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Cornelius  Minor

Cornelius Minor


Cornelius Minor



Cornelius Minor is a Brooklyn-based educator. He works with teachers, school leaders, and leaders of community-based organizations to support equitable literacy reform in cities (and sometimes villages) across the globe. His latest book, We Got This, explores how the work of creating more equitable school spaces is embedded in our everyday choices—specifically in the choice to really listen to kids.

He has been featured in Education Week, Brooklyn Magazine, and Teaching Tolerance Magazine. He has partnered with The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, The New York City Department of Education, The International Literacy Association, Scholastic, and Lesley University’s Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative.

Out of Print, a documentary featuring Cornelius made its way around the film festival circuit, and he has been a featured speaker at conferences all over the world. Most recently, along with his partner and wife, Kass Minor, he has established The Minor Collective, a community-based movement designed to foster sustainable change in schools.

Whether working with educators and kids in Los Angeles, Seattle, or New York City, Cornelius uses his love for technology, hip-hop, and social media to bring communities together. As a teacher, Cornelius draws not only on his years teaching middle school in the Bronx and Brooklyn, but also on time spent skateboarding, shooting hoops, and working with young people.

Speaker Videos

Rationing Energy: Cornelius Minor on the ILA Next Main Stage

Cornelius Minor at ILA 2018 - "Schools are...."


Changing Systems

Thursday Thoughts for Teachers: Friendship and Empathy

Thursday Thoughts for Teachers from Cornelius Minor: Progress - How Much Has Really Changed?

We Got This

Cornelius Minor #31DaysIBPOC 23 May 2020

a chat with the amazing Cornelius Minor | disrupting systems | being a dad | slinging books!

No More Business As Usual

Speech Topics

Back to Life: American Public Schools and The Killing of the Imagination

The goal of a powerful education is to keep humans curious and engaged with the world and each other. The outcome of education is not simply “knowing” or “accumulating” information. The outcome of an education is “doing” - (re)making, reflecting, and building ideas, opportunities, questions, and solutions. In far too many places, the goals of school have not been in alignment with the goals of education.

Our shared histories have taught us that to some, schooling is about standardization. As a result, children lose out on educational opportunities to make, reflect, and build in service to the school-based drive to “produce”. This kills the imagination. It happens disproportionally to BIPOC children. And we are all complicit. We cannot attend to racism without attending to this.

In this keynote, we will explore what that can look like, and we will work together to discover our roles in activating the imaginative life of kids, their teachers, and their families. We cannot work toward a sustainable future, if we lack the imagination to even envision it. In this session we will catalyze that foundational work.

The Kids Will Be Alright: An Exploration of What Kids Are Really Learning Right Now

Neither youth nor their teachers have built classroom community on a foundational paradigm like the one that exists post 2020. Kids need a lot. What we can accomplish in remote/hybrid learning feels different than what we used to accomplish. No one is really sure of what to do with this reality given that standards and expectations have not changed in any explicit way.

The back to school rhythms of assessment and community building have been disrupted. While the pressure to return to business as usual feels intense, in this session, educators will explore the possibilities in taking pause, scaling back to the roots of teaching and learning, and exploring how joyful learning communities are cultivated by allowing kids to take the lead.