The killing of George Floyd has revealed the crack in America’s porcelain foundation—racism is as pervasive as it’s ever been. Protests across the country reveal the undertones of discrimination Black people face daily in the streets, on their jobs, and in schools. The effects of COVID-19 seem to have heightened the dire need for effective change on all fronts. Even if the virus physically separates teachers from colleagues and students, discussing racism—or better, ways to employ anti-racism—should be on every school’s agenda for the returning school year.
Racism won’t just go away, especially in academic workplaces. In a 2016 focus group, 150 Black teachers shared their perspectives on teaching and working in this country’s schools. Four years removed from this data, amid current flaring racial tension, teachers of all races must address the proverbial elephant in the breakroom. For the safety and wellbeing of staff, and ultimately, students.
The key is to cultivate an environment in which school staff can engage and identify privileges and biases stacked against each other. This, in addition to other efforts, can lead to systemic change necessary to work in the school system today.
Above all, we need to navigate through these uncomfortable conversations and gain various perspectives. Here are 5 anti-racism videos for school teachers and staff.
5 Tips for Being an Ally
Social justice warrior, writer, and author Franchesca Ramsey (@chescaleigh) breaks down the five best practices to becoming an ally. In this video, she talks about privilege and the power of listening to understand. “If the fight for equality was a girl group, the ally wouldn’t be the lead singer or the second lead singer. They’d be Michelle [Destiny’s Child].”
A Tale of Two Teachers
Melissa Crum details unforgettable experiences with her 2nd and 8th grade teachers. The dichotomy between these events reveals the unintentional racial bias teachers may have towards people of color. Unfortunately, this includes students and other teachers. Is it possible to cultivate an environment where educators check the racial bias of their peers?
How to Deal with Racism at Work
A different but relevant tone, Brandon Hersey (a.k.a. Woke Black Teacher) shows school staff how to deal with racism from peers. Short yet poignant, the video focuses on dealing with racism as it happens. And, if used correctly, his tips allow involved parties to have honest and professional conversations about racism. Check out his channel for further digestible videos on teaching and race.
Why do Educators need Anti-Racist Training?
Do you think anti-racism should be taught to teachers and/or school staff? Hanako Franz, a Philadelphia educator, tackles the magnificent ways racism adversely affects American schools. “So, if we’re talking about building schools where all students feel heard, welcomed, and supported, then tackling our own biases is absolutely necessary.”
Perspectives and Reflections from Black Teachers
Dr. Ashley Griffin, Interim Director of K-12 Research for The Education Trust, assisted with collecting data for “Through Our Eyes: Perspectives and Reflections From Black Teachers”. They interviewed Black teachers about their experiences in classrooms and schools. And this video discusses the findings.
In conclusion, anti-racism exploration shouldn’t be treated like a performative movement. Instead, employing anti-racist techniques should be integrated in communities and workplaces throughout the country with fidelity and commitment. As we continue to mourn the death of George Floyd and countless other Black lives taken by racist violence, it is important that we keep their names and attributed hope alive. Schools can do their part by ensuring anti-racism practices are enforced for the advancement of us all.
Do you have any anti-racism videos for school that you’d like to share? Post in the comments below.