Over the past several months we've been working overtime to convert ideas into action. We feel a deep sense of urgency to provide materials to teachers and students to help them have effective conversations about racism and discrimination.
With so much being said and written in the media about these topics, educators want classroom activities and materials to not only help recognize racism and bigotry, but to be able to identify ways to respond. As an approach, we know that vivid personal stories can make people feel connected and engaged. So after partnering with organizations from the Muslim, Native American, Black, Latinx, Jewish, and Asian American communities, we’ve put together a new classroom curriculum titled “Examining Race and Discrimination: Learning from Oral History to Become Agents of Change Today” that we are launching this spring with teacher workshops.
On March 25, we held our first all-day workshop with 35 educators in Seattle and got very positive, encouraging reviews from the participating teachers. Using the oral histories of a Japanese American, an African American, and an American Muslim, we examined past and present discrimination and how to identify the roles of target, perpetrator, and bystander. The training and ensuing discussions led to strategies and actions individuals can take when they see or experience discrimination. In the coming weeks we will be traveling to Spokane, Washington; Birmingham, Alabama; and New York City to work with more teachers to try out and refine the curriculum.
If you want to help, we need funding to conduct additional workshops and to create an online workshop to reach more teachers with this promising approach to classroom discussions of racism and bigotry in our society today.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas and thoughts.