Resources to Dismantle Oppression, Racism, and White Supremacy in the classroom

I gathered most of this information for my presentation a few weeks ago at Michigan State University (Amplify the Silenced) and to inform my own teaching (which began a few years ago when I felt that I needed to address my own white privilege, racism, and lens thanks to the Women’s March and confronting white womanhood session), but now there is greater urgency to share, to resist, and to confront our own biases as white teachers.

It annoys me to hear what educators say that “(Whatever racist video/event/issue) makes me so mad but I just don’t know what to do about it. I hope I can raise my kids better. I hope I can guide young people better. I just don’t know what to say.” There is no hope. Quit placing any stake in hope. Or in sadness. Or your “shock” that these things keep happening. You MUST address it. You MUST do the work. You MUST address your own racism and micro-aggressions prior to doing the work. You MUST cite black women who have done the work. You MUST cite indigenous people who have done the work. You MUST cite the LGBTQ community who are doing the work. If you can’t, or aren’t willing to, please leave the profession.

This can be overwhelming and exhausting, but I am hoping to provide you with a start. Take one item, research it, read it, and see how you can apply it yourself. Stop saying you don’t know where to begin or you can’t figure out how to use this in your classroom-you are the adult-the classroom leader. Do the work. Also, most of you are the majority still today in classrooms across America-this is where the work MUST happen. Too many white teachers feel like they don’t have a place to do the work- in fact, it is your place. It’s not the job of other minority students, or even teachers of color.

Start with this literature for personal reading:

Move to following these organizations, educators, and community members on Twitter:

  • Twitter Groups: #ProjectLitCommunity #ClearTheAir, #TeachLivingPoets, & #DisruptTexts, #SeedingSovereignty
  • Social Justice Warriors: @ValeriaBrownEdu, @aprilbakerbell, @LittleMissFlint, @tanayawinder, @Triciaebarvria, @Katrina_HRM, @IamGMJOhnson, @JessycaMathews, @GeorgeTakei, @joshthompedu, @jarredamato, @juliaerin80
  • Indigenous writers, artists, educators: @MicJordanMusic, @TallPaul612,  @FrankWaln, @LylaJuneLove, @xodanix3, @byRad, @HeidErdich, @cutchabaldy, @atachine, @NatalieGDiaz

Bring in these poems to your classroom:

Bring in these videos to your classroom:

Bring these YA fiction books into your classroom library (no matter what subject you teach-you must have a diverse, engaging, classroom library):

Bring these articles into your classroom:

Still don’t know where to begin? How about here? Send this to your kid’s schools or share with your building principals and librarians. Thank you Jennifer Serravallo.

If you have concerns or questions, DM me. Views expressed are solely my own.

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