Cognitive Diversity: Ibram X. Kendi Meets Thomas Sowell

We should be reading the work of Ibram X. Kendi right now. BUT… not exclusively, as if he’s the only Black expert on race. Black America is not a monolithic group, and so we should be very careful not to adopt his totalizing language as White people who read him with respect and a heartContinue reading “Cognitive Diversity: Ibram X. Kendi Meets Thomas Sowell”

A Policy Lens for Teaching Students about Racism

Several weeks ago a reader wrote me a question in regards to my pointers on teaching about race in the classroom: “Do you think it’s acceptable to incorporate anti-racist parts of our history with other events and people who, while maybe not anti-racist, were neutral on the matter? For example, teaching kids about the racismContinue reading “A Policy Lens for Teaching Students about Racism”

Pivoting Rather than Retreating in the Work

I’m not gonna lie. Today hurt real bad. I’ve been writing about anti-racism and anti-oppression work a long time, and have been an anti-racist practitioner in the classroom for longer. I’ve trained people in restorative justice. I’ve consulted with school districts, universities and businesses. I study a lot, break bread with multi-cultural communities and haveContinue reading “Pivoting Rather than Retreating in the Work”

W.E.B. du Bois and Booker T. Washington

I am reading The Souls of Black Folk, which was published in 1903 by W.E.B. du Bois. I am learning a lot, and I am also remembering how he came across for me when I was a student learning about him when I was in fifth grade. I will share that with you now, thoughContinue reading “W.E.B. du Bois and Booker T. Washington”

Stubborn Learners or Tomorrow’s Leaders?

How many times have we seen students with their heads on the desk and their phones in their laps, pretending to be sleeping? Well, I couldn’t have done that when I was a child! But that’s only because we didn’t have phones to put in our laps at that time. I did, however, have aContinue reading “Stubborn Learners or Tomorrow’s Leaders?”

Equity Training: “It was like being told I was naked and not being offered clothes.”

Part 1: The Problem The hardest thing I am finding is the pain of being misunderstood when people have not studied race and gender as much as advocates have. I remember when people would say something I did or said was racist or heterosexist and I positively knew that it wasn’t my intention and IContinue reading “Equity Training: “It was like being told I was naked and not being offered clothes.””

Restorative Circles: a Safe Space for LGBTQ+?

I was a Gay Straight Alliance adviser as a high school teacher for several years. As adults we may not be homophobic and therefore may not be able to understand how some people are – it has been inconceivable to me hearing over the years the things people go through and even if a restorativeContinue reading “Restorative Circles: a Safe Space for LGBTQ+?”

Restorative Justice: Pain is Our Teacher

Our pain teaches us. In the case of mental or physical illness, once a person is stabilized with medication and a therapeutic relationship, a patient can learn to rearrange their mental furniture in a way that greatly alleviates their suffering and their relationship to their suffering. If we are not allowed to feel our pain,Continue reading “Restorative Justice: Pain is Our Teacher”