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Identity is at the heart of facilitating for equity

By Candice Bocala and RoLesia Holman
April 2022
Professional learning focused on racial equity in schools should transform educators’ beliefs and interrupt inequitable outcomes for students. To ensure that it does, professional learning leaders must not only excel at typical facilitation skills — such as being aware of group dynamics, supporting inquiry, and creating relationships — but develop a nuanced understanding of their own unique identities and how they influence the work. We analyzed the reflections of practitioners who have deep experience in supporting educators to understand and address issues of racial equity. According to their own self-identifications, we interviewed one Asian individual who identifies as transgender, two Black females, one Black male, one Latina female, one Latino male, three white females, and one white male. Looking at how they facilitate professional learning

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References

Ngounou, G.N. & Gutiérrez, N.B. (2019). The value of interracial facilitation of racial equity training. Phi Delta Kappan, 100(8), 56-61. doi.org/10.1177/0031721719846891

Okun, T. (2021). White supremacy culture. www.whitesupremacyculture.info/

Pour-Khorshid, F. (2018). Cultivating sacred spaces: A racial affinity group approach to support critical educators of color, Teaching Education, 29(4), 318-329. doi.org/10.1080/10476210.2018.1512092

Tauriac, J.J., Kim, G.S., Sariñana, S.L., Tawa, J., & Kahn, V.D. (2013). Utilizing affinity groups to enhance Intergroup Dialogue workshops for racially and ethnically diverse students. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 38(3), 241-260. doi.org/10.1080/01933922.2013.800176


Candice Bocala (candice_bocala@gse.harvard.edu) is a lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

RoLesia Holman (lisa.sojourn@gmail.com) is a consultant and owner of Sojourn Education Services and director of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Ashtabula Area City Schools in Ohio.


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