Racism is reflected in a hierarchy in which beauty, intelligence, worth and things associated with whiteness are at the top. The school is one site in which this hierarchical arrangement of skin power is confirmed daily. It is also a site where it can be undone.

Anti-racism is a proactive strategy for dismantling racist structures and building racial justice and equality. It must become a perspective that cuts across all subject areas and institutional practices.

– Enid Lee, in “Anti-Racist Education: Pulling Together to Close the Gaps,” in Beyond Heroes and Holidays (Network of Educators on the Americas, 1998)

We rely on our schools to be the place for a multi-cultural experience for our children. We want to believe that learning together will help our students to become more understanding and respectful of differences. Yet so often we do not address these issues head-on. It is unlikely that sensitivity and tolerance will develop, that children will bridge the gaps they bring to school from their earliest days, without specific instruction.

Personally, I want to see more than tolerance developed. I want children to see themselves as the future citizens of this city. I want them to gain the knowledge to be successful in this society. Beyond that, though, I want them to understand that they have the power to transform society.

When students see connections between home and school, when lessons challenge them to look at the issue of race from multiple perspectives, we take the first steps in this process.

Pages 90-91 “The New Teacher Book” by Rethinking Schools – ‘Brown Kids Can’t Be in Our Club’: Raising Issues of Race with Young Children  by Rita Tenorio



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