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Jun 08, 2020

 

Like so many Americans, when another black American was killed by the police on May 25th, I was outraged. But I didn’t say anything outside of my family. I was paralyzed … I didn’t know what to say.  I wanted to say something but didn’t feel that my voice or my words would even mean anything. So I stayed silent. Again. Then I read this on Instagram...

 

Over the recent weeks I’ve realized my own ignorance in this situation, and, because of this ignorance, I asked my friend, Alexis from the AfroEducator, to help me understand because I'm dedicated to having the difficult conversations that I encourage Burned-In Teachers to have when things are at their hardest.  In this episode, my friend, Alexis Shepherd, and I address something that, quite frankly, should have been discussed a long time ago: racism and how white teachers can use their teacher voices to do better. This conversation was recorded as a Facebook Live after she and I started chatting in Instagram DMs and I asked her if we could make our conversation public because I understand my teacher demographic. I understand that many of the 81% of white female educators around this country want to do better.  Alexis and I have a candid, open conversation where she shares her story, how she feels we can all do better, as well as offer support through resources to help us all do better.

After this episode, there will be silence - no outro music and no Burned-In Teacher Podcast episodes for the rest of summer until August-  because I want you to EDUCATE YOURSELF with the plethora of information that Alexis and I have for you. I want you to follow the people mentioned in this episode and get their resources. Listening isn’t enough! You have to act and do something different. And in this case, acting first starts with educating yourself and learning how - to not just accept everyone no matter their color in an effort to “not be racist” - to be ANTI RACIST.  

After our conversation, Alexis went on IG and summed up our conversation and ended with this statement (my friends, THIS IS EVERYTHING): Black lives matter, and voices of privilege matter. My voice is amplified when your voice is heard. DON’T STAY SILENT.  

Alexis is a seasoned teacher with experience in both the elementary and middle-level setting. Experience with burn out early in her career led to the creation of The AfroEducator, where she arrives to empower teachers to challenge the good teacher narrative.

 

In this episode you will:

  • Fully understand the political construct of race through understanding both the psychology and biology that perpetuate racism throughout history.  (14:40) 
  • Get tips on how to talk about the history of racism to students (24:30) 
  • Know how to approach the topic of race and racism - even when you don’t know what to say -  in an all-white class (34:90) 
  • Hear about “accidental racism” and understand the impact of microaggressions(37:90) 
  • Get tips on how to handle when you hear racist comments and language between students. (44:30) 
  • Understand how to speak out about what is happening while not appearing to be virtue seeking. (53:40) 
  • Know how social/cultural values and norms lead to students getting punished more in the classroom and what to do about it.  (1:20:40) 
  • Get resources to get you started to have this conversation with your students. (1:0720) 
  • Know what “Code Switching” is and why language is so important. (1:10:30)
  • Know what educators can do to further the cause and understanding of how discussing race cannot be separate from politics. (1:15:41)   

 

CALL TO ACTION: THINGS YOU CAN DO TOMORROW 

  1. Listen to Shunta Grant’s Podcast ‘What You Can Do About Racism”
  2. Choose one of the people mentioned in this episode to follow.  Then, check out their resources.  
  3. Choose one of the books mentioned in this episode to read to educate yourself.  Share what you learned in the Facebook Group

 

FIND ALEXIS

Twitter: @theafroeducator

Instagram: @theafroeducator

Facebook: The AfroEducator

 

BOOKS AND RESOURCES RECOMMENDED BY ALEXIS



OTHER RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE 

Ep 161: What You Can Do About Racism by Shunta Grant 

Anti-Racism Resource List 

 

PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE YOU SHOULD FOLLOW 

Vera Ahiyya (Instagram: @thetututeacher)

Naomi O’Brien (Instagram: @readlikearockstar)

Education with Apron (Instagram: @apron_education)

Joe Truss - Culturally Responsive Leadership (Twitter: @trussleadership)

 

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