Below you will find selected updates and snapshots from Teaching for Black Lives study group coordinators and hear from members about what they’ve been taking away from the Teaching for Black Lives workshops and classes.

Meeting Reports

Here are excerpts from the study group coordinator surveys about how each group is getting started. 

There was a lot of talk about how much Teaching for Black lives is needed and group members said they were excited about bouncing off ideas and collaborating because there is “safety in numbers” if we’re all doing similar things. That way a parent can’t single out an individual teacher.

— Lansing, Michigan

Speech bubble
We started out with the Black Panthers chapter and the one about racial justice and standardized testing. On the latter we had a nice conversation about how essentially students of color are just made to “act white” in order to survive school.— Las Vegas, Nevada
Reading about the experiences of teachers at other schools with pushback from parents/community about teaching Black Lives Matter made us thankful to be in a supportive environment — but this also means that we need to keep pushing ourselves and our colleagues to do more, not just wear a BLM shirt on Fridays. We also talked about how most of the work of keeping staff members in the loop about what is going on nationally in terms of racial justice has been done by Black staff members. We, as a group, are going to take collective responsibility to educate and support our colleagues (starting small with bi-weekly emails) in their anti-racist work. — St. Paul, Minnesota
We read the poem “Two Sets of Notes” and established a “syllabus” beginning with “Capitalism” from the New York Times 1619 Project, as well as the introduction to the 1619 Project. Then we will read the article regarding Kaepernick kneeling and “A Talk with Teachers” by James Baldwin. We talked, for an hour and a half on Zoom, about our motivation for joining the book study and building coalitions around issues of social justice across differences and communities.  — Oceanside, California
In our first meeting we set our community expectations and brainstormed how to break down the reading. We decided to take each section and break it into two reading sessions. We are using the questions from the study guide to guide conversations. Our plan is to rotate the facilitation of our meeting each month — this year we are reading and focusing on our learning and next year we will put our learning into action in our libraries across the district. — Garner, North Carolina
Everyone picked a passage in the first 39 pages and talked about why that passage affected us.  Discussion was a lot about Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter and a great analogy of a car with flat tire — all tires don’t matter. — Tucker, Georgia

New Haven, Connecticut

Feedback on Recent Workshops and Classes