National Museum of African American History

Let’s Talk!: Teaching Race in the Classroom

Date: July 13-17, 2015
Time: 9:00am-4:00pm
Location: Downtown Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution

Race is an aspect of our American culture that is often ignored, glossed over or mishandled. Additionally, to succeed in promoting equity, tolerance, and justice, childhood is the time to address these issues by understanding children’s development and encouraging positive feelings about their racial and cultural identity, as well as others’. Working with youth makes it incumbent that educators are prepared to address issues of race whenever they surface such as in history or social studies lessons or when current events brings them forward such as current events in Ferguson, MO or Baltimore, MD. Through presentations from researchers in the field, small group discussions, and reflective exercises participants will engage in conversations about race/racism, explore ways to address issues and topics that will meet students where they are in their racial development, and practice techniques for creating safe space for difficult discussions.

Educators will

  • learn and practice strategies for building a personal connections within their classroom
  • be introduced to and deepen their knowledge of racial identity development
  • reflect on their personal racial views, experiences, and implicit bias
  • practice facilitating interactions/discussions around racial issues by performing role-play situations
  • identify implicit bias and recognize how it affects teaching in the classroom
  • learn strategies for resilience and self-care

Speakers (current roster):

Jane Bolgatz, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of social studies education in the Division of Curriculum and Teaching at Fordham University Graduate School of Education. Dr. Bolgatz is the author of Talking Race in the Classroom.

Erica Corbin - Erica Corbin is a dedicated and proven community leader with a talent for building inclusive and welcoming independent school environments and improving communication with multiple constituent groups. Erica works closely with students, parents, alumni, and all faculty and staff members at Collegiate School, a single-gender K-12 independent school on New York City’s Upper West Side. As Director of Community Life, she coordinates the school’s initiatives around diversity and community service.

Hawah Kasat - Hawah is an artist, author, educator, yoga instructor and community organizer. He has dedicated his life to teaching about solutions to violence and ways to peace, and has traveled to over 28 countries in the past 10 years to facilitate interactive workshops, dialogues, perform poetry, teach yoga, and speak with those interested in creating a caring, sustainable, and equitable world.

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