Good afternoon everyone on behalf of the American Federation of Teachers, I'd like to welcome by empowering our students to lead and serve. Lead for change is changing lives, transforming communities and improving our world. Learn more, check out the research and access free leadership curriculum now at leadforchange.org. Good afternoon everyone on behalf of the American Federation of Teachers, I'd like to welcome you and welcome everyone to today's webinar on Elevating Educators Voices when teaching the truth about racism. My name is Doctor Lisa Thomas with the American Federation of Teachers in our educational issues department, and I'll be your moderator for today's webinar. Before we begin, I'd like to thank today's Virtual Conference Co. Sponsor leave for change, which is celebrating its 10th year anniversary. 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For those of you who have joined us many times before, you know that we make our webinars as engaging as we possibly can. So to get us started, please open up that group chat box and tell us where you are from and why you are joining us. Today and what interests you about this particular topic? In addition to the group chat, if you're joining us live, you will be able to provide some different reactions throughout the webinar today, so let us know what you're thinking and throughout the webinar, whatever reaction you want to give, share it with us and share it with your fellow participants. At the end of this webinar, we will be facilitating a question and answer session. Use that Q&A widget to submit any questions that you want us to ask the presenter. If you have any technical issues, please also use a Q&A widget and one of our share. My lesson team members is there and ready to respond to you. If you would like a copy of the slide deck or any of the related materials, you can find those in the resource widget. For those of you who want professional development credit, you will be able to download a PDF certificate at the conclusion of this webinar verifying your participation today, you do need to answer the poll questions that you will see throughout the webinar. To access that certificate now, let's turn it back over to your moderator who will put up a sample poll question for you to try. The poll question is located directly in the slides. You can answer your question. And then hit submit. From all of us at share my lesson. Thank you for joining us today. Enjoy your webinar. Hey, here's our practice poll question today. You have a day off all to yourself, no obligation. What would you do? Solo road trip sleep. Curl up with your favorite book. Decent quality TV bingeing. Will take a few seconds to respond and see our results. Not my personal favorite. Be more seconds. Don't forget to hit submit. Give me the classroom countdown. 10-9 8 7. 3. 2. Wow, it's pretty evenly split. Well, it seems like most of you are doing would prefer a solo road trip, some binge watching and curling up with a book. Of course, most of you as educators, definitely books, so it is now my pleasure. Thank you. It is my pleasure to introduce you all to your presenters this afternoon talking about elevating educated voices on teaching the truth about racism. This couldn't be more of a timely. Discussion today we have with us today, Doctor Jamila Coast, Monica Washington Abdul right, Natasha Wilkins and Miriam Rollins. I am now going to turn this over to Natasha Wilkins. Thank you for joining us, their BIOS and their information can be found on the right side of your screen, Natasha. Thanks so much, Lisa. Hello and welcome to everyone. Thanks so much for joining our webinar on elevating educator voices on teaching the truth about racism. As Lisa just said, my name is Natasha Wilkins and I am the educator engagement coordinator for the education Civil Rights Alliance convened by the National Center for Youth Law. I'm also now going to turn over to my esteemed presenters who will be sharing the screen with me today. Doctor Jamillah coach, could you introduce yourself? Absolutely good afternoon. So glad to be here with you today. I am doctor Jim Allakos, the director of teacher leadership at Mount Holyoke College and a professor at the University of Georgia in the Department of Disability in Human Development. Hi everybody, thank you so much for joining us. My name is Monica Washington and I am the director of Inclusive and Responsive Educational practices for better, less. Good afternoon everyone. My name is Abdul Wright. I am the assistant principal at a charter school in north Minneapolis. Hello everyone, my name is Miriam Rollin and I have the privilege of directing the education Civil Rights Alliance nationally convened by the National Center for Youth Law. Thrilled to be with you all. OK, and we are going to move into our first slide. What we want you to do is to scan the QR code that you see on the screen, and when you think of culturally responsive education, what 3 words come to mind? OK. So again, what 3 words come to mind when you think of culturally responsive education? Let's take a few minutes to jot down our responses using the QR code that you see on the screen. And if you were having trouble voting just a second ago, if you refresh, it should now be open and you should be able to vote. Alright, keep finishing up. So when we hear koechley responsive education, the words that come to mind we're seeing pop up on the screen. High expectations, responsibility, opportunity, understanding, student voice, equitable, honest student center. Respect. Accurate, inclusive, affirming humanity, belonging, representation, opportunity. Empathy, patient, open minded. Liberating. Y'all, y'all. Trying to strain my eyesight. I got contacts and y'all got me my big head all leaning into this screen even more true justice community. I believe that says OW. Women, I'm gonna just assume that hacking them women of the world you know, women running the world. Proactive home. Come rodery travel. Mindfulness. I think that was a lot of Natasha. Well, we did. And so as we get ready, are we going? Yes so as we get ready for today session, it's important that we stay grounded. And what's most important, and I think everybody on this call is aware that and that's the vision for our students. And so we have some quotes from educators across the country. Or Members who deal with educational issues and just some thoughts that they had around what a vision for our students should look and feel like. So kulesa wing. Who is to go? Dear Minnesota teacher the year also educator, author and one of our friends. She describes it as being teaching truth. Did not mean I was standing in front of my students telling them what I thought, what I believe or what I felt, but it meant I was giving them the space to discover their own thoughts, their own beliefs, and their own feelings about the truth. Romana, Matthews educator, said that similar to a passport. Culturally responsive education can create accessibility for students to reach a future beyond their immediate environment. And a Texas 7th grader at a legislative hearing saying the classroom should be a place where we all learn together and respect one another. Learning about people who fought for equality and justice gives me the courage to do the same. And this ties directly to what we saw with the words from the cultural responsive educator practice. Just being student centered, creating a sense of belonging, creating community, camaraderie and equipping young people with agency. So as we move on, I would like to turn this slide show over to Miriam. Great, thank you so much Abdul and I actually have a poll question that I would like to share as well. But before we get to that I'm just going to say that unfortunately we are not yet where we need to be in terms of culturally relevant and fully truthful education about race and racism in most States and tragically since spring of 2020. One state laws that impede the full teaching of truth were enacted in a number of States and more have been proposed this year. I'm going to talk a little more about that in a minute, but in the meantime, let's go to the poll question. So how familiar are you with state legislation proposed or enacted, designed to censor teaching the truth about racism? Very familiar, somewhat familiar or not familiar? So if you can click on that. Give you a minute. When we have kind of a critical mass. Natasha, if you can go to showing the results. And we'll give it about. Seven more seconds. If you've not gotten your vote in yet. We'll do the countdown 54321. Right? So we have all right almost a quarter who are very familiar. The vast majority, somewhat familiar and then almost a quarter that are not familiar. So it's a it's a it's a group with kind of some mixed experience on this, all right? Well, let's talk a little bit about what what these bills are and where we are now. So thank you. So in terms of of where we are now. In 2021 there were state enactments in nine states. In Texas, they did two bills, not just one. Also, in 2021, the State Board of AD or State Attorney general actions on this topic happened in some of those states, but also in seven additional states. Thankfully, in 2021, state bills were vetoed by the governor in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and were overturned by the courts in Arizona in this year. So far 2022. We're tracking legislation that impedes teaching truth in over half the states so. What do these bills look like? What do they prohibit teaching of? Let's go to the next slide. So they vary a lot across the states, but they often share some eerily similar provisions. Almost like it's orchestrated effort on the part of the far right, which it actually is to ban a number of things, and many of these bills have been in the terms of CRT, anti CRT or anti critical race theory which we know is actually not taught in any K through 12 classroom in the country. Sometimes they use language about the 1619 project, The New York Times project. Sometimes they use the term divisive concepts, systemic racism, white privilege, unconscious. Or implicit bias. Non binary pronouns, racer stats, sex stereotyping, or even some really vague concepts like causing guilt or anguished a person solely because of their race or sex. These bills have a varied array of punishments for violations of these censorship provisions, including provisions against educators. So educators could be fined or have adverse personnel actions or civil liability or even. In some cases, criminal liability and against schools or districts in terms of fines. Removal of state funds, even property tax exemptions for homeowners lowering the recipients. Well, the receipts of tax money to the districts, so there were an equally impressive varied array of gotcha mechanisms in the bills, including tip lines and requiring posting every single Lesson plan handout material referred to within a class and also in some cases video surveillance and in person surveillance of teachers and classrooms so. There are also some huge bureaucratic burdens on teachers, schools, district superintendents, school boards, including new review processes, complaint processes, appeal processes, and the bottom line is most school districts already have a review committee that involves parents and complaint processes as well, but these bills would expand them to the point where our public schools might not be able to operate anymore. So what has all this resulted in? Book banning, even in some cases, book burning teacher firing. And most widespread self censorship by educators, schools and districts. Which is I, will note, an intended, not an unintended result in terms of impeding truthful education about race and racism, and also gender, gender identity, LGBTQ for our students. But there is some good news. So let's go to the next slide. So a number of states have moved in recent years in the direction of teaching truth and utilizing diverse and culturally affirming curriculum materials in classrooms and examples and include California, Illinois, New York, Oregon, Virginia, also recently in Indiana and anti teaching. Truth Bill was not advanced, so that was a great victory to not have that bill move forward. We hope that happens in. More states in the coming weeks and months and there are signs that other states are starting to look a little bit more closely at these bills and take their time with them and be a little more concerned about what potential implications these bills could have. So I just want to close by saying, teach your voice can make a huge difference in these fights and I will turn it over to my friend Abdul. And it's important as teacher voices are the community and the sentiment across the country is is important for us to know. And I think there's this narrative as if we're not having games and wins and that's just not true. And the public sentiment is supported by that and we think about the book bands and how it's not supported by the public. We don't have to look any further than the statistics from this CBS News spoke when it comes to criticizing U.S. history and the books that are banned for that 17%. Agree with that band while 83%. Disagree when it comes to political ideas you disagree with only 15% believe in that band. While 85% disagree with it when it comes, depicting to depicting slavery or discussing issues of race only 13% agree with the ban on this while 87% of the country says no. These are the types of books that should not be banned. So when we think about critical race theory when we think about these bands on books and we think about the public. Rhetoric with a public narrative is not supported by what you sometimes may hear in the media or how making it seem as if it's a lot closer to a debate than it is. It's actually a very one sided country when it comes to this issue. And so we have more wins to celebrate. Thank you so much, I won't turn it over to my friend. Thank you so much my friend and thank you for sharing that light right. Sometimes when I think about this work, I realize that it can feel really personal. We're all human and we we we became educators because we want students to belong. Maybe we love to teach our content, but we want students to be long and then they Sayers and the narrative that Abdul just spoke of can feel deafening. It's it's a lot louder sometimes than some of the good things are happening, so we wanted to take some time today to celebrate some of those wins with you. And to continue what Abdul was just sharing about book bands and that perception around that, I would love to share with you just some perceptions that parents and caregivers have about the work that educators are doing. It can be like a really quiet whisper in in this world of of all of the the negative that we hear on the media are in the media, but parents overtime this these two graphs pan about an 11 year time period and if we look at that blue bar over here on the lip where it says parents. Rating of teachers performance has historically been strong and has grown even more positive, so that almost seems like it's out of sync. What we hear, that's really loud. I mean, we think about what parents think of us when we think about the perceptions that they have of our work. We've gone from 62% around April 2010 to now December 20, 2178. Percent feel that the performance of their public school teachers for their students is either excellent or very good. Those low numbers are very low and they have gotten lower overtime as the positive sentiment has grown and then at that second bar you can see again overtime. Parents give teachers very high marks. I'll just call out a couple of things that are there so when it comes to teachers being on the same page with parents, that was one of the questions. 81% of parents feel bad. Teachers are on the same page on the same team with them, and then they feel very strongly that. Teachers are professional and we know our content. So 90% of parents feel that we know what we're talking about. We're standing in front of their students and then in terms of us seeing their students for who they are and understanding their unique needs, 78% of parents feel that we are doing a really good job there. So it's important to think about how we are still winning. Even though the naysayers are loud. We will go on to some more wins and we want to share with you on the next slide. Alright, so when we think about curriculum, which is what our Miriam just spoke about, what Abdul just spoke about, parents still are satisfied with what we're doing with curriculum. So in that left graph you see there, you see that 80% of parents feel that curriculum wise the curriculum is adequate and is appropriate for their students. At the grade level, 79% of parents feel that they are communicated with in our respective respectful way in a timely way about curriculum. On the right side of that chart, you see that when it comes to the question around whether or not teachers are keeping politics out of the classroom, that's a little bit lower at 65%, and then again. At 65% to the question of whether parents feel that they have some say so in the type of curriculum that is presented to to their children, and so some of that, perhaps, maybe perception as well, especially when it comes to the politics question. But that's that's still not a very low number. That is when we think about all the schools in the country, 65% is not in that next graph over there you see that 76% of teachers of parents feel that teachers are sticking to appropriate content. When it comes to to teaching their students and so these numbers are not the numbers that are loud, but they're the numbers that we need to rest on, and we think about the work that we are doing and have to keep doing. So we head over to the next slide and think about how is this work being done at the classroom level. So in Iowa, in Iowa City there are schools that are using a new, culturally responsive curriculum as their lens because there is a lot that's left out of the curriculum, so they are trying to put what's missing voice wise and content wise into the curriculum. So we have students using inquiry to figure out things that they don't know much about. So they're writing poetry, writing plays, making cookbooks that. Celebrate community and culture in a way that is not represented in the curriculum that is given to them by the state or by the district and then in Harlem. There is a book that Miriam mentioned. The 1619 project is one of those, like buzzwords that we are hearing a lot about when it comes to these legislative bans and there are two authors, Nicole Hannah Jones and Renee Watson, who have authored a book that is for elementary students around the 1619 project so students in Harlem. Are using that book. In their writing, and they're discussing in the authors actually came to the school to actually sign books and talk to students. And then we have a lot of educators who are pushing back despite what's happening. I'm in the state of Texas. I'm an educator who is pushing back. There are many others, and I wanted to just leave you with a quote from Misty Crompton who is 20 plus years in education. She's a social studies teacher in New Hampshire, and what she said is the root of her. Her her pushback is this this idea. She said, this is called good teaching. To tell truths and have students look at a variety of perspectives and experiences and a rich landscape of experiences is what we have to do. Otherwise. This is just propaganda. So we'll go on to the next slide and there is a poll that was at the top of that question and here it is. So when you think about the work that has to be done, think about the fact that perception is not as bad as we think it is. Sometimes again, it's just loud. How confident do you feel and engaging in teaching truth in your classroom or school? Or if you're a leader in supporting that very confident, somewhat confident or not confident at all? We'll give you a few seconds to putting your responses there before we see what those results are. Let's take about 7 more seconds and then we will look at those results. So if you've not selected your response, go ahead and do that. In order to take three more seconds seeing a few still coming in and that is time. Going. Thank you for putting that up, Natasha, and this is very encouraging that there are 56.9 almost 60% of us in this virtual room together who feel very confident in teaching the truth in our classrooms. That is awesome, and the somewhat confident as well. There are some of us who are here today to learn about the ways in which you can do it and what resources you can use. And we're here to support you as well. So thank you so much for engaging with us in that poll and sharing your perspectives around. Teaching truth right now. And I will turn it over to Jim. Elihu will talk a little bit more about what you can do to teach truth. Thank you so much, Monica. Can I tell you how much I love that poll? The results of that poll are just like like soul. In Enthusi like makes me someone through Z astic about like what the possibilities for the future are. So thank you. Thank you, thank you for engaging in that and I'm and I'm thankful that you are ready to teach the truth and you are confident in your ability to teach the truth. And for those of us who are not yet confident in our ability to teach your truth, we're gonna keep on pressing until we are because our students deserve it and our society is depending on it. If if we're honest, so here's what you can do to teach the truth one when it comes to behavior. Think about how many behaviors go. Well, we know that the behavior is not as egregious as it is being. And as as it is being deemed to be, how do we make sure that when we see something that we say something so that students aren't punitively penalized for behaviors that are that that we see and that are likely typical or are likely because of something else that has happened in the classroom space. Create communities in your classroom. There is nothing more important than being able to create a community of learners. Once learners know that. I am here for my teacher. I am here for my classroom community. I'm here for all of the students here. I'm here for the students in my school. They they have a very different orientation to learning and and togetherness. And and and truth and honesty and I'm reflection. So make sure that you're building that community in your classroom building. And part of that is also building a culturally responsive learning environment, one that makes sure that makes makes sure that you honor the abilities of the students in your classroom. Honor their differences, honor their backgrounds, and we have to first learn about those backgrounds in order to honor those backgrounds, and one way that we can do that is also by connecting with our parents and letting them know what's happening in their classroom because I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in the things that we do day-to-day in a curriculum that has been specifically designed for us to make sure that we deliver that we forget that our students and families bring this significant level of funds of knowledge. Into our classroom spaces and we can tap into that, but we have to be intentional about tapping into that, because there are truths beyond the books that we have in front of us. It reminds me of an avid elementary. I don't know if you watch, you know if you watched there was an episode about teaching truth. That was the underlying message of it, where it was. One teacher had a very different view of what cops were and her experiences and the more traditional teacher had a very different view, and. Bringing those views together helped students to be able to unpack what the truth was, being able to see multiple sides of any different situation that they're presented with. One thing that I always, always encourage teachers to do is to censor their students and not the system. Oftentimes we get wrapped up in the demands of the system and sometimes. That's all we. That's all we can do, like we have to look at the system and we have to work within this system that we are given. But even in that there is a locus of control that we have. There are some things that are within our control to do or to not do, even when we when we are in this system. So for example, the system tells us that we have to do standardized tests right? And that's cool. All right, we can do standardized tests, but your students have to be able to learn beyond those standardized tests. And it's up to us to figure out ways to make sure that they have those opportunities. I remember in my early career of teaching and y'all have always been a rebel when it comes to education like students deserve everything that I could give them. And in my very first years of teaching, I remember I had a administrator that told me that I didn't need to worry about the learning of my students because they were in special Ed and their scores wouldn't count. It also happened that that special Ed in that special Ed Classroom. There were all students of color. So she told me I didn't have to focus on certain things, but what I took that as was an opportunity to teach them far beyond this curriculum that had been given to me for me to teach them what ended up happening as a result is that they passed this standardized test that they had never passed before and they were able to think about and have conversations about the society in which they lived, which was that was. That was the goal for me. That is always the goal for me in teaching and learning, and I think that is the that is the crux of teaching for truth, right? Being able to interrogate the systems around us to make them better. And then another thing that you can do about teaching for truth is team up. It is very difficult to fire ten teachers. It is much easier to fire one teacher, but if you have a team behind you and you are, you are steadfast in what you believe. You are steadfast in the truth and the honesty of what is happening in society. Team up, find your people and and move forward with them. So on that last slide when when we looked at who is ready to teach the truth, how confident do you feel about teaching the truth we had educated? We have a lot of educators who are like. I'm gonna do it regardless, right? But then we had because it's like look I'm gonna do 'cause I know what's right and like whatever comes if it comes with it. But then there's a space that we can live in where we don't necessarily have to put everything on the table. And these spaces are called discretionary spaces and these spaces occur in our classroom all day long, from transitions to curriculum. They occur all the time and Deborah Ball describes discretionary spaces as. Moments that are not dictated by policies or curriculum, but our places where we make countless decisions as to how we facilitate a discussion or how we manage the small classroom event. So for example, if you're learning about Harriet Tubman, and I feel like that should still be on the table, right? If we are learning about Harriet Tubman and we're learning about slavery in any capacity. And a student may say something like I heard slavery wasn't that bad. Alright. That student has opened up a discretionary space for art for our teaching, right? Our teaching, our questioning, our unpacking that discretionary space now becomes a moment for you to help students to understand what they have said and why they may not be fully understanding the picture. So looking for those spaces that students open for us to be able to teach them the truth fully is going to be really important for us to be able to continue to teach the truth. In in, in ways that don't, that that don't get us in as much trouble as as as as as possible, really. So when we all the other thing is that when we're thinking about discretionary spaces, we're also opening up an opportunity for students to learn from each other, right? Because I think that lots of our students will bring various perspectives into our classrooms and allowing them to be in community again with each other can change the ways that they. That they learn about the society around them. And I'll turn it back over to Natasha. Thanks so much Jamal. I loved your stories and your Abbott elementary references are getting lots of snaps in the comments, so thanks so much for all that you've said. Well, I will add to this conversation is that I know we've shared a lot of good things, and we've also been very intentional in sharing ways that you can like. Bring these practices into the classroom and into your school to support your students. And I do want to say that there is a very real fight going on. While the poll numbers and things are showing that. Educators are supported by parents. They are supported by community. I also want to encourage people to take that as momentum to keep moving forward and not take that as a sign that we can slow down or stop. Our advocacy for making sure that our right to teach the truth and our students ability to access the truth is protected. There is still more to be done. I am going to move to a poll question. I know some people were saying they didn't see it, so if you look at your screen the poll should be up. And this question is which of the following would you feel comfortable doing to advocate for teaching truth in your state? And you can select more than one. Uhm? And so, as you're thinking about which of these things all of these ways that you can make sure your voice is elevated, that your voice as an educator, as a part of this conversation as you're thinking about how you can make sure you're a part of this, I want to share that data shows that when bills have both favorable and unfavorable lobbying, they are 13% less likely to be enacted as compared to bills experiencing no lobbying. So what that means is that if there is a. Bad bill and these bills are bad. They are real and they are bad and they have been enacted in some states where now we do have educators who are afraid or as Miriam even shared, have been fired for sharing the truth. But this shows that if you elevate your voice if you email or call your state legislator and you tell them I don't support this as an educator, this is not good for my students. This is not good for the students of our state and that is who you are here to serve as the people of our state. If you elevate your voice and you share your opinion, the bill is 13% less likely to be enacted than if we sit back and we say, well, things are going to turn out how they're going to turn out and remember, as we saw in those poll numbers, you have the backing of the community. You have the backing of your parents. People support you, and the work you are doing to love your students and make sure that they are supported and have access to the truth in your classroom. Tag your state legislature in a social media post. If you're scrolling through and you see something cool, you can go on Google Super easily. Type in your district or like your even your county. There are ways that you can get access to figure out who your state legislators are. Legislators are. If you don't know, tag them in that post. Send it their way. Their people are watching. Their staffers are always on social media, seeing what's trending and what people are talking about, and there are enough of us that we can make things trend. We have that power. Another thing that you can do is talk to other educators outside of school time. We want to make sure that you are focusing on school because again, this legislation is very real and there are real repercussions. But outside of school time, your time is your time and you are able to talk to other educators about what is going on and make sure your colleagues are aware of what these bills can potentially do in your school and to your students and in your career which you love so much. Also, you can write an op Ed or letter to the editor for your local paper. Letters to the editor of Ed's papers are always looking for good content, and this is something that is happening nationally. These conversations are happening everywhere. It's not just in one or two states. It's in over half of the States and so your letter is relevant. Your voice is relevant. Put it out there, people should hear it and then another thing that you can do is Share your story on why teaching truth to students is important. You can record yourself at 32nd. Record yourself. Make a 32nd video posted on social media. Just get your voice out there and get a conversation started. You have that power. Don't underestimate the power of your own voice. And then finally one of the biggest things that you can do. And I know we say this, but it's so true you can vote. The state legislators are there because they were voted into office. If you don't like the legislation that is passing, you can vote them out of office again, elevate your voice, use your vote and make sure that you're protected and that your students are protected. So I am now going to show our poll results. And it seems like a lot of people are very comfortable emailing or calling state legislators if you do a simple Google search for on the ground organizations in your area that are doing this work. A lot of them have scripts that you can use if you're not sure what to say, you can reach out to organization that supports public education in your area and ask them here is this bill. It is harming my students. It is saying we cannot teach truth. I don't agree. What should I be saying to my legislator they will help you out. Talk to other educators. It seems like a lot of people are comfortable doing that. They're your peers. Yeah, we are all in this together and what hurts one hurts all of us and so making sure that we are all on the same page, our voices louder together. As Jamila said, they cannot fire one, but it's really hard to fire 10 and so making sure that you have your team and that we're all on the same page and making sure our students have access to the truth. And then finally it looks like most people are comfortable voting great. Go out to the polls, midterms are coming up really soon and that is why these conversations are so loud right now people are using this as a. Political talking point, and that's not what this is. This is the reality for us and for our students. This is not just some political talking point that will be over when we vote. This is our lives. This is our livelihoods and these are our students, futures and so we want to encourage you to again elevate your voice. Make sure you have access to teach your students the truth and make sure that your students get to learn the truth because they're our future and we don't want the past to repeat. We want to move forward. We want to be better. We want to live up to the values of morals that this country says it stands for. So that is what we have for you all. Thank you so much for attending. We are now going to pause and move into our question and answer session. And. I believe. Those questions are. And then. Lisa, are you facilitating? Yes, I have been monitoring the chat and lots of questions here, but. As always, this is such a. This is such a interesting and profound topic, and certainly in this climate, and I don't want to take up any airspace here, but I wanna try to synthesize the myriad of questions that we have, but I think what is on everybody else is mind or most of the questions that were here is how can educators in the classrooms on the front lines engaged? Parents of students who are presenting the most challenges. I think that's. A question that's kind of like a compilation of the questions that have come in. And I'll put that to anyone. I'm happy to take a stab at that. This is Miriam. You know one thing that often happens is folks are given like talking points from some organization or some news outlet that they listen to and you know told that your schools teaching CRT and critical race. There's bad and it's going to hurt your kid and it makes white kids hate themselves and make black kids think they're less so. You know, these are lies, but they are being promulgated and so. So sometimes the best way to start a conversation with a parent who's bringing kind of a challenging perspective is just to ask questions just to try and understand where they're coming from, because often if you unpack what they've heard and then you can kind of begin to start, you know you walk back to kind of OK. Where did that come from? OK, and what are you hearing and what you know? And then you just start. Talking about what teaching truth is in your classroom and what what you are in fact, talking with your students about and what your students are saying and and you know really being more concrete rather than these abstract CRT concepts. And you know, make it real. Show that it's not scary to teach truth. It's actually what kids need, and it's honest and we don't want to say USA is terrible. We also don't want to paint a picture that's inaccurate in terms of the history or current realities 'cause. If we do that, we're never going to fix what's wrong, so so yes, there are good aspects of American history. There are also some ugly ones. Yes, there are some good aspects of what's going on now, but there's also some ugliness. Can we fix it? Absolutely, and that's why we want to make sure our students understand what's going on. Historically and currently. Thank you Miriam. Another question and again this is kind of a synthesis of some of the questions that have been raised is there is there is a perception and for some a reality that one group or one community of voices are being elevated over another group and so you we have African American families, parents, students, mothers who are saying. My voice my children's voices are not being heard yet. I have a group of white soccer moms who are able to have the ear of the superintendents or the school boards. How would? Anyone on the panel respond to those statements or those accusations that are being levied? Also, pain and say that first of all I'm sure it's true because that is exactly what happens. There are parents who do have the strength in numbers. They have the. I'll say the privilege of sometimes not having to work during the day and this is what happens here. I'm in Texas and so during the day they can show up. They can always make sure that they are at the board meetings that actually does happen and there are those groups of parents who who don't have that same. Access right so it comes down to access. I would say in those cases that those parents who feel that they don't have access should keep showing up. I actually our local NAACP chapter here. The education section I worked with some parents who came to us and what we suggested is that we organize in such a way that we don't just show up and just start to talk. But we have things on paper. We write them down. We have evidence we collect that we present that we make sure. That we record the notes that we ask for follow up so we insert ourselves where we're not being invited. We do it in no way but we always come with, not just here's what's happening or what's not happening. But here is what we would like to see and then we show up again to ask what has been done and we keep showing up to ask what has been done so that access may not be there. There may not be a doormat to welcome you in, but they cannot deny you when you request that meeting. As a group. Thank you, that was very helpful. The one thing you mention and I apologized. What have you mentioned that they're iterations of near or narratives of either periods of history? Either it's you know about slavery or colonization, or different periods of history from various textbook companies. And I find it interesting that they seem to. Continue to be under the radar in all of these challenges or anti CRT efforts and so. Question to any of the panelists here. But how is it that the largest textbook companies have been largely silent on how they are able to meet market demand, but seem to also be a part of this revisionist narrative and have not been held accountable for the iterations that seem to saturate the market? I mean, I'm happy to jump in on that. This is Miriam. There look textbook companies are companies right there? Their goal is to make a profit. They make a profit when they sell more textbooks. They sell more textbooks when they have their text their their material is at the lowest common denominator level so that they kind of by business model are driving the content. Of the materials to be at that lowest common denominator level that will be able to be sold in more States and so So what we need to be doing is not just fighting the bad stuff in terms of curriculum, but also ensuring that positive developments like have been moved in California and Oregon and other states recently. You know particularly big states like California so that they can help drive the market. So that it's not the lowest common denominator, it's actually the highest denominator. That it speaks to. How much of a capitalist society that we live in like this when we talk about like business model, business models are Antifa people like that that you can never be for the common good if you're not willing to redistribute or look at how finances are, the economy needs to be re allocated, or how and what we value in regards to to to economic worth or economic value and to be real. Because we can't. We don't have communities of color. Who have families that are able to show up to these board meetings and who are working two or three jobs because of the type of community they were born into and the lack of resources they have. They're trying to create a way out for their babies. We can't show up so our opinions aren't as valued when it comes to the conversations around what's being included in the textbooks. So the textbook companies just get to stand off and be not even neutral. They get to be a part of the problem because there is no such thing as neutrality in regards to justice or. Injustice you either silent or you are or you are advocating for what's right and you're swimming upstream. You don't get to just stay neutral. No one is neutral in these conversations, and silence is a choice, and so we get to see from these publishing companies that choices that they signed on and it speaks to what we see in society. Bigger systems are more steep than white supremacy and patriarchy, and we're the result. We're living with the consequences of the type of country and what this country values. So it's no different than you seeing TNT or major networks who are quick to shun what's going on in other countries, yet they don't stand up for the injustices that marginalized identities and groups of people experience here right now, every single day. So we have time for one more question and I think that I'm going to make a statement and then ask in with the question. Like many of you we have seen youth voices be amplified across social media and many people have many different stances on how and the way the myriad of ways in which students engage with social media. As educators. What role should social media play? In amplifying student voices, around ending, or addressing revisionist or racist practices in classrooms. I'll take that, So what I'll say is 1. Just in response to all this, it does take work. It is a it can be a heavy lift. I want to acknowledge that and I know right now teachers are tired and they are burnt out and there is a lot going on that is making demands of educators time. So we are not we I. I don't want this to come off as if we are not aware of that. The lift is heavy and the work is real. Teachers we celebrate you and educators. We celebrate you and we uplift everything that you are doing. But yes there is it. There is currently an attack on the profession and so to protect that it does require time. And it does require effort on Lisa in response to your question. There are students who are already doing this work. The I believe one of the biggest reasons these attacks are happening right now is because when we look at the Black Lives Matter movement and what was happening in the summer during the pandemic, it was largely high school and college students who were leading the movements. They were the ones who put these things together. They got on tick tock they got on Twitter. They got on social media and they were spreading the truth. They had access to the truth through social media and sitting at home and scrolling because we were all stuck in the House and they learned things that they did not previously know about our country. Algorithms picked up that they cared about it and so more and more content was put out there. More and more people were learning about things that they never learned in the classroom before and people got upset. That was not lost on our lawmakers. And so, in a response to the young people being the ones and historically young people are the ones who who lead movements who make change. And so I believe in response to the young people taking that charge and saying. I didn't know this was happening. I'm not OK with this. I want to stand up and make a change and then being unafraid to stand up and promote those changes. I believe that that is largely where this came from, and so students are still even as this these these attacks seek to take the, I guess, the ability of teachers away from teaching the truth. Students are still doing this work. They are still making their tick tocks. There is an organization called the Georgia Coalition. I believe for youth and they do work where they make social media post. They have a whole page. They are in court or they are in the legislative hearings constantly making sure that students voices are heard. These are students. From high school, through college and even some as young as middle school, I believe we are part of this coalition, so students are still out there doing this work. This is not silencing our students. This is not making them afraid. The chilling effect is happening to teachers because, as I saw a question about this about how can educators protect themselves and their rights and so that is why this attack is coming to teachers because we, the legislators, can't stop the students, they can't prevent them from doing things they don't have anything to lose their kids educators. We have jobs. We have families. We have things that we need to protect. We have bills that we have to pay. And so by making this attack on our jobs on our livelihoods, the goal is to make us be silent and hopefully then, students will their their desire to learn their desire to understand their natural curiosity, everyone. New again, I hope you enjoyed today's webinar as much as I did. They are wrapping up so thank you Natasha. So unfortunately we have run out of time as always and this has been such a tremendous conversation and join me in thanking our presenters and we probably could be here another hour and still wouldn't even begin to scratch the surface on this topic. And thank you to our audience for joining us this afternoon. And as Kelly was about to share, we have one more reminder video on how to download your certificates and. Thank you all. Please enjoy the rest of your evening and again, thank you all as our panelists and our presenters. And thank you, Megan. If you can go ahead and queue up our video. Hi everyone, Kelly booze rejoining you again. I hope you enjoyed today's webinar as much as I did. I want to go over a couple reminders and I have one big favor to ask of you. First, you should now be able to download that PDF certificate for your participation. Today you can access that PDF certificate using one of the widgets, the one with the checkbox. 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Our school children need access to culturally diverse curricula and materials – windows and mirrors for our nation’s increasingly diverse student body – and to learn the full and accurate history and current realities of racism in our nation, so they can work to end racism. Some states and districts have made strides in that direction in recent years. However, many states and localities, rather than moving toward culturally-affirming, truthful education, are succumbing to growing efforts to squash diverse, anti-racism education in schools around the country – called “anti-Critical Race Theory” or “anti-CRT” efforts. These efforts began gaining momentum in Spring 2021 and have since been metastasizing in states and districts across the nation. These efforts are continuing to spread, with 2022 state legislative sessions as a focal point. How can educator voices be elevated in these discussions, to ensure educators can teach -- and students can learn -- the truth about racism in the past and present, to become the change agents our nation needs to combat racism in the future? Join the Education Civil Rights Alliance and the National Center for Youth Law for specific tools and advice for educators to speak out in favor of teaching the truth about racism.

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