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Introducing The Opportunity Gap, a new podcast for families about kids of color with learning and thinking differences, like dyslexia, ADHD, and more. Host Julian Saavedra is a Black parent and assistant principal in an urban public school, and host Marissa Wallace is a special education teacher with a multiracial child. Listen as Julian and Marissa explore issues of privilege, race, and identity — and talk about ways parents can advocate for their kids.

Episode transcript

Julian: Mariss! You ready to do this?

Marissa: Let's do this. 

Julian: Welcome to "The Opportunity Gap," a podcast for families about kids of color who learn and think differently.

Yasmeen: There is sort of this perception, especially amongst younger people of color, that like ADHD is a white boy problem, point blank.

Julian: White boy problem?

Andrew: What I found out when I did this research was that Simone Biles isn't just the most accomplished female gymnast in history. She's an advocate for people with ADHD.

Julian: We explore issues of privilege, race, and identity.

Marissa: A lot of our Black and brown students — they're not going to get the services. They're going to get ignored and not get the proper education. Or they're going to be pushed outside of the classroom or outside of the school because their needs aren't getting met. Because there's literally no one there to meet their needs. 

Julian: And we talk about ways you can advocate for your child.

Marissa: And so there's the legal way to answer that question, right? And then there's like the parent way. 

Julian: Let's go with the parent way. 

Julian: I'm Julian Saavedra.

Marissa: And I'm Marissa Wallace. 

Julian: We're both teachers.

Marissa: And we're both parents of kids of color. So this is personal to us.

Julian: Listen and subscribe to "The Opportunity Gap" on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.


  • Julian Saavedra, MA

    is a school administrator who has spent 15 years teaching in urban settings, focusing on social-emotional awareness, cultural and ethnic diversity, and experiential learning.

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