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Put antiracist commitments into action

By Angela Ward
February 2021
As racial violence in America took on an international focus in summer 2020, many began to make pledges and statements against racism. As an antiracist educator, I asked myself and those I work with: What is a pledge? What is a statement? People make personal pledges and commitments all the time, often to honor a cause or historical event. Educators pledge to the United States of America daily. In Texas, we also pledge to the state flag. But what comes after the pledge? When a pledge to become antiracist or culturally proficient lacks actionable goals tied to the daily work of education, it is nothing more than a gesture or an empty promise. The families of Black and Brown children deserve more from us. In

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Join a live conversation with Angela Ward

Doing the work to build equity takes reflection, raises questions, and is best done in collaboration and conversation with others. To support you in this work, Angela Ward, creator of this tool and author of the Equity in Focus column, will facilitate a live, online discussion at 1 p.m. Eastern time on March 29. During this special opportunity exclusively for Learning Forward members, Ward will discuss how to go beyond equity statements, how to use the tools shared in this issue, and more. Come with your questions. For more information and to register, visit bit.ly/2NWRxQX.

Defining antiracism in education

I wrote this definition of antiracism, grounded in critical race literature and my years of experience as an educator, to provide our staff with an anchor to determine what it looks, sounds, and feels like in practice:

Antiracism is the purposeful act of actively addressing systemic racism and systemic inequities personally, professionally, and socially.

Antiracist educators are conscious and aware of their personal bias, their worldview, and how they are privileged or marginalized racially. An educator is antiracist when they actively disrupt systemic racism and inequities from their own sphere of influence and they partner with other antiracist educators to enact collective disruption of institutional racism and systemic inequities (Ward, 2020).

— Angela M. Ward

 

References

Lindsey, R.B, Nuri-Robins, K., Terrell, R.D., & Lindsey, D.B. (2019). Cultural proficiency: A manual for school leaders (4th ed.). Corwin. 

Ward, A.M. (2020, July 11). Why #AntiRacistEd shouldn’t be gentrified: Reason 7: Because whiteness is real. preview.mailerlite.com/d9g4w6 


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Angela M. Ward (angela@2wardequity.com) is
founder and CEO of 2Ward Equity.


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