Yesterday we challenged you to look deeper into the ways in which school disciplinary policies disproportionately affect children of color. Today, let’s take a look at the early impact teachers have on student’s educational outcomes and their likelihood to attend college.

Unconscious biases among white teachers, who favor a “colorblind” approach may cause unintentional harm to the very students they vow to uplift. The early acknowledgment of differences can prepare students for a diverse world. Positive outcomes sparked by same-race role models can potentially shrink the education achievement gap and usher more minority students into colleges and universities. 


Watch this quick video that illustrates how some California preschools are getting children to participate in conversations about racial differences at an early age.
K-6 classrooms are often lead by a primarily white, female teacher population, who's inherent biases often come into play in their approaches to children and teaching. Read this interview with Dr. Robin DiAngelo, YWCA's 2020 It's Time for Equity speaker on white fragility in teaching and education.
Black students who have had just one black teacher by third grade were 13% more likely to enroll in college. Read this quick article on how the role-model effect can potentially shrink the educational achievement gap.
Hidden History: The Norfolk 17

The members of the Norfolk 17 were the true heroes of the school integration struggle in Norfolk, Virginia. On February 2, 1959 they entered six of the previously all-white public schools in the city, persevering in the face of intense racial animosity.

One of the students, Dr. Patricia Turner, is keeping their legacy alive. Now 74, Turner spends her time telling students throughout Hampton Roads the story of their sacrifice and hard work. 
Prior to her eighth grade year in 1958, she went through a tedious selection process which required standardized tests, a psychiatric evaluation and school board interviews for three days.

Listen to Dr. Turner speak about her experience HERE .


LEVEL 1 : Read this brief intro on school segregation and bring together a small group of colleagues, family or friends to participate in one of 6 interactive activities. 

LEVEL 2 : Create a list of your top 5 favorites books, that you read in high school. Keep these in the back of your mind as you move through tomorrow's content. After reading the content, take a look at the authors of the books on your list and answer the following questions:
  • Is there any racial/ethnic diversity?
  • How did the list affect your viewpoint as a young pupil?
  • Create a list of 5 books you would add to the high school list that you feel all students should read.

LEVEL 3 : Write a letter to your local school board or attend your next school board meeting to bring up a big issue of concern. 

DID YOU KNOW? Only 9 percent of Foundation grants are allocated to communities of color.

Make a gift to the YWCA South Hampton Roads today and support our mission to eliminate racism and empower women in our community.