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Latest blog entries/newsletter blasts:


What Should Teachers Learn from the Murder of George Floyd?

Six Recommendations for Educators


This article was a submission we were invited to make to Larry Ferlazzo’s Classroom Q&A column in Edweek. It was published as part of a series on how educators can respond to George Floyd’s murder and the ensuing social response. The article was published on June 6, 2020. The full series can be found here.

We begin by acknowledging that our Black friends, colleagues, and students are hurting. In the midst of a global pandemic that disproportionately impacts their families and communities, they are again forced to bear witness to cruel and senseless acts of violence against Black bodies. As we mourn the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, we remember Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and so many others. Our collective grief calls us to face 400 years of state violence that still visits inequity, fear, and intergenerational trauma on Black communities.

No more sitting on the sidelines watching someone else do the work. No neutral place of refuge in the comfort of color blindness. Now is the time for everyone to take a stand. We have serious work ahead, and it’s not going to be easy. Racism is an open wound, and no band aid fix will help it. Healing will take strong medicine and time. (Read the rest of the article.)


Talking about Race in Schools

Oman and I contributed a guest article entitled We talk about race everywhere but in the classroom. Why? to Maureen Downey’s column, Get Schooled, in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. We know from experience that talking to students about race not only increases cultural competency, but also teaches important relationship skills that result in stronger relationships and greater engagement in school. (Read the rest of the article.)

White Educators: Come Together to End Racism

 One morning, I got a text from my friend and iChange co-founder, Oman Frame. The text said, “Martha, go get your people!” Oman was working in a local school that day, and, like many educators of color, he frequently feels exhausted by the demands of race education work. In terms moving our schools in the direction of racial justice, educators of color bear a “disproportionate burden.” They’re tasked not only with supporting students of color in a system that disadvantages them, but also supporting other educators of color in a system in which they’re drastically underrepresented. Add to that the demands of white educators who call on them for academic resources, moral support, and career guidance and you have a recipe for overwhelm. These white teachers love their students and want to do what’s best for them. They understand the need for race education. Yet they feel woefully underprepared to manage these tender conversations. (Read the rest of the article.)

If only the E in STEM stood for empathy

There’s no denying that STEM education advances opportunities for students of color and young women, but without a corresponding movement to cultivate empathy for diverse identity experience, we risk reproducing the very inequities we’re trying to correct. STEM subjects foster analytical thinking skills, and empathy fosters social emotional skills. Students need both to negotiate terrain of 21st century learning. (Read the rest of the article.)

Are you color blind or race conscious?

  Race is a social construct, an illusion, albeit a persistent one, and one that has profound psychological and material effects on people of color. False notions of white supremacy were institutionalized through Jim Crow laws, unfair housing practices, inequities in the justice system, lack of access to healthcare, voting rights, education and citizenship. These policies resulted in the wealth gap, a persistent reality that continues to plague our society. The consequences of race are as real as gravity. (Read the rest of the article.)

The iChange Institute was the most moving experience of my fifteen year life in America. Thanks you for your great work and nonjudging atmosphere. I am looking forward to sharing what I learned with my colleagues and students.

Rabun Gap Nacoochee School
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