How to Talk About Race in Your Classroom

Full video archive of this PD session available here.

In his book, Not Light, But Fire, Matthew Kay writes of the urgent need for classroom conversations around race:

“It is hard for a student to unlearn empathy, to forget discernment, to dismiss the importance of solid evidence once they’ve grown used to demanding it… if we are training the next generation of teachers, entertainers, lawyers, and politicians; if we are molding thoughtful citizens, wise counselors, and people of righteous passion; then our classrooms must be deliberate in their approach to conversations about race. The next generation needs to be far better at this stuff than we have been. They are coming of age in a world of artfully disguised injustices, most of which will stay both invisible and vicious if people never learn to learn to meaningfully discuss them.”

Check out the archived version of the live, online PD session with Matthew Kay and educators from around the United States, recorded 12/12/16. This discussion can help you not only navigate difficult conversations around race in your classroom, but also establish and nurture a safe classroom culture in which kids are encouraged to tackle the hard problems they encounter daily. Kay leads the discussion, pointing to specific strategies, but also addresses the real-world questions of participants as they ask them, acknowledging the struggle and suggesting creative solutions.

Kay is a proud product of the Philadelphia Public Schools, having graduated from Saul High School and West Chester University. A founding teacher at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, Matthew is  also  the founder and coordinator of the Philly Slam League. The league hosts slam poetry teams from the Greater Philadelphia region in an artistic and intellectual competition.