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June 9, 2020

Tools to Support Anti-Racism

The televised murder of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, has sparked something inside all Americans. Many have mourned, others have marched, and some have shown solidarity through monetary donations. The sheer number of individuals that are feeling called to act is historic and frankly, awe-inspiring. As a black woman and mother to 3 black children, I’ve never been seen in this way before. It is heartening to know that others are waking up to the injustices that have plagued our nation for centuries and that the status quo is no longer acceptable.  

As educators, we see this tragedy, the renewed social justice movement and think, What can I do? Our hearts ache for our students, many of whom have not been able to process their feelings with peers and trusted adults at school. We want to understand, offer support, and make sustainable changes. Many educators I’ve connected with have been seeking resources that they can draw on over the summer to build their knowledge of the roots of systemic racism, white supremacy, white privilege, and social justice movements like Black Lives Matter. They are in desperate need of guidance on how to start these courageous conversations with colleagues and students that lead to real systemic change. 

We hope the list of resources we’ve gathered below can offer you a pathway towards personal understanding and guide your planning as you dig into this important work for and with your students. 


Systemic Racism


UNDERSTAND: 

ACT


White Privilege and White Supremacy


UNDERSTAND

ACT


Policing in America


UNDERSTAND

  • American Police— Learn about the origins of American policing and how those origins put violent control of Black Americans at the heart of the system. 
  • The School-to-Prison Pipeline— Find out how schools are increasingly becoming a gateway to the criminal justice system and ways that you can interrupt the pattern. 
  • Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools— This documentary takes a closer look at the educational and disciplinary disparities facing black girls in school. 

ACT


Racial Justice Movement


UNDERSTAND

  • Why Teaching Black Lives Matter Matters, Part 1— Learn the basic facts about the movement’s central beliefs and practices.  
  • Just Mercy— Now available FREE on You Tube, this 2020 film tells the true story of author and Harvard educated lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s journey to fight an unjust legal system. 
  • Mass Incarceration Podcast— This 50-min podcast outlines the origins of the U.S. criminal justice system and how racism has shaped our culture of mass incarceration in America. 

ACT

  • Bringing Black Lives Matter Into the Classroom, Part 2— This article brings the movement to the classroom opening the door to larger conversations about truth, justice, activism, healing, and reconciliation. 
  • Social Justice Standards— This leveled set of anchor standards and age-appropriate learning outcomes provides a common language and organizational structure to help guide curriculum development, and ensure schools are more just, equitable and safe. 
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