Virtual Professional Learning

POV Watch Club: After Show and Resources | August

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“Everything that happens in a home…it happens [on the pier] as well.” 
- Desean, Pier Kids

In her autobiography, Assatta Shakur wrote, “the schools we go to are reflections of the society that created them.” The films we’ve included thus far in Watch Club hold power in our lives as educators because they reflect our society back to us - “other” Americas that we may not inhabit in our daily lives, and if we do then they reflect back experiences so that we can see them and ourselves and our work differently. This month, our featured film Pier Kids, reminds us to be conscious of what systems and structures are easy for us to ignore in our daily lives, and how a conditioned blindness to harmful aspects of society can limit our capacity to recognize beauty and brilliance in equal measure. 

Pier Kids brings us into life on the Christopher Street Pier in New York City through the eyes of filmmaker and former Pier Kid, Elegance Bratton. On the pier, homeless queer and trans youth of color forge friendships and chosen families, withstanding tremendous amounts of abuse while working to carve out autonomy in their lives. With intimate, immersive access to these fearless young people, Pier Kids highlights the precarity and resilience of a community many choose to ignore. 

We are all interconnected - our students and ourselves - to the structures and struggle and joys. We hope this film will open new possibilities for you to see, celebrate, and support the young people in your care.

Keep the conversation going in the Padlet and don’t forget to join the club for more critical documentaries and community conversations about how to teach towards liberation.


To support your continued growth on this journey and offer some tangible tools to bring into your classroom practice we are also providing this list of free resources. Each month, following the After Show, you can expect a list of resources to support your teaching, continued learning, and creativity in your own classroom.

  • Pier Kids Lesson Plan: Reimagining Our Power and Identities through Speculative Fiction, By: Maureen Nicol
  • Pier Kids Delve Deeper Reading List
    Read Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity by C. Riley Snorton - A book that examines the intersections of Blackness and Transness across American history.
  • Marsha’s Plate: Black Trans Prodcast
    A lively podcast where three friends come together every Thursday to share opinions and perspectives that centers the Black perspective. Hosted By Diamond Stylz, Mia Mix, and Zee. All Houston-based digital strategists, Black feminists, civil rights advocates, and Black trans people. They explore topics of gender, current events, politics, and scumbags all around the world upholding systems of oppression from a Black trans feminist lens. With a funny no-holds-barred style they introduce you to new perspectives, stories that connect you to transness, and trans community leaders around the country.
  • The National Black Trans Advocacy Coalition
    The only social justice organization led by Black transgender people to collectively address the inequities faced in the Black transgender human experience.
  • The Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) 
    Protects and defends the human rights of Black transgender people. We do this by organizing, advocating, creating an intentional community to heal, developing transformative leadership, and promoting our collective power.
  • Black AIDS Institute (BAI) 
    Dedicated to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Black community. BAI is the only uniquely and unapologetically Black HIV think and do tank in America. We believe in complete freedom for Black people by eradicating systematic oppression so that we can live long, healthy lives.

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