Popsy Kanagaratnam, Educator
"I really enjoyed the space for the discussion and the conversation. I also really liked the resources that people were sharing."
Cheryl Wright, Ph.D., Lecturer
"What a fascinating course Dr. Eakins hosted. Powerful, insightful, and timely."
Rana Razzaque, Ed.D., Equity & Diversity Specialist
"I am so glad that our school district had the honor of working with Dr. Eakins for the Annihilating Racial Injustice in Schools sessions. He brought immense knowledge, lived experience, and energy as he discussed a range of topics. Throughout the session, there were many points during which he welcomed conversation, individual reflection, and action, which kept participants engaged and helped us internalize the content. I have spoked with many colleagues since then who have not only appreciated the opportunity to be a part of this training series, but have been inspired to further their knowledge and actively implement their learning to create more just and equitable schools."
It’s time to Annihilate Racial Injustice in our Schools. Are you ready to do this work? All students, families, school staff, and members of the school community deserve an equitable school experience. As we have seen more issues of bias and racism in the United States, we must provide more awareness of Anti-racist and Anti-bias practices. For our students to feel safe at school, we need to create a learning atmosphere that allows all students to be themselves while knowing that their teachers are actively working to dismantle racism in their learning communities.
Online Course Description:
An asynchronous course centered around Anti-racist and Anti-bias examples in school settings. Dr. Eakins provides the learner with a complete understanding of the fundamental premise of creating an Antiracist learning environment. True stories and research in schools will illustrate the need to foster an inclusive learning space for all students.
This is a ten-module online course that targets educators at all levels of their equity journey.
Module 1: How to be an Antiracist
What is your role in the fight against racism? You may not have the financial means to donate to an Anti-racist organization, feel comfortable attending a protest, or march for justice. However, everyone can locate a space in which they can operate to amplify Antiracist voices, ideas, or policies. According to Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, an Antiracist is “one who is supporting an Antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an Antiracist idea.” In this session, you will explore how you can use your unique strengths, access, and privileges to position yourself in the fight against racism.
- Think about your strengths
- Identify your abilities
- Consider the individuals and resources to which you have access
- Outline your sphere of influence
- Assess your privileges
- Reflect on your passions
Module 2: Antiracism and Antibias Practices
When instances of racial injustice are at the forefront of our social climate, it is not uncommon for individuals and groups to speak out against racism. How do you sustain Antiracist momentum when police brutality no longer makes the nightly news? When Black Lives Matter is no longer in the headlines? When a mainstream culture has “moved on” from racism? This session offers six suggestions for educators and educational leaders seeking to sustain Antiracist momentum within their schools or organizations.
- Set goals and establish milestones
- Establish layers of accountability
- Embed Antiracist work into your culture and practice
- Identify concrete, observable indicators
- Clearly communicate your purpose
- Establish a consistent feedback loop
Module 3: Framing Brave Conversations About Race and Ethnicity
Issues of race, culture, and identity are deeply personal and oftentimes emotional. As we engage with students, families, and other stakeholders around the concepts of race and ethnicity, it is important to frame conversations in a way that creates a safe, affirming space for all. Use this session filled with a list of tips as a guide for engaging in brave discussions about race and ethnicity as an educator.
- Respect preferences and honor experiences
- Acknowledge bias and privilege
- Own your learning
- Communicate positive intentions
- Avoid assumptions
- Reject color blindness
- Consider context
- Be open to being wrong
- Get comfortable with discomfort
Module 4: The Dangers of Performative Wokeness
What does it mean to be woke? Posting a meme about social injustice? Sharing an Instagram story of you protesting in the streets? It’s easy to speak or post about social issues that impact many individuals from various backgrounds, but being woke goes beyond socio-political awareness. Being woke is not staying up on the latest buzzwords, it’s the actionable steps that you are willing to take to serve as a disruptor.
- Explaining “Woke” culture
- It’s time to wake up!
- Understanding the dangers of Performative Wokeness
- Questioning authenticity
- Being a disruptor is supposed to be difficult
Module 5: Do Black Lives Matter?
Considered a political statement these days, the #BlackLivesMatter movement has grown into a global crusade. With continued civil unrest in response to police brutality and other acts of racism, our Black students need to know that they matter. We may say it, but how are we showing it in our classrooms?
- Black lives throughout history
- What does BLM look like in schools?
- Is oppression the only form of Black History brought into the classroom?
- How do your students know that their lives matter?
- Affirming that Black Lives Matter
Module 6: Multicultural Education in Predominantly White Spaces
People think that Culturally Responsive Teaching is only for students of color. This is a myth, as White students benefit from learning from a multicultural perspective as well. We are doing our White students a disservice when we do not provide a multicultural lens on our teaching.
- Multicultural education is nice, but we are well over 90% White
- Defining Multicultural Education
- White Fragility
- Three assumptions regarding Whiteness
- What we can teach our White students
Module 7: Teaching Privilege and Power to Students
Privilege is a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available to a particular person or group. We all have some form of privilege. Identifying our own privilege and helping our students define and understand privilege helps to develop an Antiracist mindset.
- Defining privilege
- What are some examples of privilege?
- Check your privilege
- How privilege and implicit bias connect
- What privilege do I have as an educator?
- How might my privilege impact the way I serve students?
- How can I leverage my privilege to support and empower students?
Module 8: Cultural Appropriation vs. Cultural Appreciation
So you want to bring some additional culture into the classroom? Maybe an international festival, a holiday, dish, clothing, or tradition that is different from your background or heritage. If we are not careful, we may unintentionally succumb to Cultural Appropriation. In this session, dive into how to avoid that misstep while making your classroom environment a more culturally knowledgeable place.
- What is cultural appropriation?
- Additional terms
- I did my research, what’s the big deal?
- How do you appreciate a culture you are not part of?
- Cultural Insiders vs. Cultural Outsiders
Module 9: Dealing with Racial Slurs in Schools
So you have a book or an excerpt of a text that you plan to share with your students and there is a racial slur. Maybe you are reading Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, or another document that uses racial slurs. What do you do? How do you address instances in which students use racial slurs towards each other?
- Do not avoid text because it uses a racial slur
- Take adequate time to warn students
- Don’t single out any students
- Keep the text as is
- Setting norms for conversations
- Are we the N-word police?
Module 10: Colorism
Recently added as a bonus module, we explore Colorism and how it impacts our students.
- Defining Colorism
- The Paper Bag Test
- Colorism in various cultures
- Erasing Colorism for all