Courageous Conversations About Race in Schools

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Too often we end up having the same conversations about equity in education. We speak in generalities about gaps and deficits. We assign blame. We hash over the surface issues without digging deeper and examining our part in any solutions.

These short videos are designed to shift the conversation, to prompt a deeper, more authentic discussion about issues of racial equity in schools. Made during the 2017 National Teacher Leadership Conference, State Teachers of the Year and other educators speak from the head and the heart, sharing their experiences and their ideas about how to move forward.

Download the  discussion guide for the videos.

Download resources to accompany the videos.

"When I think of equity, I think of fit. What fits the people that are in my room? And what can give them the ability to live life on their own terms when they leave me?” (Josh Parker 2012 Maryland State Teacher of the Year, teacher in DC Public Schools)

Watch the video (1:26 minutes)

"So if you really, truly believe that every kid can achieve, then we can start the conversation." (Ken Patterson, teacher in Baltimore County Public Schools)

Watch the video (1:36 minutes)

"Until we address the miserableness that students of color feel in our schools, there is really no impetus for them to go back and teach in them." (Nate Bowling, 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year, teacher in Tacoma, Washington)

Watch the video (2:56 minutes)

"Recently I learned that students of color experience over 291 racial micro-aggressions in schools in a 90-day period." (Wesley Williams, Senior Project Director, Westat)

Watch the video (1:58 minutes)

“My dream about a school is that it’s more uncomfortable not to talk about race than to talk about it. I’ve never been in a school where that is true.” (Tom Rademacher, 2015 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, middle school English teacher in the Twin Cities area)

Watch the video (2:48 minutes)

"The system is doing what it is designed to do and we should not be surprised." (Lee-Ann Stephens, 2007 Minnesota State Teacher of the Year, equity coach at St. Louis Park Public Schools in Minnesota)

Watch the video (3:33 minutes)

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