Montessori Northwest is hosting a workshop with Chrysanthius Lathan (Tree Ed Consulting) called Implementing Racial Equity Practices in Upper El and Adolescent Communities. This workshop takes place October 1, 2018 (more info and registration here). The following is an interview with Emily Daggett, MNW staff member, who attended a recent workshop from Tree Ed.
What drew you to this event?
The topic of racial equity is on my mind constantly. Data illustrates that in American society a person’s race is a primary factor that determines many outcomes in education and life in general, with people of color disproportionately impacted negatively. Because I am white, I have a responsibility to educate myself about my own privilege and take action in my community to create change.
What were some things that really struck you during this event?
During the workshop, each participant wrote a Racial Autobiography, reflecting on an early (or recent) experience of race. What struck me was that people of color generally become aware of race at a much younger age than white people. Working toward racial equity requires individuals to reflect on their own experiences of race to break down whiteness, privilege and biases in themselves as well as today’s educational and social systems.
What did you enjoy about the presenters?
Chrysanthius very mindfully began the conversation with a tangible example of how inherent racial bias affects the daily lives of people of color. She pointed out that as workshop participants arrived, many introduced themselves to her white co-presenter, but very few came up to her in this way. This illustrated that even in a room of educators, who genuinely want to achieve racial equity, biases still influence behavior. I felt that it this created an environment of honesty and vulnerability for all involved that allowed greater opportunities for participants to learn and grow.
What would you say to someone considering attending an event from Tree Ed?
Educators have a critical role in creating culturally responsive and relevant environments that serve every child, regardless of race. Workshop participants will initiate ongoing conversations with themselves and each other to come away with a deeper understanding of their own role in achieving racial equity.
Thank you, Emily, for taking the time to share your experience! For more information on the upcoming Teachers for Racial Equity event at MNW click here.