Along with this week’s conviction of Derek Chauvin came other tragic reminders that there is still much work to be done in our country to battle racism. C.A.R.E., the Center for Anti Racist Education, is a project that aims to arm people with the resources needed to work toward a world where Chauvin’s conviction would not only have been a certainty instead of a surprise but the deaths of George Floyd and countless others due to cold-hearted bigotry would never happen.
You can find C.A.R.E.’s guiding principles here. To learn more about what those principles mean and how to enact them, C.A.R.E. has published a four-part video series this April. Each half hour film, features a panel with four experts on antiracist education, and educators are the intended audience. The first three have transcripts and discussion guides, and I imagine the 4th one will also have those tools by the end of the month.
So far, I have only had the chance to explore the introductory video. I especially appreciated the analogy that is made comparing the antiracist education that has been done in recent years to people who want to lose weight but don’t want to risk leaving their comfort zones. “We’ve been on the treadmill for two miles per hour for 10 minutes when it deals with antiracism, when it deals with equitable history curriculum. When it deals with anything about providing equitable, uh, change in our society, we just get on that treadmill for two miles per hour for 10 minutes and think we’ve done something, says Dr. LaGarrett King, an associate professor of social studies education.
With C.A.R.E. resources like the web series and other tools, you can see a path for coaxing teachers out of that comfort zone – past semester book studies, one-off faculty meetings, and 3-hour professional developments toward a potential to make real, sustainable changes in curriculum and practices.
Use your voice to ask your campus and/or district to make a genuine and dedicated effort to eradicating racism within its system. With websites like C.A.R.E. and other resources you can find on my Anti-Racism Wakelet, there is so much that can and should be done to ensure justice and accountability for all of our community. Let’s put our heart and soul into this effort so no more time is wasted.