University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
The Student Teachers Anti-Racism Society (STARS) promotes anti-racism education at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan through the support of the College. We work collaboratively to understand, identify, and address individual and systemic racism and its interlocking forms of oppression based on gender, sexuality, ability, class, religion and other socially constructed categories. We believe that anti-racist and decolonizing education, when woven together, can create humanizing and emancipatory change for everyone.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Indigenous peoples and racism in Saskatchewan and Canada

The article that follows is from MediaINDIGENA. It can be shared to illustrate how everyday racism allows and normalizes the dehumanization of, and violence against, Aboriginal people. Students need to understand that this dehumanization and violence is given authority when First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples are described as inferior or silenced in everyday conversations, policies, ads, textbooks, and other spaces. There are no innocent jokes or comments. As Dr. Verna St. Denis teaches, language has power and this power has authorized the oppression and genocide of Indigenous peoples throughout 500 years of colonization. Although the stories in the articles are systemic, there are respectful and meaningful ways to talk about and prevent racism, misogyny, homophobia and all forms of oppressive violence. Let's have these conversations in our staff rooms and classrooms, during PD days.

Seeking the Breaking Point: Violence and Justice in Canada

Thursday, September 15, 2011

People of Color Organize website

Check out this website: http://peopleofcolor.tumblr.com/

The website is not designed for teachers, but there are some great articles on white privilege that can be used in the classroom with adaptations and may other pieces that can spur critical discussions. It is also worth reading in general to expand, challenge and support our own views on racism.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blue Eyes: The Jane Elliot website

The website provides teaching resources and information about her many videos - most can be found at the Saskatoon public and U of S libraries.
Jane Elliott, internationally known teacher, lecturer, diversity trainer, and recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education, exposes prejudice and bigotry for what it is, an irrational class system based upon purely arbitrary factors. And if you think this does not apply to you. . . you are in for a rude awakening. In response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. over thirty years ago, Jane Elliott devised the controversial and startling, "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" exercise. Everyone who is exposed to Jane Elliott's work, be it through a lecture, workshop, or video, is dramatically affected by it.

Her first film, Eye of the Storm (1970), can be used with primary students as the exercise takes place with her grade three students.

Middle years and secondary students can watch Indecently Exposed (2005), which takes place in Regina and is an excellent documentary to show students after they have examined and can recognize individual, institutionalized and systemic racism in Canada. Debriefing is needed after viewing.

Indecently Exposed discussion questions:

1. What frequently happens in Canada when racially oppressed groups such as Indigenous peoples protest against discrimination and oppression?
2. What does Elliot mean when she says, ‘blue eyes and brown eyes do not live in the same country’?
3. According to Elliot, how does the dominant population ‘play with the minds of those who are racially Othered’?
4. Why is tolerance not enough to challenge racial inequality?
5. How can one person work to challenge racial inequality in her or his own community?

The Storytelling Project Curriculum: Learning About Race and Racism Through Storytelling and the Arts

The Storytelling Project Curriculum: Learning About Race and Racism Through Storytelling and the Arts (US based)

This resource has 33 lessons plus handouts and PDFs. 

Thank you for your interest in the Storytelling Project Curriculum: Teaching about Race and Racism through Storytelling and the Arts. We are eager to have others use lessons from the curriculum we have developed using the Storytelling Model and/or to have you develop your own lessons using our model. We have made this model and curriculum available as a free PDF and encourage teachers to use the lessons and/or modify them to meet the needs of your own students and subject area, as well as create new lessons that fit the different story types.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

RFK in the Land of Apartheid: A Ripple of Hope

Playing on PBS throughout September. It's worth watching.

Information about the documentary: http://rfksafilm.org/html/about.php
Video clip and ordering information: http://www.videoproject.com/rfkinlaofapr.html

Using never before seen archival footage, and interviews in South Africa and the United States, filmmakers Larry Shore and Tami Gold tell the unknown story of Robert Kennedy's 1966 visit to South Africa during the worst years of Apartheid. The film evokes the connections between the American Civil Rights Movement and the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa. The filmmakers find witness to this special moment in time through the sights and sounds of present day South Africa.
It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.                                                                                                                                   -Robert F Kennedy

Monday, September 5, 2011

History in our faces on occupied land: A race relations timeline

This is a great teaching resource called "History in our Faces on Occupied Land: A Race Relations Timeline" by the Vancouver Status of Women group. The resource can be used to teach Canadian history across grade levels.

"This timeline has been created as part of Vancouver Status of Women’s Racialization of Poverty Project, a feminist, anti-racist and intersectional research project that analyses how Canada’s historic and current legislation creates poverty for racialized communities in very specific and pervasive ways. Our analysis locates the violent history of European colonization of Indigenous Peoples in Canada as a central point of the discussion on legislated racism in Canada; as such, VSW recognizes that the challenges faced by Indigenous communities in Canada today are a direct result of Canada’s systemic and institutional tactics of genocide and assimilation."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Anti-racist 9/11 resources

We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids Book of Freedom - If you haven't heard about this disturbing colouring book to commemorate 9/11, it is worth reading the link below. The book has already sold out and more are on order.

The article posted here is from Islamophobia Watch and ends with a link to 20 useful sites to teach students about 9/11 in respectful anti-racist ways.

Link: http://www.islamophobiawatch.co.uk/911-coloring-book-influences-kids-with-islamophobia/

Language of Closet Racism lesson: Article & Prezi

"I'm not racist, but..."
Those of you who have taken EFDT 335 have probably read The Language of Closet Racism. Alyson Werner made this article by Paul Gorski into a great teaching resource and was kind enough to share her prezi for your use. Thanks Alyson! The presentation is meant to be 30 - 45 minutes, but can be divided into several lessons. Perfect for middle years and secondary students, and school staff. It is a great resource to use in all subject areas as research tells us this language is normalized and can be heard on a daily basis in gym class, in the hallways, in the science lab, in student clubs....

Language of Closet Racism lesson and article:

Allyson taught us about the three strands of closet racism, presented a list of five or six examples of closet racism from her recent lived experience, and then asked us to identify each strand (does the speaker use fear, unawareness and/or dis-ownership?). She also shared times when she used the strands herself, which made it very personal and helped us to relate to the lesson. To conclude, we had a discussion about the power of closet racism, what this language accomplishes and why all teachers need to recognize and address it.

Excerpt from article: Three language indicators of closet racism are evident across the continuum. These are what I refer to as "strands" because, when woven together, they form the language web of closet racists. Again, strength of language and degree of racist attitudes change dramatically across the continuum, and as a result, these strands, or indicators are more readily observable in certain individuals and groups than in others. They include fear, unaware-ness, and dis-ownership.

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