A policy on the integration of race and anti-racism in education and training
Moderator: Zanana Akande, Educator, Former Member of Provincial Parliament & Former Ontario Minister of Community & Social ServicesPanelists: Oscar Brathwaite, Chair, African Canadian Legal Clinic; Founder President , Canadian Alliance of Black Educators (CABE)Ann Curry-Stevens, Asst. Professor, Social Work, Portland State University, Oregon, USAShakil Choudry, Anima Leadership, Toronto, ON.
Context for the dialogue
It is believed that if individuals are exposed to anti-racism education and training whether as part of the educational process and/or in-service training, this can effectively contribute to an overall strategy to address racism, in particular, institutional racism, and to bring about changes.
Any effective education and training approach that is aimed at 'transformative anti-racism action" needs to incorporate a comprehensive anti-racism analysis that addresses particular fundamental factors. These include factors such as curriculum content, pedagogy, acknowledgement of participants (and students) identities, power and hierarchal relations of power, race as an organizing characteristic, privilege and access to power, social justice, resistance, equity, among others.
These panelists will explore models of approaches to education and training that centre race and the consequence of racism in terms of whiteness, emotional intelligence and privilege; and in contribution to the dialogue on policy development of the integration of race and anti-racism in education and training.
Education, Race and African Canadians
Key Discussion Themes & Points
Oscar Braithwaite's presentation focused on the impact racism has on education, family, community, society, and identity and the need to view the problems that African Canadians face in a holistic manner.
The impact that a poor quality education will have on African Canadian students, youth, family and community - by not preparing students & youth for the challenges of the 21st century in the job market
The link between quality of education and employment and the criminal justice system.
Shakil Choudry presented an approach to education and training called "Fierce Compassion" which integrates anti-racism with emotional literacy and conflict transformation.
The influence of emotion on racism, the ways in which triggers allow emotions to override rationality, and how triggers can be created and reinforced with anti-racism initiatives.
Anne Curry-Stevens presented a model, "Pedagogy of the Privileged" as a pedagogical approach to education and training aimed at transforming the privileged learner.
The model is focused on an approach to assist the privileged in identifying their status through transformative education. She discussed the importance theory has on educational content and approach. She presented two conflict theories - structural (how institutions and distribution of resources lead to racism) and post-structural (focuses more on context).
Having a curriculum which celebrates and addresses the learner's identity.
Increasing the number of Black teachers
Providing programs which make education more accessible to Black students and stopping the arbitrary assignment of students into unfavourable programs.
Reviewing and critiquing underachievement of Black/minority students.
Increasing our choices by becoming more emotionally aware.
Go after developments in neuroscience and social psychology since they relate to social interactions and problems associated with them including racism.
Resistance must not be ignored since it is a natural part of the learning process for the privileged as they are forced to remold their own identities; emotional literacy needed as a base for anti-racism education.
Context of oppression and privilege must be discussed before people are asked to discuss their own stories and experiences. There is a need to recognize that oppression is pervasive and the privileged need to recognize their active domination.
A universal construction of privilege where everyone has dimensions of oppression and dominance; this will give the opportunity for everyone to act together.
At the intro level of anti-racism education, plurality and openness should be retained and the ideas of privilege and oppression can be dealt with in later levels.