Social Movements and the Classroom: A Conversation with TJ Whitaker

New Jersey Education Association

Welcome to the Jersey Educator Podcast, a show created by NJEA members, for NJEA members. Whether you are a teacher, an educational support professional, or a New Jersey Student Education Association member, this show will serve as a platform to help YOU bring out the best in your students each and every day in your schools. The shows are hosted by Jeff Bradbury of (@TeacherCast) and Jim Boice, a field representative with NJEA (@boiceinthehood). For more information, please visit and email us at

In this episode, we welcome our guest host, Ikechukwu Onyema, and his guest, TJ Whitaker, onto the program.

About Our Guest Host

Ikechukwu “EK” Onyema is a Chemistry Teacher at East Orange Campus High School in Essex County. He's been in education for five years, teaching in several different urban areas including Philadelphia and Newark. In addition to being an active member in the NJEA through the NJEA Bolivar L. Graham Intern Foundation Practicing Apprentice Program, he commits his time to community organizing. His most recent project, The Soul Era, can be found on

About Our Guest

TJ Whitaker is a veteran educator of 15 years in the Maplewood/South Orange School District where he teaches English. In addition to coaching girls basketball, he advises several student clubs including the Black Students Union (BSU), MAC Scholars, and MAPSO Freedom School. TJ balances these all while pursuing his PhD in Global Affairs at Rutgers Newark, and his tireless engagement in local community activism. He is also a husband of 15 years and father of 3 children.

  • Learn more about EK and TJ’s Mapso Freedom School on their Facebook page.
  • Over the summer, EK did an interview with the National Education Association that was published on its Education Votes website, here.

The views expressed by guests on Jersey Educator are not necessarily the views of NJEA, the hosts, or other guests.

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Show Hosts

Jeffrey Bradbury, author of Kidblog: An Introduction to Blogging With Your Students, is the creator of and Educational Podcasting Today, is an ASCD Emerging Leader, Google Certified Teacher, Google Education Trainer, PBS Learning Media Digital Innovator, speaker, writer, broadcaster, consultant and educational media specialist. He is currently the Coordinator for Technology Integration for the Westwood Regional School District in New Jersey. In 2012, Jeff was recognized as one of top 50 educators using social media at the first ever Bammy Awards and has been nominated three times in the category of Innovator of the Year. Jeff has Keynoted for the Pearson Authentic Learning Conference, EdTechNJ and most recently at Columbia University’s Teacher College and Podcast Mid-Atlantic.

Jim Boice is a field representative with the New Jersey Education Association. Prior to joining NJEA in 2012, Jim was a high school English teacher for ten years in the Pennsauken Township School District of Camden County, NJ.

About the author, Jeffrey Bradbury

Jeff Bradbury, creator of TeacherCast, and father of the famous @EduTriplets Thanks for checking out TeacherCast today. Please take a moment to find me on all of my Social Media channels!