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About Rhianna Thomas, Ph.D.

Rhianna Thomas, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of early childhood education at New Mexico State University. She studies critical pedagogy in early childhood education using antiracist, culturally sustaining, and critical literacy approaches. Rhianna earned her doctorate at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Her dissertation work explored how her own two white children learned about race and racism as she attempted to implement antiracist curriculum at home. Rhianna also examines child guidance and classroom management practices in early childhood, especially in regard to equity. She often employs arts-based methodologies including poetic inquiry. 

Show Highlights

  • What led Dr. Thomas to researching Antiracist teaching
  • Transitioning into an Antiracist parent
  • A story about colorism and reaffirming a student’s skin color is beautiful
  • Can I touch your hair
  • The N word
  • Antiblackness
  • Creating student advocates
  • Strategies for White teachers

Connect with Rhianna


Identifying your skin is too dark as a put-down: Enacting whiteness as hidden curriculum through a bullying prevention programme

Pedagogy to Deconstruct Anti-Blackness: Three Conversations With White Children About a Racial Slur

Additional Resources

LE 90: But Seriously, How Do I Address Racial Slurs in School Books?

Can I Touch Your Hair?

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Free Course on Implicit Bias

20 Diversity Equity and Inclusion Activities

Annihilating Racial Injustice in School Course

FREE AUDIO COURSE: Race, Advocacy, and Social Justice Studies

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Transform your school and your classroom with these best practices in equity

Leading Equity delivers an eye-opening and actionable discussion of how to transform a classroom or school into a more equitable place. Through explorations of ten concrete steps that you can take right now, Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins offers you the skills, resources, and concepts you’ll need to address common equity deficiencies in education.


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