MCRC@ADVIS DEI Conference: 10/11/19
Justice Warriors: Using Racial Literacy to Develop High School Activists to Challenge Everyday Microaggressions
Intermediate: Assumes some familiarity with or exposure to core content
Social Justice, Activism & Allyship from the Classroom to the Community
Session repeats - Round 1 & 2
Shahidah Kalam Id-Din, English Teacher, William Penn Charter School
Lee Payton, Assistant Director of Upper School, William Penn Charter School
Shamm Petros, Clinical Research Coordinator, University of Pennsylvania
Morgan Reid, Program Assistant, The Lion's Story
Jalynn Johnson, Student (senior), William Penn Charter School
Jameson Ford Student (senior), William Penn Charter School
Youth activism has demonstrated the potential to change public opinion toward social change regarding gun control and school reform policies. But how do youth learn the skills to speak their voice on social justice issues ranging from homophobia to racial hatred? A recent classroom intervention was conducted for 17 students in an independent school over the course of 3 months. The intervention involved teaching students to be proficient at using racial literacy skills of reading, recasting, and resolving racially stressful encounters that occur in face-to-face social situations. Results found that students reported greater confidence in their ability to 1) accurately identify their emotions, thoughts, and physical reactions to microaggression incidents (mostly racial and sexual identity), 2) reduce their in-the-moment microaggression stress, 3) record their feelings; and 4) speak up against injustice. This workshop will discuss these findings using diary records and youth testimonials.
This work helps to shift the focus on social justice ideas in DEI as taking intellectual stances toward behaviors and actions that individuals can take to improve safety in school climates. It is also relevant for integrating social justice activism and racial literacy in school curricula to promote student leadership.
learn how high-schoolers who competently become more racially literate also become more confident in engaging instead of avoiding racial, gendered, and homophobic microaggressions
develop strategies for replicating youth activism development in their own school environments
learn ideas for making school climates safer regarding DEI for all students and educators
consider using racial literacy strategies for building strong student and teacher affinity groups
Shahidah Kalam Id-Di
teaches English and leads a summer academic program at the William Penn Charter School.
is the Assistant Director of Upper School at the William Penn Charter School. Shahidah and Lee co-taught American Studies, an innovative, junior year interdisciplinary course that explored American culture at the intersection of history and literature. Their course was based on a cohort model of learning where the students’ identities and experiences were placed at the center of the curriculum.
, M.S.Ed., M.Phil., Clinical Research Coordinator, Racial Empowerment Collaborative, University of Pennsylvania.
As a former refugee from Eritrea, Shamm Petros, is committed to supporting the psychological well-being and development of children across the world. Currently, she is the Clinical Research Coordinator of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative at the University of Pennsylvania, leading the delivery, monitoring and evaluation of a school-based racial literacy, behavioral intervention. She is also the acting Partner & Director of Learning & Evaluation at the
. Ms. Petros holds an MSEd in Counseling and Mental Health Services & a M.Phil. in Professional Counseling from UPenn.
, Program Assistant, The Lion's Story
Morgan gained her B.S. in Psychology from Villanova University and her M.S.Ed in Counseling and Mental Health Services from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Morgan has worked in Dr. Howard Stevenson’s lab, the Racial Empowerment Collaborative, for the last year studying racial literacy. She has continued her work with Dr. Stevenson as the Program Assistant for his organization Lion’s Story, which focuses on racial literacy through training, consulting and assessment.
are seniors at the William Penn Charter School. Jalynn hosts workshops, presentations, focused Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She is a member of the field hockey team and captains both the indoor and outdoor track teams. Jameson is a member of the football and baseball teams. Both were students in the American Studies course at Penn Charter and have engaged in ongoing DEI work based on their experiences in the course.
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