David's Open Road


    Team Full Circle


Associate Professor
University of Illinois at Chicago

“Think and create, and find a community of folks that you can think and create with.”


Education Politics


Beliefs & Faith Community Dedication Education Planning Experience Passion Culture Focus Self-Reflection Negativity Character Hard Work Pressure Simplicity Transitions


Teaching / Mentoring


  • Says his driving force is, "What is that story that we don't talk about? What are the things that have gone missing?"
  • In kindergarten, he got the "bogus" Columbus story, couldn't understand how he "discovered" a place where people already lived.
  • Disinvested from school, thought it was feeding him lies; years later, a teacher told him he should work to prove the world's negative expectations of him wrong.
  • Says all forthright change comes from people who have "found their conditions intolerable and are working to change those conditions."
  • He knew he had to change the educational system's flaws from the inside.
  • Uses his free time off from teaching to work in classrooms in Chicago; takes those experiences back to his college students.
  • This allows him to speak confidently about what is going on in the communities he lectures about, rather than just "pontificating."
  • Says working in spaces of poverty, hypersegregation can be frustrating and toxic for some, but he's learned to find happiness in the little things.

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