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Our Curriculum Isn’t Already Anti-Racist? A Reflective Journey (Part 2)

Black and white issues and social diversity or diverse community support symbol as two contrasting pencils drawing two cultural different people with 3D illustration elements.Stanley Brooks of Chosen Path Consulting was one of three presenters of the 2021 Annual Meeting session, “Identifying, Understanding, and Replacing Racist Curricula.” In this article, Brooks expounds on the key questions for inquiry and reflection on what it means to engage in an anti-racist (not non-racist) manner in the academic space.

The reader may perceive the title and guiding question as sarcastic, however, there’s a serious tone and authenticity to the question. If our curriculum is not already anti-racist, then what have we been allowing and promoting all these years? What thoughts and beliefs rooted in racial biases have many educators internalized as children, young adults, and seasoned professionals?

Our Curriculum isn’t Already Anti-racist? A Reflective Journey

K. Stanley Brooks of Chosen Path Consulting, Marvin Lynn of Portland State University, and Christina “V” Villarreal of the Harvard Graduate School of Education will present the session, “Identifying, Understanding, and Replacing Racist Curricula” at the virtual 2021 Annual Meeting, Wednesday, February 24, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. In this article, Brooks offers a preview of the session by asking key questions for inquiry and reflection on what it means to engage in an anti-racist manner in the academic space.

Our curriculum is not already anti-racist? If our curriculum is not already anti-racist, then what have we been allowing and promoting all these years?

Greetings to you from Minneapolis, Minnesota. This city was the center of world news on May 25, 2020, and the days following the reaction to the killing of George Floyd. It is not just one person, but a disturbing pattern that can be linked to the interactions between the first enslaved Africans and White Americans to the banks of Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. Perhaps you have heard the names of Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Aubrey, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and many more. Many assume that college campuses are places of higher thought and scholarship, where students and faculty/staff of color are immune to the horrors of racial microaggressions and assaults. One of the primary ways these spaces are hostile toward people of color is through the academic plans (practicum, course content, course selection, guest speakers, hiring practices, athletics, etc.) for our students.

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