Fellow antiracism change agents,
What does it mean to be antiracist? Over the past year, I have enjoyed writing these Everyday Antiracism blog posts to share my evolving perspectives and personal journey toward building antiracist communities and organizations. It has been thought-provoking and inspiring to hear from readers how these messages have inspired action and growth. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me!
This month, I will be taking my Everyday Antiracism framework into the classroom, with a structured learning experience that we plan to make available to many of you in the future. I’d like to share my expectations and excitement for this pilot experience (and some of the course offerings) with you now, and to give you a heads up about this future learning opportunity.
I’ll also check back after the 12-week course ends with my reflections on lessons learned from our efforts to enhance participants’ skills in practicing everyday antiracism.
The brand-new course, Operationalizing Antiracism for Everyday Impact, aims to empower participants with tools, techniques and practices for effective antiracism. We will equip participants for a career disrupting racism in all its forms and manifestations at the internalized, interpersonal, institutional and system levels.
This graduate-level course is built around my Everyday Antiracism Framework with one week dedicated each of the eight elements: Curiosity, Structure, Perception, Belonging, Truth, Healing, Restitution and Power. Three introductory sessions will set the historical and societal context of the course, introduce the overall framework, and review definitions of key concepts.
I am perhaps most excited, and most challenged, by the course format and participant make-up. Classes will be available in-person and online, the first such fully hybrid course ever offered at the Mandel School. Participants can switch between formats each week as it suits their circumstances and preferences. The online format will enable us to open the course up to participants across the country, which might include you one day! For now, the pilot offering of the course will include current students, Mandel School alumni, university staff members, and a fellow faculty member. And through our new Classroom Without Walls initiative, we have offered the course tuition-free to five community change practitioners.
To ground the experience in the real world and put the course concepts directly into action, each participant will select a real-world case study to deploy the antiracism ideas and tools they learn throughout the course. The case studies will focus on an area of their lives that participants want to examine for patterns of racism and opportunities to counter with antiracism. Focus areas could include their immediate or extended family, their friends or peer group, their building, block or neighborhood, their colleagues or workplace, or a civic or faith institution they work with. Participants will produce a final report that documents their experiences in their case study during the course.
Participants will each select a racial equity buddy in their personal or professional lives to partner with throughout the course to share what they are learning and seek accountability in applying the concepts in their lives and work. Each participant will keep an antiracism journal where they will track weekly reflections, which my fellow instructors and I will review and comment on.
Here are a few resources that we’ve compiled for the course which might be of interest to you now in your current antiracism journey.
- North Shore Racism Self-Assessment
- Antiracism Self-Assessment
- Harvard Implicit Bias Test
- Tema Okun tips for understanding and disrupting White supremacy culture
- john powell on othering and belonging
- Resmaa Menakem on somatic abolitionism and White body supremacy
Stay tuned to hear what our learning experience yields and how you could join a future course offering.
Many thanks to my colleagues Dr. Jenny King and doctoral assistant Braveheart Gillani for their energy and insights in this collaborative effort!