Joe Flynn

Accusations That Really Destroyed Lives

Oct 10, 2018

Several times during Bret Kavanaugh’s path to the Supreme Court, President Trump, Judge Kavanaugh, and others lamented how expressing allegations of sexual misconduct was “tearing down a good man,” a “hit job.” Mr. Trump declared “a man’s life is in tatters,” even though Kavanaugh’s approval was all but sealed.

A Curious Encounter -- Part 1

Sep 4, 2018

Have you ever found yourself struggling with your values? Being an African American social justice educator, I often explore the theme of replacing judgment with curiosity and humanizing others, no matter what. Saying those values is always easier than living them. 

Lessons From Little League

Jul 30, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ


His Dream Is Still Deferred

Apr 9, 2018

Last Wednesday was April 4, the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King, without doubt, one of our most beloved and respected historical figures. However, there’s much about his ideas, message, and activities that has been edited from our collective memory.

Two Dates That Echo With Horror

Jan 29, 2018

The morning of January 23 brought the ugliest and saddest of news. A 15-year-old boy walked into the commons area of his school and opened fire, ultimately slaying two and wounding 18 others, casting a scar that will be long visible.

Since the case has been assigned to juvenile court, the shooter’s identity and other details are kept in the confines of the court room; but investigators are desperately trying to find the roots of the shooter’s motives and his capacity to appreciate the gravity of his crimes.

High Court Deserves Reverence

Sep 12, 2016

A visit to the United States Supreme Court -- the marbled home of the judicial branch of our government in Washington, D.C. -- begs reverence.

The Court’s current home did not open until 1935. Before, they convened in a cramped, damp basement room of Congress. Sitting in the actual courtroom, it was insuperable to ponder the important decisions made there -- good and bad -- that affect each of us: the Korematsu decision, the Brown decision, Miranda, Bakke, Bush v. Gore, Citizens United, the Obergefell decision, and more.

Exposing Skeletons In America's Closet

Aug 2, 2016

Our nation is a family, inextricably linked by the DNA of our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of this great nation. Like all families we have our triumphs and joys, our arguments and dissents.

And, like all families, we have our secrets -- those skeletons that lurk just behind a slightly ajar closet door. Skeletons that fracture.

Another Example Of Mindless Attack

May 9, 2016

"Another academically challenged affirmative action parasite steals a place from a qualified White or Asian student."

"Hopefully she gets cancer or AIDS or one of those colored diseases."

"I wonder if she applied as a mudslime or  a foreign student or just a n****r."

These racially charged aspersions are not from a bygone era. Last week, they were posted to a cable news network’s comments section when they reported Malia Obama’s acceptance to Harvard, her father’s alma mater. To their credit, they shut down the comments section.

Budget Inaction Needs Action

Apr 18, 2016

Illinois is in the depths of an historic budget impasse. The democratic-controlled legislature is pushing for tax increases while Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner opposes any taxes. Unfortunately, their inability to find any compromise will affect all Illinoisans, particularly the poor and working class.

Many services have been impacted, including child welfare, Meals-on-Wheels, epilepsy treatments, sexual assault and rape crisis centers, drug treatment programs, juvenile justice programs, and many others.

Express Ideas With Respect

Mar 28, 2016

Free speech is fundamental to democracy and education. It protects us from the suppression of ideas and dissent.

College campuses are among the last bastions of democracy -- spaces where individuals representing a wide spectrum of humanity can congregate to share, challenge, refute, and embrace ideas. But can one really say whatever one feels, inside or outside classrooms?

Joseph Flynn

Jul 31, 2015
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Joseph Flynn is an associate professor of curriculum and instruction and Associate Director for Academic Affairs for the Center for Black Studies at Northern Illinois University.

He teaches courses related to social justice, multicultural education and curriculum studies. His scholarship offers critical examinations of race, media and popular culture, and curriculum. Currently he is author of White Fatigue: Rethinking Resistance for Social Justice and a co-host for the podcast Mental Illness in Pop Culture.