RACIAL JUSTICEIN EDUCATIONRESOURCEGUIDE WHY RACIAL EQUITY & JUSTICE? TALKING RACE TOOLS FOR ASSESSMENT, STRATEGIC PLANNINGAND ACTION
R acial Jus tice in Educ ation - Resource GuideWHAT ISRACIALJUSTICE?Racial justice is thesystematic fair treatment ofpeople of all races, resulting inequitable opportunities andoutcomes for all. Racial justice —or racial equity — goes beyond“anti-racism.” It is not just theabsence of discrimination andinequities, but also the presenceof deliberate systems andsupports to achieve and sustainracial equity through proactiveand preventative measures.2
3R acial Jus tice in Educ ation - Resource GuideABOUT THIS RESOURCE AND HOW TO USE ITWHY RACIAL EQUITY & JUSTICE? Racial Equity/Justice and our Mission, Vision, Core Valuesand Strategic Framework5 Guiding Principles & Analysis Questions8TALKING RACE Creating the Space to Talk About Race in Your Classroom12 Seven Harmful Racial Discourse Practices to Avoid21 Key Terms & Glossary31 FAQ’s37TOOLS FOR ASSESSMENT, STRATEGICPLANNING & ACTION Race Equity Impact Assessments42 Standards of Review; Content and Grants45 Action Planning Guidance49 Action Plan Template80
R acial Jus tice in Educ ation - Resource GuideWHY RACIALEQUITY & JUSTICE? Racial Equity/Justice and our Mission,Vision, Core Values and StrategicFramework Guiding Principles & Analysis Questions4
5R acial Jus tice in Educ ation - Resource GuideRACIAL EQUITY/JUSTICE AND OURMISSION, VISION, CORE VALUES ANDSTRATEGIC FRAMEWORKTo better align andinstitutionalize racialequity into the workand practices of NEA,it is important that weunderstand theconnection of racialjustice to our mission,vision, core values andstrategic framework.MISSIONOur mission is to advocate for educationprofessionals and unite our membersand the nation to fulfill the promise ofpublic education, to break down thebarriers to racial equity, and to prepareevery student to succeed in a diverseand interdependent world.VISIONOur vision is a great public school forevery student.
R acial Jus tice in Educ ation - Resource Guide6CORE VALUESThese principles guide our work and define our mission: Equal Opportunity. We believe public education is the gateway to opportunity.All students have the human and civil right to a quality public education that develops their potential, independence, and character. A Just Society. We believe public education is vital to building respect for theworth, dignity, and equality of every individual in our diverse society. Democracy. We believe public education is the cornerstone of our republic.Public education provides individuals with the skills to be involved, informed, andengaged in our representative democracy. Professionalism. We believe that the expertise and judgment of education professionals are critical to student success. We maintain the highest professionalstandards, and we expect the status, compensation, and respect due all professionals. Partnership. We believe partnerships with parents, families, communities, andother stakeholders are essential to quality public education and student success. Collective Action. We believe individuals are strengthened when they work together for the common good. As education professionals, we improve both ourprofessional status and the quality of public education when we unite and advocate collectively.NEA also believes every student in America, regardless of family income or placeof residence, deserves a quality education. In pursuing its mission, NEA has determined that we will focus the energy and resources of our 3.2 million members onimproving the quality of teaching, increasing student achievement and makingschools safer, better places to learn.
7R acial Jus tice in Educ ation - Resource GuideSTRATEGIC FRAMEWORKOur organizational work to advance racial justice in education is driven by thefollowing strategic framework:AwarenessThe objective is to build racial equity awareness and analytical capacity acrossour association, fostering an understanding of key concepts, such as institutionaland systemic racism, implicit bias, racial equity and multiracial systemic solutions.Shared knowledge and conceptual clarity helps normalize explicit and constructiveconversations about race.Capacity BuildingThe objective is to equip members, leaders, staff and partners with the skills, tools,strategies, resources and relationships to be effective leaders and advocates in thefight for racial justice in education.ActionThe objective is to engage and activate members, leaders and stakeholders in onthe-ground efforts to combat institutional racism and advance racial justice. Someactions are external — organizing to advance changes in our schools and communities — while others are internal — implementing equitable practices that change theassociation’s work.
R acial Jus tice in Educ ation - Resource GuideGUIDING PRINCIPLES & ANALYSISQUESTIONSBACKGROUNDCombating institutional racism and advancingracial justice in education and beyond is at theforefront of the NEA’s vision to provide a greatpublic school for every student. At the 2015Representative Assembly, NEA adopted NBI-B,which recognized the role that institutionalracism plays in our society, including in ourschools.NBI-B directed NEA to spotlight patterns ofsystemic racism and educational injustice thatimpact students, and to take action to enhanceaccess and opportunity for all students to havea great education. We will take action by demanding changes to policies, programs, andpractices that condone or ignore unequaltreatment of students and hinder their success.NEA’s Center for Social Justice and the Humanand Civil Rights Department will continue toprovide guidance on this issue, and continue tosupport efforts to build awareness and capacity,and take strategic action to disrupt andeventually eradicate these systems of oppression in our schools and beyond.8
9R acial Jus tice in Educ ation - Resource GuideGUIDING PRINCIPLES ON RACIAL & SOCIAL JUSTICE IN EDUCATION Our work promotes a vision for public education that advances inclusion, equity,and racial and social justice in our schools and society. Our work must dismantle white supremacy, and ensure that bigotry or discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, disability or national origin are notpart of our classrooms, educational curricula, school policies and discipline practices. Our schools must be safe for all students, and free from state-sanctioned, racialized, and gender-based violence. We must work to dismantle discipline systems that create the school-to-prisonpipeline by implementing practices that encourage inclusion and are free fromracial and ethnic bias, and invest in counselors and other student supports. Our work must result in action - programs, campaigns, policies, and capacity-building efforts for local NEA members that dismantle institutional racismnow and into the future. Initiatives should create sustainable infrastructures thatcan continue to create systemic change, and hold decision-makers, elected officials, and institutions accountable. Our work must recruit, engage, and promote leadership of educators of color toshare the ladder of opportunity. Programs, campaigns, and projects must be driven by goals that are clearly outlined, tracked, and measured, and that have accountability systems that explicitlypromote racial justice. Our work must promote education policies and curricula which highlight andhonor the histories and cultures of people of color and indigenous peoples. We must work to ensure that all students have access to a safe and quality education, regardless of their country of origin or immigration status. Our work must promote and support the engagement of students of color andLGBTQ students in shaping policies that directly impact their educational experiences and foster safe and inclusive schools.
R acial Jus tice in Educ ation - Resource Guide10ANALYSIS QUESTIONS TO SUPPORT THE ASSESSMENT OF RACIAL IMPACT1. Does this work explicitly address racial inequities and impacts? Do materials,communications and work products from this work explicity address racial inequities and impacts?2. Who benefits from this work?3. How many students or educators of color are positively impacted by this work?4. Is there a racial justice disparity that is being addressed? Are conditions beingimproved?5. Is the racial equity practice being introduced? Can this practice be systematized?6. Does this work build NEA’s Racial Justice muscle?7. Does this work explicitly foster pathways for educators of color to play leadershiproles in the work and in our association?8. How does this work impact the identification, recruitment, engagement, and development of new and current members, activists and/or leaders of color?
11R acial Jus tice in Educ ation - Resource GuideTALKING RACE Creating the Space to Talk About Race inYour School Seven Harmful Racial Discourse Practicesto Avoid Recommendations and Conclusions Key Terms & Glossary FAQ’s
R acial Jus tice in Educ ation - Resource GuideCREATING THE SPACE TO TALK ABOUTRACE IN YOUR SCHOOLRacial dynamics, disparities and divisionspermeate our society, communities, schoolsand classrooms. Systemic racism is so deeplyrooted in our history, culture and institutionsthat there’s no escaping it. Visible or not, itsimpacts are ever-present.Yet, discussions of racism are typically notpart of our curriculum — unless we’re teaching social sciences or literature, or highlighting a particular holiday or hero. And eventhen, the race content may often be lackingor lackluster.Adding to this context is the fact that a majority of our public school students are studentsof color while only 18 percent of our teachersare teachers of color. This presents differentchallenges for white teachers and teachers ofcolor when approaching issues of race.Because racism is complex and contentious,many of us are afraid to even broach thesubject. Fear of opening a can of worms andmaking a mistake can be paralyzing. It oftenfeels easier and safer to avoid the topic altogether. Instead of calling attention to racism,we too often wish it would just go away. Butwhether we choose to talk about it or not,racism is already in the building. And, themore we avoid it, the more it grows.Silence and inaction reinforce the status quo.Avoidance speaks volumes — it communicates to students of color that racism doesn’tBecause racism iscomplex andcontentious, manyof us are afraidto even broachthe subject.12
13R acial Jus tice in Educ ation - Resource Guidematter enough to warrant attention and, by omission, invalidates their experiences,perspectives, identities and lives. White students, on the other hand, often see racism being accepted and normalized, without acknowledgement or accountability.And the lofty ideal of educational excellence and equity for all students, if it evenexists at your school, may seem like a hollow commitment.To advance real solutions, we need to address real problems. As teachers, we have“teachable moments,” or opportunities to constructively and productively addressrace. But these opportunities need to be thoughtfully created, seized, planned andmanaged. We have choices when addressing matters of race. In our own classroom,we are the power-holder, the gatekeeper, and the standard setter. One choice is tounconsciously and passively perpetuate racism, while the other is to consciously andactively pursue racial equity.Creating the space to talkabout race can open the wayfor some of the most powerfullearning and change that youand your students will everexperience.You probably don’t have to revamp your entire curricula or classroom practice. Butthere are many ways we can make room for addressing racial dynamics. Discussionsin your classroom can even be steppingstones to addressing race in your school,school district and community. Creating the space to talk about race can open theway for some of the most powerful learning and change that you and your studentswill ever experience.The following tips can help you make race conversations normal, constructive andsuccessful. These skills are best learned through collective dialogue with otherscommitted to addressing racial equity, as well as through lots of practice. Whendiscussions of race and racism become normalized, the promise of equity can berealized.
R acial Jus tice in Educ ation - Resource Guide141. Create a Welcoming Classroom and SchoolEach class has its own culture and learning climate. When you make equity andinclusion prominent priorities in your classroom norms, routines and environment,your students will feel a greater sense of belonging, safety and openness. Balanceparticipation and learning opportunities.The more you can form authentic relationships andconnections with all your students and their families,the more you will understand them—especially thosewho typically face the most marginalization, suchas students of color, LGBTQ students, students fromlow-income families, English language learners, newimmigrants, and students with physical or learningdisabilities. New research is beginning to find thatteacher empathy can be a key factor in student success and the reduction of punitive disciplinary actions.Create a supportive culture and hold an affirmingspace for all of your students, individually and collectively. Use diverse curriculum materials, differentiated instruction methods and give students somechoices to accommodate different interests andlearning styles. Begin with your own class, but don’tstop there. Consider ways to contribute to the welcoming climate of your school. Forexample, excess surveillance often unfairly targets and triggers students of color dueto prevailing patterns of racial bias, thereby undermining efforts to create a schoolclimate that is inclusive and conducive to learning.2. Root Out Biases and BarriersEveryone, regardless of race, c