Featured Speaker - MCRC@ADVIS DEI Conference: 10/11/19
What Does Injustice Have to do with Me? Educating Affluent White Students for Social Justice
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
David Nurenberg, Associate Professor of Education, Lesley University (Boston, MA)
Public discussions about race and equity in schools tend to focus exclusively on marginalized students. But social justice education will always have limited impact without actively targeting the other part of the ecosystem: white students, particularly affluent white students. Even as America grows more diverse, its schools become more racially segregated, and it can be very difficult for teachers working in all-white or majority-white schools to find resources specifically targeted towards engaging their students in meaningful racial and social justice education. This presentation will argue for the need to develop such resources, offer a sampling of tools and case studies, and engage participants in planning for such work in their own schools. Key to this mission is helping affluent white students, along with school leaders and parents, understand the relevance and benefit of such learning for white students; in other words, to see "what injustice has to do" with them.
The vast majority of teacher training resources, education policy work and "reform" plans are focused on urban education. Yet over 20 million American students attend suburban public and/or independent schools, many of which are majority or even near-exclusively white environments. Helping affluent white students develop cultural competency and build the necessary skills to be effective allies should be a priority for all schools that these children attend. This work demands particular approaches, and presents particular pitfalls.
is an educator, consultant and writer in the Boston area who teaches at the high school and university level. He consults with schools seeking to develop and expand their work with student-centered pedagogy, inquiry and project-based learning, cooperative learning, and more. His book, "What Does Injustice Have to Do With Me? A practical guide to teaching social justice with privileged white students" will be published next year by Rowman and Littlefield.
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