Madison teachers prepared for the Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action (February 4-8) with a national speaker and workshops designed specifically for educators to highlight racial justice. They are among educators nationally who are engaging in the amazing work for racial justice in education.
Over 200 teacher-members of Madison Teachers Inc. braved double-digit, sub-zero temperatures for an event at Edgewood College this week to meet Jesse Hagopian, a high school teacher in Seattle and leader in teaching for black lives. Hagopian is the co-editor of the book “Teaching for Black Lives,” and is also an editor for Rethinking Schools. WEAC was a co-sponsor of the event.
In addition to Hagopian’s inspiration, teachers attended workshops to share ideas and lesson plans for the Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action. MTI has worked for several years to address race and equity issues, which started with revamping its mission statement to include promoting racial justice and eliminating disparities.
Organizers of the event and the week of action said they plan to not let the events and enthusiasm for addressing racial disparities in the classroom stop at just the week of action. “Year after year we have the same sort of study that shows racial disparities … this week hopefully gives a voice to people who are frustrated with how things are going, and we want to say, ‘Let’s put the action into this week of action, plan lessons and do specific actions beyond surface level activism,’” said Mike Jones, a special education teacher at Black Hawk Middle School and co-chair of MTI’s equity and diversity committee.
WEAC and the NEA support educators in the work to transform education. Here are 4 ways to show your support during Black Lives Matter at School Week and beyond:
- Check out and share this video. #edjustice #blacklivesmatteratschool
- Download & Display the Black Lives Matter at School poster (share a pic on social media)
- Follow and post to the hashtags #blacklivesmatteratschool; and
- Learn more ways to take action – get the toolkit here.
Here are more Black Lives Matter resources, provided by United Teachers Los Angeles:
- How to talk to children about the Black Lives Matter Guiding Principles
- Creating a brave space for dialogue
- Teaching for Black Lives (articles and sample teaching activities)
- Civil Rights Activity Book (from Southern Poverty Law Center and Teaching Tolerance)
- Teaching Tolerance Guide: Let’s Talk About Race
- #TalkAboutTrayvon: A Toolkit for White People
Inspired by a national coalition of educators that has organized in past years for racial justice in education, Madison teachers have started to prepare their own program. Teachers at an event at Edgewood College on Sunday heard from Jesse Hagopian, a high school teacher in Seattle who is the co-editor of the book “Teaching for Black Lives,” and is also an editor for the periodical Rethinking Schools.