H. Richard Milner, a noted researcher and expert on race and education at the University of Pittsburgh says that, “education is the key to addressing inequity and racism in society,” and if we are not, “working in education to combat racism, we are complicit in maintaining inequity and the status quo.”
C.M. Rubin the founder of CMRubinWorld opened up the conversation on racism and the role educators have in guiding Millennials around the globe. CMRubinWorld explores what kind of education would prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing globalized world. To achieve this, it connects today’s top thought leaders with a diverse global audience of parents, students and educators.
Additionally, Milner recommends school administrators and policies must align to “advance agendas that encourage and expect race-central learning opportunities and especially discourse.” As well as students, community members, families and parents be part of the learning discourse “providing perspectives about their own worlds and experiences.”
Millennial bloggers from all over the world were engaged in this conversation on racism in education. The selected bloggers are Alusine Barrie, Sajia Darwish, James Kernochan, Kamna Kathuria, Jacob Deleon Navarrete, Reetta Heiskanen, Shay Wright, Isadora Baum, Wilson Carter III, Francisco Hernandez, Erin Farley, Dominique Alyssa Dryding, Harry Glass, Harmony Siganporia and Bonnie Chiu.
Here’s what they had to say in part:
Do we need to talk more about racism in education?
“When I was 14, in our first class of literature in English, I remember our teacher saying, rather solemnly, that our subject is called literature in English, rather than English literature,” writes Bonnie Chiu. “It was a moment of enlightenment for me. It instilled in me this critical mindset, this yearning to challenge the status quo; and it gave me a sense of agency.” Read: My Personal Journey in Unlearning Race and Privilege.
“We can’t afford to defer the conversation about White supremacy for even a single moment longer. It has proven itself to be the most obstinate social institution in the entire history of America,” writes Francisco Hernandez. “How could we even possibly think we could fight something so tough if we can’t even talk about what it means to fight it?” Read: Race and Education in America.
“Any nation that can stomach the principle of caste, which is the most brutal ‘classification’ of human beings based on birth anywhere in the world, cannot help but differentiate, and differentiate repeatedly, on the basis of every parameter society can construct in a desperate and insular bid to separate ‘us’ from ‘them,’ ” writes Harmony Siganporia. “Nothing short of critical pedagogical interventions which would overhaul what we consider to be the very purpose of our educational system, and the resources to channel these interventions into more meaningful curricular design, can help us change these terms of engagement.” Read: Why We’re Broken.
“Textbooks were created by people who lived in a racist society,” writes Jacob Navarrete. “I’m telling you there are better tools. I’d be happy to help you learn how to use them. There is a big world to build outside the cave and we could use your help. It might hurt at first, just like the light does when you exit a dark cave.” Read: Peculiar Flames Flickering.
“Racism cannot be explained or understood properly without incorporating a discussion about privilege,” writes Dominique Dryding. “Until educational institutions take the lived experiences of their student bodies seriously and recognize that racism does not only include name-calling and physical exclusion, racism in schools and universities will not end.” Read: …But my Parents Worked Hard.
Guest Blogger Salathia Carr writes, “Racism is not something that can be swept under the rug. After so much sweeping, your rug becomes distorted. People have become so desensitized regarding racism and injustices because they truly do not know what it is like. Judgment is very easy to make when you’re not living that way. But, if we force discussions about inequality from the very first history class we take, you cannot avoid it.” Read: When Was Your First Talk About Racism?