The viewer question for this week: How do you break barriers when racism is normalized within a community?
Dr. Greason mentions two effective practices:
Discuss language or religion as barriers for different families and communities. Without focusing on systemic oppression, he says, it makes the larger concept of social exclusion (and oppression) more immediately accessible.
Secondly, educators can also focus on the concept of bullying (especially with younger students).
Have you ever been asked to join in on a discussion that makes you uncomfortable? If so, what is the first thing that goes through your mind? Now, reflect on how this might make students feel in classrooms where they are the minority. We are asking our students to show vulnerability on issues they face daily. By discussing other concepts, we allow students to voice their opinion without being a target.
In any situation, especially when preparing students for conversations about racism, it is best to give students opportunities to discuss alternative enduring issues. Create a space in which students can think critically about problems and work collaboratively to create solutions. By engaging students in problem-solving, you are also checking for understanding and real-world connections. Check out “Solve in Time!” by Dee Lanier as an example.
To access more of Dr. Greason’s resources, visit his website that features innovative programs, projects mentioned in this week’s episode on race and Afro-Futurism, and a live podcast.