Identifying racial oppression in schools

A new article by Brian Willoughby in the Fall 2013 issue of Teaching Tolerance provides suggestions for examining the ways that your school maintains the system of racial oppression.

Drawing on the work of Mica Pollock, he suggests asking the following questions:

  • Am I seeing, understanding and addressing the ways the world treats me and my students as members of racial groups?
  • Am I seeing, understanding and addressing communities and individuals in their full complexity?
  • Am I seeing, understanding and addressing the ways opportunities to learn or thrive are unequally distributed to racial groups?
  • What actions offer necessary opportunities to students in such a world?

It’s important, he reminds us, not to jump to conclusions without sufficient evidence.  So he urges taking the following actions when feelings or accusations of discrimination arise:

  • Look at the issue from all angles.
  • Gather as much data as you can.
  • Sit down and have meaningful conversations without being accusatory.

Read the rest of the article here.

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