After Charlottesville: Now What?

By Timothy Jones & Masa Uzicanin

On Monday, August 21, Timothy Jones of HipHopEd and Masa Uzicanin of Sevenzo hosted the first of a series of conversations among educators about the violence in Charlottesville this month.Ā Educators from all over the country and all levels of the education system discussed how race impacts them and their teaching.

Collective Reflections: What’s breaking your heart?

  • How do we encourage students (and adults!) to get beyond asking “what are you?”
  • How do we rally when we feel beaten down?
  • How do we comfort and protect students who are frightened by threats of deportation? Whose existence is under assault?
  • What do we do as educators when our students are on the wrong side of this? When are they showing up in rallies like Charlottesville?
  • How might we spark these conversations in white schools? Amongst white educators?
  • How might we help white educators do the work of self-reflection on our own biases, history, and place in the community?

 

Bright Idea: Cyber Cypher

Educators are human and need a space where they can decompress without fear of being vulnerable. Based on classroom cyphers discussed in Chris Emdin’s For White Folks, consider small group spaces — virtual or in person — for educators to engage in hard conversations about race and privilege. The shared goal is not only to grapple with and acknowledge privilege but then to explore what do to with it. As Timothy Jones put it, we need to see into each other, and then do some work together.

 

Resources

 

What’s Next

This Teacher Talk was Part 1 of an ongoing series that will be focused on discussing how race and identity show up in our school communities and allow educators to share strategies for leading conversations with peers and students. Check back soon for opportunities to join Part 2.