MCRC@ADVIS DEI Conference: 10/11/19
Understanding White Privilege
Introductory: New to topic / subject matter
Social/Cultural Identifiers Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Session repeats - Round 1 & 2
Kristen Ostendorf, History Teacher, The William Penn Charter School
Many people who identify as white don't consider the cultural aspects and identifiers that go with having white skin. This means that unearned privilege goes unexamined. In the educational context, white teachers often leave unchallenged how "whiteness" impacts their curricula and students, particularly students of color. In this workshop, educators will gain a brief survey of some work being done on this topic, including that of Debby Irving and Robin DiAngelo. During the interactive discussion, participants will work to identify where white culture infiltrates their lives and how it reinforces systemic racism. From there, participants will work to examine where it manifests itself in their personal lives and curricula. After thoughtful discussion, participants will create an action plan and connect with an accountability partner to help them implement their plan.
Understanding white culture and identity is essential to building anti-racist educators. Understanding the unearned privilege helps white educators identify "whiteness" when it appears in curriculum and assists us in dismantling systems of oppression that would otherwise remain invisible in our schools.
Participants will have a better understanding of white culture and white identity; will be better able to identify white privilege in their personal and institutional context; and will leave the workshop with a concrete "next step" to engage in social justice work and/or dismantle racism.
is an upper school history teacher at William Penn Charter School, a Quaker school in Philadelphia. She has facilitated talks and book study groups on the topic of white privilege both for her religious denomination and at her school. She has taught in both private and public schools during her career. Before becoming a teacher, she was a newspaper reporter.
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