Educators: Training for Courage
This most recently developed three-part series speaks to educators of all racial backgrounds and every constellation of identity. We cover: 1) Marginalization in Group Dynamics 2) Building Empathy Across Difference and 3) Training for Courage (which includes overcoming the fears of being seen as racist, ignorant, homophobic, transphobic or just plain bad).
Using an experiential learning model, I help bring theory down to earth in a way that makes building healthy—and honest—diverse community feel doable and joyful.
Educator Q & A: Innovation Lab
This 2 hour workshop requires educators to submit questions and challenging scenarios ahead of time. I compile the questions, along with theory and ideas that might help teachers answer the questions. Using the Innovation Lab design, I collaborate with teachers to consider possible strategies and solutions to the questions they struggle with most.
Educators: Why does race matter in schools?
This 90-minute workshop, which is interactive and can be facilitated in groups of any size, is a primer for why building racial competency is such a key aspect of professional learning for educators. Groups leave this workshop feeling open, excited, and motivated to continue to find out what they don’t know they don’t know.
Educators: Whiteness in Education
My doctoral research focused on Whiteness in education and my subsequent research has included a response to the very question that so many educators ask, which is, “What does White culture look like in schools?” In a country where more than 80% of our teachers are White, most of our administrators are White, and most of our policy makers are White, we can’t afford to think that “race and education” means talking exclusively about outcomes for Children of Color. If we only focus on People of Color when we talk about race, then we are missing a huge piece of the puzzle. Talking about Whiteness helps us see the whole puzzle. But more than that, it helps White educators begin to see how they fit into the puzzle, and that they hold a specific and necessary piece. Once I realized I was part of the problem, it started to become clear how I could help be part of the solution. That’s what happens for many White people when we name Whiteness in Education.
Educators: Building Healthy Multiracial Community:
What White Children Need to Know
Similar to the workshop for parents, this workshop breaks down some of the skills of racial competency that are expected in any 21st century profession as well as most colleges. Using my research with families of White youth, I illustrate what White youth tend to learn about race—and where—and then support educators to consider how they can fill in the blanks from an academic perspective so that their White students can contribute to healthy multiracial community while they’re in school—and leave with competence and confidence when they graduate.
Educators: How does Race Matter in the Early Childhood Classroom?
Based on a two-year inquiry project I conducted with pre-K and K teachers at an independent school, this workshop looks at the ways that race matters in the early childhood classroom that go beyond curriculum and representation. While those pieces certainly do matter, we rarely think about other ways that race matters, including how we talk with students, how we conduct interviews, the art projects we design, or the behaviors that we target as requiring remediation.
Students and Educators: Anxiety is the name of the game…but it doesn’t have to be
As a school leader told me recently, “Anxiety is the name of the game this year.” Students are coming to school with increased anxiety and few skills to manage it. My most recent research focuses on how educators can help students learn the emotional regulation skills that are required for growing up in the 21st century. This includes successfully managing racial stress, looking squarely at the science behind climate change, or even navigating social media.
Students: Building Healthy Multiracial Community:
How White students can play a part
What do students need to know about race?
- How racism divides all of us, and how antiracism can help us work together against systems (rather than against one another).
- How to connect with one another using a growth mindset, helping one another learn.
- The difference between racial talk and racist talk.
- How to navigate social media and other media.
- Skills for managing racial stress and anxiety.
- Accepting feedback like a gift.
- Taking action.
The racial justice movement is a love movement. But too often students perceive it as a minefield, where one wrong move can get them canceled. I work to help students find an onramp that is right for them, helping them move towards an antiracist path. I connect antiracism to other concerns students have, including community, climate change, and democracy.
Religiously Rooted Schools and Communities
As a lifelong Episcopalian who converted to Judaism in my 20s (and is partnered with a rabbi…another story for another day…), my spiritual practice is integral to my religious practice. Building the beloved community is the language MLK and bell hooks used to talk about building communities in which everyone has each other’s backs. That means White people stand up against racism, while men stand up against sexism; cisgender folks confront transphobia, and straight folks work against homophobia... No group can do it alone; we need one another.
Yet there was a time when I wondered, “How can I speak up against racism? I can’t even talk about it without stumbling.” My workshops for religious schools and communities focus on this very thing: how to build the beloved community by helping people build skill and connection around their mainstream identities. This is connecting work, which requires knowing about one another and ourselves.
Educators: Individual Teams
As departments, grade teams, and department area teams work to integrate their schools’ commitment to equity, representation, and belonging, they often bump up against curricular or pedagogical questions that they must address collectively. My work with individual teams has included support for teaching specific texts as well as learning to address bias in hiring. This work is tailored to the needs and requests of the individual teams.
In 2016, a principal called me saying that his school faculty had “frozen over” after an unsuccessful conversation about racial privilege. One year later, following three 8-hour sessions with the entire faculty, the faculty and administration voted to award our facilitation team their Community Partner of the Year Award based on the success of our sessions in helping the faculty work together again.
Conflict resolution is not a pre-designed program, but rather a relationship in which we design sessions based on the group’s needs. I have conducted conflict resolutions with school faculties, non-profit boards, and organizations. This is some of my favorite work because it is raw, honest, healing, and generative.
Parents: Building Healthy Multiracial Community:
What do White Children Need to Know
One of my most popular workshops is for parents who are asking, “How do I talk to my children about race?” Based on my research with families of White youth, I share some general guidelines for raising White children to be contributing members to healthy multiracial community. While the workshop addresses parents of White children, everyone in the community is needed to offer input and perspective on what White children need to learn.