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The Gordon School

Race in the USA

above: over one hundred people participated in Race in the USA: the remix, side A, held in January

Race in the USA: the remix, sides A & B
A two-part workshop led by Luke Anderson of Gordon’s eighth grade team
Lessons from Gordon's classrooms to help parents talk about race
Tuesday, January 12th and Wednesday, March 31st

Gordon's 2020-2021 parent dialogue series on antiracist education included Race in the USA: The Remix, a two-part workshop led by Luke Anderson, eighth grade humanities teacher. 

In the workshop, Mr. Anderson used lessons on Black experience in America, drawn from Gordon's eighth grade curriculum, to help parents think about how to talk with children about race. The workshops drew over one hundred and fifty participants, full of parents, faculty and friends of Gordon, but also community newcomers from as far away as Portland Maine and Baltimore, Maryland.

Some of the resources cited in the workshop:

Gordon's Civil Rights Trip

A Matter of Truth: The Struggle for African Heritage & Indigenous People Equal Rights in Providence, Rhode Island 

RI Act 6070: an act related to education - curriculum

Brené Brown on Words, Actions, Dehumanization, and Accountability

The View from Room 205, WBEZ Chicago

Miss Buchanan’s Period of Adjustment, Revisionist History

The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic

“65 Years After 'Brown v. Board,' Where Are All the Black Educators?” Education Week, May 2019


above: part two of the workshop was held March 31st, with people Zooming in from up and down the East Coast.

Further reading

Being the Change: Lessons and Strategies to Teach Social Comprehension, Sarah K. Ahmed
The Trouble with Black Boys, Pedro Noguera
I’m Still Here, Austin Channing Brown
The Color of Water, James McBride
Let’s Talk About Race, Julius Lester
White Like Me, Tim Wise
Racial Healing Handbook, Anneliese Singh
This Book is Anti-Racist, Tiffany Jewell
Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools, Howard Stevenson
Locking Up Our Own, James Forman, Jr.
How the Irish Became White, Noel Ignatiev
The Omni-Americans, Albert Murray
New People, Danzy Senna
Americanah, Chimamanda Adichie

In context

The parent dialogues for the 2020-2021 school year center around the topic of what it means to build an antiracist community: as a school, as care-givers, as young people. Dialogues this fall included a discussion of Stamped, by Ibram X. Kendhi and Jason Reynolds, and an evening with Dr. Howard Stevenson. More on these at www.gordonschool.org/parentdialogues

For decades, Gordon has used a multicultural curriculum and supported a diverse community of students, faculty, staff and families. Developing empathy and taking action are keys to a more just world, and these lessons, which begin as early as nursery school, provide a foundation for Gordon students to live out the school's mission on campus and beyond.