, an organization working to insert ethnic minorities into science education, with a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mentoring during a White House ceremony today. Project Exploration co-founder and Executive Director Gabrielle Lyon
served as a Fellow with the $outhern Poverty Law Centerâ€™s
Teaching Tolerance project. Lyon interviewed Bill Ayers for the Teaching Tolerance site in 1998.[An Unconditional Embrace,
In the interview, Ayers, former Weather Underground fugitive, radical educator and self-described communist, is merely described â€?as a civil rights organizer, radical anti-Vietnam War activist, teacher and authorâ€?
without any extended discussion of his extremist ideological views
or militant activities with a group of revolutionaries
that bombed American installations.
Lyon asked Ayers about the effectiveness of the educational system as a vehicle to bring about â€?social changeâ€?.
Ayers replied: â€?Because I began teaching right after my release from jail, I`ve always linked teaching to social justice. There`s a whole group of teachers who came out of the `60s who asked themselves, â€?What can I do with my life that would be consistent within an agenda of social change and hopefulness towards a more humane social order?â€™ The most common choice has been to teach; teaching is seen as an extension of their involvement in social change.â€?
Lyon also served as the director of the School Change Institute at the Small Schools Workshop at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ayers co-founded the Small Schools Workshop in 1992. Mike Klonsky
serves as the national director of the Small Schools Workshop. In the 1970s, according to Wikipedia,
Klonsky became a leader in the New Communist Movement and â€?was one of five S.D.S. members arrested on May 12, 1969, when prank phone calls sent police and firefighters to the S.D.S. offices in Chicago
. "In the 1970s he headed the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), in which role he was one of the first westerners allowed to visit the People`s Republic of China.
After Lyon posted commentary on the Huffington Post site, Klonsky tweeted â€?Gabe Lyon, a real science educator, at Huffâ€?.
Honoring radical educators with communist mentors: Change you can believe in!