Spring 2024: Antiracism Course for White Educators

A 12-session discussion and action-based course for white educators looking for support and accountability as they work to embody antiracism in their daily personal practices and at the schools/institutions they are part of.

Anti Racism Course for White Educators - How Are You Doing With Your Whiteness Spring 2022

Why now and a bit on vision

In recent years, and now more than ever, we have seen a sharp uptick of progressive white educators who have begun talking about racism, using antiracist language, and acknowledging their own whiteness. And still, many white people are struggling when it comes to adapting their own actions when it comes to living out the changes that they want to be a part of.

This course is a unique opportunity to explore topics that matter to you, reflect on your own experiences, form new relationships with like-minded peers, and take action to make a positive change in your life and the world.

Goals

  1. To deepen white educators’ analysis of the structural impacts of white supremacy on the schools and communities they work in, and the role that they, as white educators, play in perpetuating white supremacy.
  2. To equip white educators with the tools and support to identify and respond to racist actions, words, and policies within their schools and communities.
  3. To grow white educators’ capacity to support, lift up, and act in solidarity with teachers, students, and families of color in their schools and communities.

Operating Assumptions

These courses do not serve as introductions to antiracism. There are certain realities that are not up for debate, and explaining them will not be the focus of our courses:

  • We, in the United States, are living in a white supremacist society
  • Racism is systemic
  • Institutions of education operate within a racist and white supremacist framework

What the experience involves

  • Twelve two-hour-long video calls
  • Weekly assignments
  • Readings, videos, and podcasts to read/view/listen
  • 1:1 conversations with another member of the course for more personal reflections
  • 1:1 sessions with course facilitators
  • Action steps to take throughout the course

How should I expect to grow from this course?

In this course you will join a community with other white educators who share your passion for building an antiracist practice; a group of learners who are committed to exploring their own identities, histories, and biases, and how they impact their work and relationships. Through lively discussions and personal reflection, you will examine the conditioning that shaped you, and learn how to disrupt it. You will engage in processes that will help you develop a set of practices that will align with the values that you want to center in your life.

Who is this for

White educators looking for support and accountability as they work to embody antiracism in their daily personal practices and at the schools/institutions they are part of.

Individuals in any role in education or work with youth: teachers at any level (Early Childhood, K-12, Higher Ed, Adult Ed), guidance counselors, youth workers, administration, social workers, staff at schools, camp counselors and staff, youth advocates, etc.

Schedule

Twelve two-hour-long evening-sessions and an orientation starting February – June 2024.

Expected Workload

While the course experience is unique to each individual, past participants report spending between 2-5 hours a week on homework that includes: 1-2 articles, a podcast or video, and some form of reflective writing or similar assignment.

Course Completion

Participants who complete this course can receive a certificate for 24 continuing education hours.

Quotes from Past Participants

“I’m continually appreciative of the curriculum, pace, readings, books, and the space for the work that we’re doing. I am incredibly appreciative for the thought and reflection that the facilitators have put into this. That really intentional time… this is an exceptionally run course with incredible resources, and I don’t say that lightly at all. I’m incredibly appreciative for that. It’s really profoundly life changing.”

– Sarah Norsworthy, 4th Grade Teacher in Portland, Maine

“Reflecting on this course, I have to say that the biggest impact it had on me is that I feel now more than ever that I have the language, theoretical, and other foundational knowledge needed to have more productive, impactful, and organized action-oriented conversations around antiracism and disrupting white supremacy. The diversity of speakers who came to the course, as well as the readings that we did (grounded in two texts and all of supplementary readings as well), have really helped me feel confident in having these conversations in my school buildings and with the organizations that I support and work with. [I feel more capable of] making sure that we are dissecting our work from an intentional lens of disrupting white supremacy and not letting present practices continue if they do uphold white-supremacy culture; of making sure that we are also being very intentional about putting students and families in the center of our work as their day-to-day and education is directly impacted by these racist and white supremacist systems. I cannot recommend this course highly enough for other educators, whether in K-12 or beyond. It was really a great opportunity for learning.”

– Brittany Johnstone, School Psychologist in Baltimore, Maryland

Learning & resources

Modalities of learning will include: text based discussions of books, articles and audio; personal story sharing; examination of internalized habits and mentalities; mapping of systemic oppressions; and building an accountability practice.

IDEA’s antiracism coursework includes and stands on the shoulders of many activists, thinkers, ancestors, and leaders who have been pushing for racial justice, equity, and sovereignty including Bettina LoveResmaa MenakemRoxanne Dunbar-Ortizadrienne marie brownIjeoma OluoJames BaldwinTawana PettySandy GrandeIbram KendiVincent HardingTema OkunKenneth JonesBob MosesNorma Wong, and Justo Méndez Arámburu

Application & Course Fees

  • Registration for this course is limited. The final date for submitting an application is Tuesday, January 23, 2024.
  • Sliding scale fees from $550 to $1550. In order to make this course as accessible as possible, we encourage you to pay a fee that is in line with what you are able.
  • Applicants will be informed of their acceptance the latter half of January.

Informational Video & BLog on the Course

For more information about the course for white educators, please watch this brief informational video. There is also this blog post that offers an inside-look at the course from the perspective of course designers and participants.

Facilitators

Jonah Canner

Jonah Canner is an ambassador for the world we have not yet built. He believes in people, community, and the obligation we have to make positive change in the world around us. Jonah’s primary areas of focus include racial equity, restorative justice, experiential education, and working through conflict. In his free time Jonah is writing a collection of memoir essays that explore questions of grief, identity, ancestry, and place.

Jill (Yill) Ruchala

Jill Ruchala has been an educator, facilitator, and coordinator of educational programs, events, and gathering spaces for 20 years in the US and abroad. She’s passionate about cooperative learning models, adult education, antiracist education (in small and large scale), and language acquisition. See also: hiking, plants, and buy nothing groups/swaps. Yill lives in Washington, DC, on ancestral land of the Nacotchtank people, where taxation without representation is a daily experience. 

Dana Bennis

Dana is Director of Programs & Research at IDEA. He collaborates with others locally, nationally, and internationally to end white supremacy and colonization and to raise up and support education that is antiracist, that meaningfully involves young people and communities, and that is directed towards freedom and liberation. 

Erin Dunlevy

Erin Dunlevy (she/her/hers) is a lifelong educator and learner deeply committed to the possibilities that equity creates in our world. Erin proudly served NYC young people as a teacher and Restorative Justice Coordinator for 14 years before moving into full-time equity and restorative justice consulting and facilitation in 2015. Currently Erin works on projects around the country training stakeholders from learning institutions, districts, community organizations and companies interested in furthering their equity journey. As a cis, white woman devoted to the ongoing, day-to-day work of undoing racism in herself, her family and her community, Erin advocates for story-telling and deep inquiry as models to re-imagine and recreate our world.

Aimee Craig

Aimee Craig is an experienced facilitator and strategist. She is skilled at guiding groups to shared decisions and creating processes that honor lived experience and diverse perspectives. Aimee works with leaders to clarify and live their mission, vision, and values through their meeting and process design, engagement, and communications. Directing communications and public affairs in the non-profit and government sectors, Aimee has led engagement processes with students, teachers, families, and school administrators and designed multi-year strategic communications plans. With partners in early learning, K-12 education, and philanthropy, Aimee has facilitated multi-year learning communities and short-term, decision-making workgroups. She prioritizes joy and connection as tools for change.

* This course was designed in collaboration with a multiracial group of educators. BIPOC guest speakers and conversation partners will join to provide additional perspectives, accountability, and critical analysis.

Jonah Canner, IDEA Facilitator - Antiracism Course for White Educators, How Are You Doing With Your Whiteness?

Jonah Canner

Facilitator
Read more about Jonah

Jill (Yill) Ruchala, IDEA Facilitator - Antiracism Course for White Educators, How Are You Doing With Your Whiteness?

Jill (Yill) Ruchala

Facilitator
Read more about Jill (Yill)

Jill (Yill) Ruchala, IDEA Facilitator - Antiracism Course for White Educators, How Are You Doing With Your Whiteness?

Dana Bennis

Facilitator
Read more about Dana

Jill (Yill) Ruchala, IDEA Facilitator - Antiracism Course for White Educators, How Are You Doing With Your Whiteness?

Erin Dunlevy

Facilitator
Read more about Erin

Jill (Yill) Ruchala, IDEA Facilitator - Antiracism Course for White Educators, How Are You Doing With Your Whiteness?

Aimee Craig

Facilitator
Read more about Aimee

Any Questions?

If you have questions or concerns regarding this course, please direct them to info@democraticeducation.org and someone will get back to you shortly.

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