Jesse Hagopian is a high school teacher in Seattle and has taught for over a decade at Garfield High School–the site of the historic boycott of the MAP test. Jesse is an editor for the social justice periodical Rethinking Schools, is the co-editor of the books, Black Lives Matter at School, Teaching for Black Lives, Teacher Unions and Social Justice, and is the editor of the book, More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing. Jesse serves as the Director of the Black Education Matters Student Activist Award, is an organizer with the Black Lives Matter at School movement, and is founding member of Social Equity Educators (SEE).
Jesse is the recipient of the 2019 “Racial Justice Teacher of the Year” from the NAACP Youth Coalition and the “Social Justice Teacher of the Year” award from Seattle Public School’s Department of Racial Equity. He received the 2012 Abe Keller Foundation award for “excellence and innovation in peace education,” and won the 2013 “Secondary School Teacher of the Year” award and the Special Achievement “Courageous Leadership” award from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. In 2015, Jesse received the Seattle/King County NAACP Service Award, was named as an Education Fellow to The Progressive magazine, as well as a “Cultural Freedom Fellow” for the Lannan Foundation for his nationally recognized work in promoting critical thinking and opposing high-stakes testing.
Jesse is also an advocate for the power of sports in youth development and organizes to support athlete activism. Jesse partners with the Coaching Boys Into Men program and Team Up Washington, programs designed to engage high school student athletes in dialog about gender equity, healthy relationships, consent, and ending sexual assault. In addition, Jesse organizes with NFL pro bowler Michael Bennett and other professional athletes who protest injustice. Jesse joined the core organizing team of Athletes for Impact, the voice of athlete activism.
Jesse is an activist, public speaker, and a contributing author to 101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed US History, Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation (Haymarket Books), and Why We Teach Now (Edited by Sonia Nieto, Teachers College Press). Jesse’s essay on the MAP test boycott and the ensuing national uprising against high-stakes testing was published in Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove’s 10th anniversary edition of Voices of a People’s History of the United States.
Jesse’s commentary has been featured on many local and national news programs including, HBO’s “Problem Areas” with Wyatt Cenac, NBC’s “Education Nation,” The PBS News Hour with Gwen Ifill, CNN, Keith Olberman’s Countdown, The Dan Rather Report, Democracy Now!, The Real News Network, Busted Pencils, The Laura Flanders Show, and C-Span’s “Book TV.” Jesse’s writings on education, the Black Lives Matter movement, Haiti, Palestine, and U.S. politics, have been published at Salon.com, Truth Out, Common Dreams, Black Agenda Report, The Progressive, Alternet, the Seattle Education website, and the National Education Association’s Education Votes blog. He has also been a frequent special guest contributor to the Seattle Times op-ed page.
Jesse has been active in the movement for Black lives. In January of 2015, Jesse Hagopian gave the final speech at Seattle’s Martin Luther King Day rally. Not long after, he was pepper-sprayed with out provocation by an officer of the Seattle Police Department. The incident was captured on video by an onlooker. Since then Jesse reached a settlement over the incident with the City of Seattle and used a portion of the proceeds to start the “Black Education Matters Student Activist Award.”
In January, 2013, Jesse helped organize the MAP test boycott that began at Garfield High School, quickly spread to several other Seattle Schools, and helped ignite a national movement against the abuses of standardized testing.
In 2012, Jesse attempted a citizen’s arrest of the Washington State Legislature when they announced cuts of some $2 billion from health and education, as the decision violated the State Constitution and subsequent law mandating a fully funded education system. When Jesse and members of the Social Equity Educators finished reading the charges to a stunned state legislature, Jesse produced a pair of plastic handcuffs and encouraged the legislators to turn themselves in. It was Jesse, however, who left in cuffs and spent the evening in jail. Upon hearing of his arrest, the students at Garfield staged a mass walkout against budget cuts to education that made national headlines.
In 2011, Jesse participated in the Interfaith Peace Builder’s historic first African Heritage delegation that brought 14 African Americans ages 28-70 years old to Israel and Palestine to meet with civil society organizations, human rights groups, and grassroots activists to better understand the conflict.
In 2010, Jesse and his family were in Haiti when the devastating earthquake hit and joined the relief effort in the aftermath. Upon his return home to Seattle, Jesse joined the board of directors of Maha-Lilo—“Many Hands, Light Load”—a Haiti solidarity organization.
In 2006, Jesse served as the campaign manager for Seattle Black Panther founding captain Aaron Dixon’s Green Party bid for U.S. senate with the message of, “Out of war…and into our communities!”
Jesse is a graduate of Seattle’s Garfield High School and Macalester College, and obtained his Master’s degree in teaching at the University of Washington. Jesse and his wife are the proud parents of two young boys.
You can connect with Jesse on Twitter.
120 thoughts on “About Jesse”
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Red Lobster is committing wage theft against vulnerable,protected class,front line employees during a worldwide pandemic:SETTLEMENT AND RELEASE AGREEMENT
1. Parties. The parties to this Agreement are Anthony B. Scott dba Local Vocals LLC, the Individual (for yourself, your family, beneficiaries and anyone acting for you) (“you”), and Red Lobster Restaurants LLC (“the Company”).
You and the Company are parties to two lawsuits now pending in the Hampton General District Court in the Commonwealth of Virginia: Anthony B. Scott dba Local Vocals, LLC v. Red Lobster Hospitality, LLC, Case No. GV21-1959; and Anthony B. Scott dba Local Vocals, LLC v. The Management/Executive Team Cache of Red Lobster #0417, Case No. GV21-1958 (“the Lawsuits”). You and the Company are interested in avoiding all further legal costs and disputes and in fully and expeditiously resolving all lawsuits, claims, charges, or issues of law or fact that were or could have been raised by you against the Company as of the date you sign this agreement.
2. Consideration. In complete settlement of the Lawsuits and all claims that you have or may have against the Company and subject to the terms below, the Company agrees to pay the gross sum of $5,000.00 (Five Thousand and No/100 Dollars) to be apportioned as follows:
∙ $5,000.00, for non-wage compensatory or liquidated damages. The Company’s receipt of an IRS Form W-9 completed and executed by you is a condition precedent to this payment. The Company will issue an IRS Form 1099 to you reflecting this payment.
The Company will report the payment(s) above to the IRS as required by law. You acknowledge that you have not relied on any statements or representations by the Company or its attorneys with respect to the tax treatment of the payments described in this section. If any taxing body determines that the tax treatment was incorrect and that greater amounts should have been withheld from any payment above (or any part thereof), you acknowledge and assume all responsibility for paying those amounts and further agree to indemnify and hold the Company harmless for payment of any additional taxes and any interest and penalties thereon.
Both parties warrant that they are not aware of any attorneys’ liens placed on this matter.
You agree that the payments above are consideration for the promises by you contained herein and that the Company was not otherwise obligated to make these payments.
The Company’s obligations to make the payments above shall become due fifteen (15) days after (i) the Company receives this Agreement executed by you; and (ii) your dismissal of the Lawsuits, with prejudice, pursuant to paragraph 3 of this Agreement; and (iii) any applicable revocation period.
3. Withdrawal/Dismissal of the Lawsuits. The parties agree that the your dismissal of the Lawsuits, with prejudice, is a condition precedent to the Company’s promises in this Agreement. You agree to take any action that may be required to achieve that result.
4. General Release. You release the Company (plus its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, predecessors, successors, insurers, and any other entity related to it and all of its and their past
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and present directors, officers, employees and anyone else acting for any of them – all together “Releasees”) from all claims of any type to date, known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, to the fullest extent allowed by law, including but not limited to anything to do with your employment. This means you give up all claims and rights related to:
∙ pay/compensation/benefits including backpay, frontpay, bonuses, commissions, equity, expenses, incentives, insurance, paid/unpaid leave/time off, profit sharing, salary, or separation pay/benefits;
∙ compensatory, emotional or mental distress damages, punitive or liquidated damages, attorney fees, costs, interest or penalties;
∙ violation of express or implied employment contracts, covenants, promises or duties, intellectual property or other proprietary rights;
∙ unlawful or tortious conduct such as assault or battery; background check violations; defamation; detrimental reliance; fiduciary breach; fraud; indemnification; intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress; interference with contractual or other legal rights; invasion of privacy; loss of consortium; misrepresentation; negligence (including negligent hiring, retention or supervision); personal injury; promissory estoppel; public policy violation; retaliatory discharge; safety violations; posting or records-related violations; wrongful discharge; or other federal, state or local statutory or common law matters;
∙ discrimination, harassment or retaliation based on age (including Age Discrimination in Employment Act or “ADEA” claims), benefit entitlement, citizenship, color, concerted activity, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, genetic information, immigration status, income source, jury duty, leave rights, military status, national origin, parental status, protected off-duty conduct, race, religion, retaliation, sexual orientation, union activity, veteran status, whistleblower activity (including Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank and False Claims Act claims), other legally protected status or activity; or any allegation that payment under this Agreement was affected by any such discrimination, harassment or retaliation; and
∙ participation in any class, collective, or representative action against any Releasee.
5. Release Exclusions/Individual Protections. This Agreement’s release provisions exclude: claims arising after you sign this Agreement; claims for breach of this Agreement; and claims that cannot be waived, such as for unemployment or worker’s compensation benefits. Nothing in any part of this Agreement limits your rights to (i) file a charge with any administrative agency (such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or a state fair employment practices agency), communicate directly with or provide information to an agency, or otherwise participate in an agency proceeding; or (ii) communicate with law enforcement or an attorney. You nonetheless give up all rights to any money or other individual relief based on any agency or judicial decision, including class or collective action rulings. However, you may receive money properly awarded by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a reward for providing information to that agency.
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6. Promise Not To Sue. A “promise not to sue” means you promise not to sue any Releasee in court. This is different from the General Release above. Besides releasing claims covered by the General Release, you agree never to sue any Releasee for any reason covered by the General Release. Despite this Promise Not To Sue, however, you may file suit to enforce this Agreement or to challenge its validity under the ADEA. If you sue a Releasee in violation of this Agreement: (i) you shall be required to pay that Releasee’s reasonable attorney fees and other litigation costs incurred in defending against your suit; or alternatively (ii) the Company can require you to return all but $100.00 of the money and benefits provided to you under this Agreement. In that event, the Company shall be excused from any remaining obligations that exist solely because of this Agreement.
7. Confidentiality of Agreement. This Agreement is strictly confidential. You will not communicate this Agreement’s terms to any third party, whether verbally or in writing, by any means, including by social media. Any disclosure by you will cause the Company irreparable harm that money cannot undo. Accordingly, violation of this section will entitle the Company to temporary and permanent injunctive relief. Except as required by law, you have not disclosed and will not disclose any term of this Agreement, including any payment under this Agreement, to anyone except your immediate family members and your legal/financial advisors. Each of them is bound by this Confidentiality of Agreement provision, and a disclosure by any of them is a disclosure by you.
8. Whistleblowing. You agree that (i) no one interfered with your ability to report within the Company possible violations of any law, and (ii) it was the Company’s policy throughout your employment to encourage such reporting.
9. Mutual Non-Disparagement. Except as provided in this Agreement’s Release Exclusions/Individual Protections sections, you promise not to do or say anything, verbally or in writing, directly or indirectly, that disparages, reflects negatively on or otherwise detrimentally affects any Releasee. The Company agrees to use reasonable endeavors to ensure that its management does not make, cause to be made or be associated with, any statement or comment (whether written or oral) which disparages you in relation to your employment with the Company or the separation of your employment with the Company. However, the Company is not liable to you for a statement made by an employee or agent of the Company without the Company’s knowledge or authority.
10. Neutral Reference. The Company agrees that, in the event a potential employer or other person or entity contacts the Company for an employment reference regarding your employment, the Company will provide a neutral reference consisting of dates of employment and positions held. You agree that You will affirmatively advise any potential employer or other person or entity seeking an employment reference that, to obtain any such reference, it must contact The Work Number at 1-800-367-5690 and enter Employer Code 16684. No other officer or agent of the Company shall be authorized to provide a reference or to speak for the Company regarding same.
11. Non-Admission. Neither the Company’s offer reflected in this Agreement nor any payment under this Agreement are an admission that you have a viable claim against the Company or any other Releasee. Each Releasee denies all liability. The Parties agree that, except as otherwise
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provided herein, they shall bear their own respective attorneys’ fees and costs. Neither you nor the Company shall be viewed as a prevailing party by virtue of executing this Agreement.
12. Applicable Law. This Agreement shall be interpreted under federal law if that law governs, and otherwise under the laws of Virginia, without regard to its choice of law provisions.
13. Dispute Resolution. Any dispute regarding this Agreement will be decided through binding arbitration to take place: (i) in Virginia and (ii) under the American Arbitration Association Employment Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures, as amended, but excluding application of the Supplementary Rules for Class Arbitrations effective as of October 10, 2003. Also excluded from this Dispute Resolution requirement are pre-judgment actions for injunctive relief to enforce the terms of this Agreement. Both parties waive their right to a jury trial.
14. Enforceability. If a court (or arbitrator) finds any part of this Agreement unenforceable, that part shall be modified and the rest enforced. If a court (or arbitrator) finds any such part incapable of being modified, it shall be severed and the rest enforced. A decision not to enforce this Agreement does not waive any future violation.
15. Enforcement. If you breach this Agreement, the Company shall be entitled to preliminary and permanent injunctive relief plus attorneys’ fees the Company incurs in enforcing this Agreement, unless otherwise expressly provided elsewhere in this Agreement, plus any additional relief determined to be appropriate.
16. Entire Agreement. This Agreement is the complete understanding between you and the Company. It replaces any other agreements, representations or promises, written or oral.
17. Time to Consider. You have twenty-one (21) days to consider this Agreement after receiving it. You must sign and return this Agreement to Red Lobster during this review period if you want to receive the payments listed at the beginning of this Agreement.
18. Time to Revoke. After you sign this Agreement, you have seven (7) days to revoke it by sending written notice of revocation to the representative of the Company signing below. This Agreement is not effective or enforceable until the revocation period expires. If you revoke this Agreement, you will not receive the payments and other consideration listed at the beginning of this Agreement.
19. Other Representations. You agree:
∙ You have received all pay, compensation, benefits, leave, and/or time off you are due to date, including for overtime or vacation/PTO;
∙ You have not suffered any on-the-job injury for which you have not already filed a claim;
∙ The payments and other consideration provided in this Agreement are not related to sexual harassment or sexual abuse;
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∙ You have had the opportunity to negotiate this Agreement with the Company, and this Agreement shall not be construed for or against either party as a drafter of its terms;
∙ You were advised in writing, by getting a copy of this Agreement, to consult with an attorney before signing below; and
∙ You are signing this Agreement knowingly and voluntarily.
ANTHONY B. SCOTT DBA LOCAL VOCALS LLC (Date)
Red Lobster Restaurants LLC (Date)
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You sent Today at 2:49 PM
RED L0BSTER IS COMMITTING WAGE THEFT AGAINST VULNERABLE,PROTECTED CLASS,FRONT-LINE EMPLOYEES DURING A WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC
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