California Educator

October/November 2020

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• Create a safe environment with clear communication guidelines. • Recognize that disparities exist but need not persist. • Create opportunities for students to speak from their own experience. Don't tolerate racism If you see racism, do something. If you see racism occur at your school, don't be silent. Don't be complicit in racism with other educators who discuss "those children" and have low expectations for children of color. Speak up — and speak out — against racism. When a slur comes out of somebody's mouth, don't ignore it. When a racist joke is told, speak up. Encourage others to speak up against bias and hate at all levels and in all areas, throughout your school and the larger community. Listen and learn Becoming an anti-racist educator may involve introspection and difficult conver- sations. If you are white, you may realize that some of your behavior is offensive to people of color. But instead of becoming angry and defensive when that is pointed out to you, listen to the message and be humble, says DiAngelo. Th e author, w ho i s w hit e, not es in White Fragility that during workshops she has given, white people have walked o u t o r c l a i m e d t o b e " u n d e r a tt a c k ," using "white fragility " to def lect attention away from the subject at hand. Instead of being open-minded and listening to the message that their behavior may be complicit in racism or inflicting pain upon their colleagues or students, they react defensively and insist they are "colorblind" and "treat all people the same." And by insisting on that, they are resisting change. Being an anti-racist is not about being colorblind. It is seeing people of color for who they are, respecting what they have to say, listening, learning, and changing your behavior when necessary. "Saying 'I'm not a racist' or 'I was raised not to see color' doesn't make you an anti-racist," explains Jones. "Being an anti-racist is about seeing race, acknowledging the system, and also acknowledging that we have much work to do in dismantling it." "It isn't easy. You may be uncomfortable having these conversa- tions, but push through," says Sarah Robinson, moderator of the CTA Resources CTA's Work Toward Anti-racism: • CTA's Human Rights Department, Service Center Equity Teams and Racial Equity Affairs Committee have launched a webinar series, " Tuesday Takeovers for Racial and Social Justice." Topics include "Being an Anti-racist Educator," "Being an Anti-racist Educator in a Conservative Area" and " Talking About Color." All are welcome; go to to view recorded webinars and find out more. • Attend CTA conferences and work- shops on anti-racism. Also, check out Teaching Tol- erance ( and Black Lives Matter at School ( Other relevant sites along with recommended reading, toolkits and more are listed at Andrea Pippins / Teaching Tolerance "We are going to slip once in a while and pick ourselves up and learn from this experience. We teachers are just beginning this journey. Our students will continue it." —CTA President E. TOBY BOYD Sarah Robinson roundtable, a high school Spanish teacher and Redondo Beach Teachers Association member. "If you have more questions than you started with, that's good. Be inquis- itive. Get resources. Read books. Talk to your friends, colleagues and people in the community. Educate yourself. Becoming an anti-racist teacher is a lifelong learning journey." 47 O C T O B E R / N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 0

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