It’s OK to be uncomfortable when talking about race

By Mirko Chardin and Katie Novak
October 2022
We live in perilous times for educational equity. The progress we’ve made in desegregation, culturally responsive pedagogy, and social justice is threatened by backlash legislation and protests in defense of the status quo. The pushback is happening at structural levels and very personal levels. Consider some unsolicited commentary we recently received about our organization’s equity-focused professional learning services. Via email, an anonymous sender accused us of “dumbing-down American Education through diversity, equity, and inclusion” and went on to say that “these notions are idiotic and evil; they are incompatible with excellence, achievement, and just basic learning.” This commentor had never worked with us. Their uninformed opinions of our work, and of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in general, were based on bias and fear. Unfortunately,

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Ganz, M. (2009). What is public narrative: Self, us, and now (Public narrative worksheet). Working Paper.

Hammond, Z. (2014). Culturally responsive teaching and the brain: Promoting authentic engagement and rigor among culturally and linguistically diverse students. Corwin Press.

Singleton, G.E. (2012). More courageous conversations about race. Corwin Press.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Mirko-chardin-scaled
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Mirko Chardin ( is chief equity and inclusion officer at Novak Educational Consulting.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Katie-novak-scaled
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Katie Novak ( is founder of Novak Educational Consulting.

The Learning Professional

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