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Forgiveness Without Accountability Keeps Us Trapped


Forgiveness Without Accountability Keeps Us Trapped

 Jul 14, 2023

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory & The Apartheid Museum 

I knew visiting South Africa would present many opportunities to learn about the activists, dissenters, and disrupters that worked tirelessly to end apartheid. Even more so, I knew Nelson Mandela would be essential to that legacy. At the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and the Apartheid Museum are replicas of the prison cell he was incarcerated for 18 years on Robben Island. Having not yet visited the sight, I walked in these replicas with a feeling of, dare I say, anger. Because directly across from the replica at the Centre of Memory are photographs and stories of the ways his fight for justice sacrificed his relationship with his family. Several panels detailing his life highlighted the ways the “liberation struggle had become Mandela’s life and the ANC his family,” and throughout his quest for freedom, he sacrificed...

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On Emerging Technologies and AI

Uncategorized May 31, 2023

We have heard from many educators across the country– even our friend Dr. Slater posted about it–  who are struggling to address AI like ChatGPT. 

How do we, as anti-racist educators, wrestle with the fundamental flaw in emerging technologies like AI?

We know that AI and ChatGPT are cause for concern for educators, and they should especially be cause for concern for anti-racist educators. 

ChatGPT raises questions about plagiarism, ethics, and privacy. We can facilitate reflection and dialogue about intellectual property, data privacy, and compensation. 

AI also illuminates issues of racism and bias and misinformation and gaps of access. Basically, artificial intelligence replicates the oppressive systems in place. 

In The internet is already racist. AI chatbots are making it worse, Sarah Posner reminds us that “ bias problems plagued tech well before the chatbot craze. In a 2018 book "Algorithms of Oppression,"internet studies scholar ...

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The Institute for Anti-Racist Education Receives Funding to Improve Literacy and Equity in Schools through The Create Freedom Learning Model

Uncategorized May 12, 2023

Today, The Institute for Anti-Racist Education announced it joined a national cohort of organizations receiving funding and support from NewSchools Venture Fund to create or expand on innovative ways to make literacy instruction more effective for historically underserved student groups. 


The investment from NewSchools will help The Institute for Anti-Racist Education create a K-12 school model for the Create Freedom Learning Model, a cross-disciplinary instructional design tool that teaches students to think critically about the most pressing problems their communities, country, and world are facing. 


“This funding gives us the unique opportunity to partner with schools to create more loving, holistic, and liberatory learning solutions for every student that this model will encounter,” shares co-founder and CEO Ashley Y. Lipscomb. “NewSchools gives us an opportunity to pull together a collective of educators, scholars, and activists to...

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(Un)Grading for Equity: What are grades for?

Uncategorized May 01, 2023

Hello, All!


Well, it’s May. As we near the end of the school year, we send you so much love and encouragement.


This cumulative energy also offers us an opportunity to reflect on grading and assessment practices. Diagnostic, formative or summative? What testing and instructional strategies are equitable? Are participation, attendance, or “effort” grades a way to help students or do they harm them?


In our Instagram stories, we asked: “what are your thoughts on grading?”
Here are some of your responses: 

  • “Hate it. Hate all of it.” 
  • “We need to check for understanding & give/get feedback but grades indicate learning is done. It is not.” 
  • “High school English teacher. No quicker way to kill a kid’s spirit.” 


In Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms, educator Joe Feldman writes that most grading systems are...

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May Day!

Uncategorized May 01, 2023

Hello, All!

As a reminder, here are the essential questions that will inform this blog post:

  • How do we learn in community? 
  • How do we balance the desire to share work with a desire to resist passive resource sharing/collection? 
  • How can we support educators and school leaders to frame and facilitate culturally responsive, rigorous curriculum?

Yesterday, April 24, marked 10 years since the devastating Rana Factory Collapse in Bangladesh. 

Next Monday, May 1, is May Day, a day that commemorates the struggles and gains made by workers and the labor movement.

Here are some questions you might ask your students, which can be adapted for all ages and subjects, using Dr. Gholdy Muhammad’s Culturally & Historically Responsive Education Framework:



  • What types of work and workers do you encounter in your daily life? (examples: the jobs your family members hold, the workers you interact with at stores, at school, etc.) 
  • Who is a...
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On Decolonizing: What It Is and What It Isn't

Uncategorized May 01, 2023

Hello All,

Paperbacks & Frybread offers a beautiful “Decolonize Your Bookshelf” Reading Challenge for 2023. 

And we are excited to be collaborating with them on a Teen and Adult Book Box!

The Institute’s mission is creating anti-racist classrooms with decolonized curricula.

So, what is decolonizing? And what is it not? 

In Decolonization is not a metaphor, Unangax Scholar Eve Tuck writes: “When metaphor invades decolonization, it kills the very possibility of decolonization; it recenters whiteness, it resettles theory, it extends innocence to the settler, it entertains a settler future. Decolonize (a verb) and decolonization (a noun) cannot easily be grafted onto pre-existing discourses/frameworks, even if they are critical, even if they are anti-racist, even if they are justice frameworks.” This instagram post breaks down the article. 

Decolonize All the Things writes: Decolonization starts with a recognition of your relative social...

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An Ethic of Love: Love Beyond Romance

Uncategorized May 01, 2023

Hello All,

Happy Black History and Black Futures Month. During this month, we also celebrate Valentine’s Day. We celebrate Valentine’s Day as a way to honor the profoundness of love, beyond romance. 

At the Institute, we are fueled by an ethic of love: love for our students, love for our communities, and love for ourselves. It is love, rather than fear or control or indoctrination, which fuels our pedagogy. 

In the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing our amazing cohort of curriculum creators. One of them shared: “Teaching from a pedagogy of love means working alongside students to create positive change in their communities.” Another educator described their pedagogy of love as: “Listening and communicating in multiple languages - with our bodies and emotions, words and materials, the natural world. Taking seriously our interdependence: finding the intersection of our questions and needs, collaborating, taking accountability for and...

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Happy National SEL Week!

Uncategorized Mar 10, 2023

Last month, a study co-written by Dr. Dena Simmons of LiberatED SEL was published. The piece, “Not try to save them or ask them to breathe through their oppression”: Educator perceptions and the need for a human-centered, liberatory approach to social and emotional learning,” raises important questions about how we conceive of and teach SEL.


5 Takeaways: 

    1. Often, SEL programs are introduced to educators without their input or buy-in. Educators should be included as partners in the creation and implementation of SEL programs (3). 
    2. SEL is not merely a checklist of skills, but a dynamic and dialectic process. SEL is both content and pedagogy, a means to connect with identity exploration and development...
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Exploring the History of White Anti-Racists

white anti-racism May 23, 2022

Here at the Institute we have been talking about creating accountability networks. We know that being anti-racist means that we are accountable to reckoning with the past and creating liberatory futures. To better understand our present moment, we need to know how white supremacist delusions have created and maintain structures of oppression. Fighting white supremacy is the work of us all.  However, it usually falls on those most impacted by these structures of oppression to do this work. 

Our collective liberation is dependent upon those with power and privilege to do this work within their own communities. Aisha Suleiman, founder of True White Allies, offers models of white anti-racists fighting against the historical institutions of enslavement and human trafficking. 

We want to share Aisha’s work with our community. We hope you will engage with her materials by reading her website and learning more from her below:

There are plenty of examples of White...

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I Am Not Your Absolution: 4 Ways to Move Beyond Reading & Start Taking Action Toward Our Collective Liberation

Uncategorized May 09, 2022

 I Am Not Your Absolution: 4 Ways to Move Beyond Reading & Start Taking Action Toward Our Collective Liberation by AYL

In the summer of 2020 there was a national and international call to action for racial justice. There were also individual, interpersonal calls. I have been called for coffee, been direct messaged on social platforms, and been asked to discuss why someone is not racist. After entertaining several of these calls, I have come to this conclusion: I am not your absolution. I do not and will never speak for all Black people, so I cannot forgive you nor give you a pass when you have been racist and anti-Black. I thought everyone was reading in 2020. What did you learn? What happens now that the “reading” is over? It is now 2022, and we are witnessing states banning “CRT” or drafting a don’t say Gay bill, and now the powers that be have voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. So my question is: what will you do? How will you take action...

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