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Three teen girls smiling and looking at camera. Racial Equity & Social Justice challenge logo in bottom-left corner.
WEEK 2: EDUCATION
Today's topic: Teacher Impact
Yesterday we challenged ourselves to look deeper into the ways in which school disciplinary policies disproportionately affect children of color and Black girls. 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 in white teachers, who favor a “colorblind” approach may cause unintentional harm to their students, while 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 Black & brown students into colleges and universities.  
WE CHALLENGE YOU TO TAKE...
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 lead by a primarily white, female teacher population, whose inherent biases often come into play in their approaches to children and teaching. Read this interview with Dr. Robin DiAngelo on white fragility in teaching and education.
Black students who had just one black teacher by third grade were 13% more likely to enroll in college. Check out this quick article on how the role-model effect can potentially shrink the educational achievement gap.
ACT | EDUCATION WEEK
Level I: 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 II: Before reading Tuesday's material, create a quick 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 the day'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 cannon affect your viewpoint as a young pupil? Now create a list of 5 books you would add to the high school canon that you feel all students should read.
Level III: Write a letter to your local school board or attend your next school board meeting to bring up a big issue of concern.
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YWCA St. Paul is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. YWCA St. Paul is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.