While educating black children should be no different than any other children, unfortunately, in America, this is not the case. Understanding the challenges they face in a racially-biased society, which often views them as harmful and dangerous, solely based upon their complexion, is paramount to providing a safe and uplifting environment conducive for their education. Your students need to know that their teachers, principals, administrators, counselors, etc, not only see them, but also champion their development and believe they are worthy of it. Every day and especially amid instances of heightened social injustice, black children must be taught that their lives matter. Your schools and classrooms must always be a safe haven filled with love, support, and most apparently, holistic education. This requires research, preparation, and intentionality. We believe you can do it! It’s your duty, responsibility, and an incomparable privilege you should treasure. Let’s work together to grant our children the tools they need to succeed in and out of the classroom.
Help facilitate an anti-racist world— it’s never too young to start. As educators, we are called to provide access to learning for all students. This can be done through conversations, books and open dialogue. Have crucial conversations with co-workers—these need to be intentional and may be difficult but a difficult dialogue is better than no dialogue at all. We’ve been silent for too long!
Find people who have the same mindset that you have. Form a community within your school and look for ways to intentionally form a climate of belonging through programs in schools, parent nights, speakers with outside points of view to help expose your students and teachers to people who have a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
This racial journey is a marathon not a sprint—racism has existed for decades and we are not going to undo it in weeks or even months but as a teacher of any child, you have a responsibility to make a difference. Use your teacher voice!
Ask your principal and/or district what your plan is. If you ask, that may be just enough to get the ball rolling. Do your homework! Ignorance is a choice, and confusion is a distraction in these matters. Start and/or continue learning!
Valeria Brown | James E. Ford | Toney Jackson | Erica B-Rivera | Pran Patel | Patryk Górski | Kelly Wickham Hurst | Latoya Dixon | Monica Washington | Nyree Clark | Toutoule Ntoya, Ed.D | Sue Thotz | Ari Flewelling | Sheldon L. Eakins, Ph.D. | Ken Shelton | Equity Action CA | Cornelius Minor | Rodney Robinson | José Vilson | Bettina Love | Chris Emdin | EduColor Movement | Kelisa Wing | Afeni Mills | Shanna Peeples | Jemelle Coes | Jed Dearybury