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The Gordon School

How to Raise and Teach Anti-Racist Kids

Dr. Thomas López is part of #KIDLIT4BLACKLIVES online event

updated Thursday, July 2nd:

San Francisco's KQED published a nice synopsis of the town hall, linked here.

Gordon's list of resources, at, continues to stay fresh, and now has a comprehensive book list with titles for all ages.

updated Thursday, June 18th:

Thanks to everyone who participated in tonight's town hall on How to Raise & Teach Anti-Racist Children, hosted by Kwame Alexander and hosted by the International Literacy Association.

A few links related to some things Dr. Thomas López mentioned on the panel tonight:

The idea of books as windows and mirrors was framework first suggested by literary historian Rudine Sims Bishop. See that being taught to second graders at Gordon.

More Gordon's race-based affinity groups:
Parents of Students of Color
Common Ground for students of color
Antiracism Working Group for White Parents

Bryan Stevenson talked about the value of proximity in this TED talk 

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum popularized the idea of the ubiquitous "smog of racism". More on her here and here.

And it didn't come up tonight, but anyone who graduated from Gordon in the past nineteen years would be happy to tell you about the eighth grade Civil Rights Trip to Georgia and Alabama


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Dr. Noni Thomas López, head of the Gordon School, will be part of Thursday's How to Raise and Teach Anti-Racist Kids event, hosted by author and activist Kwame Alexander. The June 18th online event is the follow-up to the overwhelmingly successful KidLit Rally for Black Lives held earlier this month. 

The free event is presented by the International Literacy Association, in partnership with Alexander, as a Facebook Live event, 7:00 p.m. ET this Thursday, June 18 at

As organizer Kwame Alexander explained, "The objective of this conversation is to prepare our teachers to go into the classroom this fall and create an anti-racist classroom where black children are valued and empowered; and to prepare our parents to do the same in their homes, now."

The panel also includes Cornelius Minor, author of “We Got This: Equity, Access, and the Quest to Be Who Our Students Need Us to Be;” Tiffany M. Jewell, author of “This Book is Anti-Racist;” Pam Allyn, global literacy expert and coauthor (with Dr. Ernest Morrell) of “Every Child a Super Reader;" and Karyn Parsons, author and founder of Sweet Blackberry, a nonprofit with a mission “to bring little known stories of African American achievement to children everywhere.”

Dr. Noni Thomas López first met Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander when he came to campus in 2018 as Gordon's twelfth annual Karla Harry Visiting Author. 

The Gordon School is a nursery to eighth grade school with a longstanding commitment to multicultural education and teaching for social justice.

The school has earned a national reputation for equity and inclusion in its approach to tuition, curriculum development, board recruitment, and race-based affinity groups for students and adults. Faculty are routinely called on to serve as expert sources in venues that range from the SXSW festival to the Boston Globe, and education professionals come to campus from across the country for workshops and seminars led by Gordon's school leadership.

Gordon's literacy curriculum includes a diverse array of authors and stories at every age level, using novels and picture books to launch extended lessons on race and identity that include the second grade's yearlong process selecting the Gordon School Multicultural Picture Book Award. Over the past fifteen years, internationally acclaimed authors of color have participated in this curriculum, working directly with students in Gordon classrooms, including Jacqueline Woodson, Julia Alvarez, Grace Lin, Jerry Craft, Monica Brown, Oge Mora, Supriya Kelkar, Nikki Grimes, and Andrea Davis Pinkney, as well as Kwame Alexander. 

The conversations about race, identity and equity extend far beyond the literacy curriculum, as well, and are reflected in Gordon's approach to math and science, health and wellness, theater and athletics, and beyond. By tackling these topics in a variety of contexts, year after year, students build the skills and vocabulary, and the empathy, they need in order to participate in—and lead—challenging conversations like the one their Head of School will be engaged in on Thursday.

WHAT: How to Raise and Teach Anti-Racist Kids, hosted by Kwame Alexander
WHEN: Thursday, June 18, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m. ET

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