On Saturday, October 2, 2021, education activist Dirk Tillotson was killed in a home invasion robbery in Oakland. Oakland Voices alumni correspondent Iris M. Crawford, who worked with Tillotson on his Great School Voices blog, remembers him. The remembrance is republished with permission from the author.
Dirk was a movement. This is where words and language have its limitations as they cannot even begin to adequately express the feelings of his family and his community.
“By becoming deeply aware of our mortality, we intensify our experience of every aspect of life.” That is exactly what Dirk did – intensified, heightened, and improved the experience and world of education for our young minds. As many of us know, Dirk was the Founder and Executive Director of this incredible platform Great School Voices. For over thirty years, Dirk has been an educator, movement builder, and voice for making our school systems better, especially for Black students and other students of color. He has done this work in Oakland, New York City, Doha and New Orleans and places in between, always holding steadfast in his vision. He believed and fought for our kids because academically, high-quality education is an inherent right, not a luxury.
Despite being violently taken from us on Friday evening, his legacy will continue to live on, and with your readership, support, and commitment, it will.
Please share and donate to the GoFundMe that was started for him and his family last night. We encourage you to share and keep Dirk’s legacy alive.