Now more than ever, educators are being asked to speak up, take action, and educate themselves, their colleagues, and their students. I have learned so much over the past day how far I need to grow and learn. Here are some of the voices I am listening to and a roundup of some advice from social media along with some resources and guidance to read, watch, and act. This is not an exhaustive list but it is a place to start.

As a white person of privilege, I am committed to this work and will continue to learn and grow and listen as I explore.


Lutze

Create time and space to attend to the interior lives of your Black students and allow them the space to process their Black pain and suffering.

Lutze B. Segu, Social Justice Doula, aka antiracist feminist coach / doctoral student studying Gender, Race, Sexuality. and Social Justice

Be real. Talk to our students about what they hear on the street, at the dinner table, and on the playground. And don’t stop there, talk to them about their differences. We are not the same. The world has tricked us for far too long with sweet thoughts and words wrapped up in kindness boxes about us being the same. We need our children to recognize the differences and respect them. This is a lesson in humanity and a failure to talk about their own responsibility as a human being is not just a mere missed opportunity, but rather a disservice to humanity – itself.

Allison Matulli, J.D. l M.Ed aka Professor Ally, Executive Director, Legal Kid, Inc. , Dean of Legal Literacy, The Little Lawyers STEM-based Curriculum 

Acknowledge, validate, and support. 

Michelle Person, Educator and author Just Like Me Books

We’re not asking you to have the perfect response or the perfect words. We’re not asking you to make everyone 100 percent comfortable or make everyone 100 percent uncomfortable. Every person has a role to play and we are just asking you to think about the impact of doing nothing and allow that to shake you to your core. We have to do something.

Mirko Chardin, Artist, Educator, Leader, Author, Friend

Openly discuss race, rather than avoid it, as it arises in the current news cycle, recent research or lived experiences, and ensure safe space for discussion and even healthy conflict with deep mutual respect for one another.

Seema Thomas, Adjunct Professor of Urban Sustainability at UDC 

Educators can start by committing to educating themselves on the history of racism in the US, centering diverse voices in whatever they are teaching, and building authentic relationships outside their own racial group. The power of genuine inter-racial friendships can’t be overstated. 

Homa S. Tavangar, Author and Co-Founder, BigQuestions.institute, OnenessLab.com, GrowingUpGlobal.net

Recommend stories and poems that creatively explore the themes of racial prejudice.and social injustice. I particularly recommend beautifully-written books like Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americannah, Richard Wright’s Black Boy, and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. People grasp ideas and concepts more easily when they are encapsulated in well-written stories. Because racism is such a sensitive subject, educators are more likely to draw the attention of their peers if they recognize and utilize the power of storytelling. 

Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam, Remote Educator, tutor, and founder and editor of Creative Writing News.

What you do today dictates what tomorrow will look like. I am confident that racism will be fought with everything that we have because of the seeds we plant.

No spark is too small to start a wildfire.

Andratesha Fritzgerald, Education Consultant, Online Course Instructor, Virtual Module Content Provider


Resources for you and to share with your communities:

Read

Watch

Take Action


We are on a continual journey to listen, grow, learn, and have hard conversations to help to push our UDL community forward. Questions/Feedback? Connect with us ashley@novakeducation.com

Guiding words to help educators connect with their students and peers in support of Racial Justice
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