Racial Justice

Our organizing theme this year centers on racial justice. While workshops and campaigns will focus on various topics and issues in and related to education and social justice, we ask participants and facilitators to consider what racial justice means for you, the groups, collectives, and organizations you are a part of, and the work that you engage in:

  • What histories and stories do we tell to think about and make sense of race and education? And, why are we so often not allowed to tell these histories and stories in school spaces? How have we struggled and continue to struggle to do so?
  • How do we engage in open and frank conversations about race in our classrooms  given the white supremacist and colonial logics that often structure and manage these spaces?
  • How are we compromised, or not, by our institutional locations within the education system (for example, as teachers who teach to the standardized test or fear losing their jobs)? And, how is race mobilized to keep us from asking how we might collectively resist making these compromises?
  • How do we understand student ‘success’ given the conditions that face all students, and especially students of color (i.e., whitewashed mandated curricula, gentrification, police and state violence, denial of access to basic resources like food and healthcare, etc.)?
  • Why is ‘making it to college’ often positioned as the only solution to ‘poverty’ and racial injustice for students, and what does that mean in an era where students are taking on increasing amounts of debilitating student debt to pay for it with no promise of comfortable or meaningful means of survival after graduating?
  • How can we think about racial justice intersectionally (or, how do we think about race in relationship to class, sexuality and gender, ability, and other markers of difference?)
  • And, finally, how can we fight for and sustain community self-determining schools according to our desires for racial justice? How do we build our skills and knowledges together to understand what this struggle entails in the short and long term?

A few resources:


New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE)

Rethinking Multicultural Education – edited by Wayne Au

An interview with Rinku Sen: Organizing for Racial Justice


William H. Watkins, The White Architects of Black Education: Ideology and Power in America, 1865-1954, Teachers College Press, 2001

Sandy Grande, Red Pedagogy: Native American Social and Political Thought, Rowman & Littlefield, 2004

Jeffrey M.R. Duncan-Andrade & Ernest Morrell, The Art of Critical Pedagogy: Possibilities for Moving from Theory to Practice in Urban Schools, Peter Lang, 2008

Stephen Haymes, Race, Culture, and the City: A Pedagogy for Black Urban Struggle, SUNY Press, 1995

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