FIPSE LSDL Modules

 

PLE 3: Module 5

Section 3: Institutional and Societal Racism 

Powerful Learning Experience 3.1 Exploring the Opportunity Gap

Element Participant Instructions Instructor/Facilitator Notes

Purpose

Understand the impact that institutional structures and societal practices have on the access to  opportunities in neighborhoods.

Opportunities: View Opportunity Gap by john powell. Use an online map tool to locate your current school campus or district office. Look for access to education, housing, health, employment, childcare, transportation and effective participation Label the opportunities noted. Bring your map to class.

Based on john a. powell’s lecture, would you characterize your school’s neighborhood or district area as low or high resourced? What leads you to label it this way? Describe the system of opportunity present in the neighborhood of your current school. Is there high or low access to education, housing, health, employment, childcare, transportation and effective participation? What are food deserts? Is your school in a food desert or oasis? What ramifications does this have for children living in this neighborhood? What historical government policies or business decisions might have impacted the presence or absence of opportunities in this area?

http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-desert-locator/go-to-the-locator.aspx

This learning experience offers students/participants a view of what john a. powell, former director of the Kirwan Institute, has termed the System of Opportunity and director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. This system of opportunity is heavily racialized and reinforces both low and high access to education, housing, health, employment, childcare, transportation and effective participation. As John A. Powell cautions, focusing on only one area will not likely impact the system as a whole. After viewing a digital lecture by Dr. Powell, participants will engage in both individual reflection and small group brainstorming process to identify specific action steps that each can take to confront and address racialized practices, structures and policies that limit the opportunities of people of color.
Pre-Activity View the videos.
Download a map of your current school or district (see resources below).
 
Video

In structured triads, share the results of the opportunity analysis of your current school/district.

  1. Based on john a. powell’s lecture, would you characterize your current school/district neighborhood as low or high resourced?
  2. After completing the mapping activity for class, what evidence do you have to support or refute that a system of opportunity is present in your current school or district?
  3. What racial patterns do you note across different geographic areas?
  4. What impact do the varying degrees of access to opportunities have for students and families that live in different neighborhoods?
  5. What steps might you take as a school or district leader to address disparities in access to opportunity?

Structured Triads: If possible, place students in triads with 3 different levels of access to resources.

Participants may note that people in high resource areas live in more expensive housing and therefore pay greater amounts in real estate taxes – thus justifying greater access to resources (perceived fairness in a pay as you go system). It may be necessary to point out that people who rent pay taxes indirectly and that often people of lower incomes often pay greater percentages of their income in taxes as in the case of fixed rate regressive taxes, sales tax, etc.

Also, you may need to point out that while there may be public transportation to grocery stores, when families must pay bus fares to buy food, they have less money to spend on groceries.

Supporting Materials

Map Resources

DATA PLACE

http://www.dataplace.org/place

http://www.dataplace.org/map

Additional helpful resources

DIVERSITYDATA (METRO area data)

www.diversitydata.org.

MULTIRACIAL DOT MAPS:

National map: Multi-racial

http://demographics.coopercenter.org

/DotMap/index.html

Multi-Racial block census mapping (15 metros only)

http://www.urbanresearchmaps.org/

comparinator/pluralitymap.htm

 
Related Websites
  1. NCES resource is: http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/
  2. http://www.policymap.com
  3. Civil Rigts Data Collection http://ocrdata.ed.gov/
  4. go to state education agency website (state department of education) first & then home district

http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-desert-locator/go-to-the-locator.aspx

Various websites to explore equity in schools and districts including a USDA Website with locations of food deserts.
Reflective Journaling    
Assessments Level One    
Extended Activity    

 

Building a Community of Trust through Racial Awareness

Section 3: Institutional and Societal Racism 

Powerful Learning Experience 3.2 What distinguishes Institutional, Societal & Individual Racism?

Element Participant Instructions Instructor/Facilitator Notes

Purpose

Develop an understanding of race as a social/legal/political construction for people of color and whites in the United States

  1. Contribute to a discussion and exploration of definitions of institutional and societal racism, chart the answers as bullet points
  2. “Do you believe schools should be designed to provide equity or equality?”
Participants will grapple with institutional and societal racism. Presenting the definition is not as important as helping them come to the realization that racism is bigger than the blatant racial slurs that are shunned by most.
Pre-Activity

Consider a racial slur made by a famous person and consider also how this incident has been recently represented in the media.
How would categorize this type or racism (individual, institutional)? Why?
How do you feel Americans regard this individual now that the statement has been made and presented to the public?
Is this kind of behavior common? Why?
Why do you believe this is important in your learning?
Why is it newsworthy?

How might the comment be related to our learning about leadership? Why do you feel this way?

Find an instance where a person famous person makes a racial slur. Be sure this is about race. There are plenty of examples on the Internet referring to Black people. Consider comments by Mel Gibson, Madonna, Paula Deen, Donald Sterling, etc?
Guided Discussion

Review the site What is Institutional Racism?

According to Prof. Randall, how does intent play into racial practices?
Do you agree with her? Why or why not?
Do you think institutions can respond to people of color and Whites differently?
 Can this institutional behavior really injure Blacks and other people of color?

What does it mean to say that a policy is racist in outcome, but not in intent? Can you think of instances where this occurs?

Present a mini-lecture on the levels of racism paying close attention to  Institutional, Societal & Individual Racism. If you have no materials to start, you can review Prof. Randall site
What is Institutional Racism?
There are also resources listed in references that can be helpful. Consider reviewing the
Richard T. Schaefer, Racial and Ethnic Groups 76-78 (2000); Kwame Ture & Charles Hamilton, Black Power: the Politics of Liberation (1992).

Consider the African American Policy Forum site as a great free resource.

Video

View The (Un)equal Opportunity Race

 What is comes up for you when you the video?

What is structural discrimination?

How does it compare to institutional racism?

What is significant about “year counter” in the video?

Who wins the race? Why does this person when the race?

Do you agree? Why or why not?

View the film ahead and time and prepare supporting materials. Consider powell’s video and/or Crenshaw’s work at AAPF.

Guided Discussion

View The (Un)equal Opportunity Race
 What is comes up for you when you the video?
What is structural discrimination?
How does it compare to institutional racism?
What is significant about “year counter” in the video?
Who wins the race? Why does this person when the race?
Do you agree? Why or why not?

Review the Dear Colleague Letter
Why do you believe the racial disparities are present?
How would you characterize it relative to what you have learned about discrimination?
What is the leader’s role in addressing this issue?
Would your recommend taking an anti-racist approach? Why or why not?
How would you address this issue as principal in your school?

View the film ahead

Have students review the DCL.

Consider how institutional racism or structural discrimination is at play here. Prepare some concrete examples to bring to class for discussion.

Readings    
Supporting Materials    
Related Websites

http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/segregated.htm
Have the students research websites for your geographic area similar to the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project linked above.

Or the Austin History Center Desegregation in Austin site:

http://www.austinlibrary.com/ahc/desegregation/index.cfm?action=decade&dc=1950s&yr=

These websites were both located using the search terms: city name and segregation. Participants may be surprised to learn about legally sanctioned segregation present in their own community.
Reflective Journaling

As you reflect on the discussion what were your reactions to other perspectives? How did you reconcile the tension between equity and equality?

 
Extended Activity    

 

Building a Community of Trust through Racial Awareness

Section 3: Institutional and Societal Racism 

Powerful Learning Experience 3.3 Committing to Action: Anti-Racist Leadership

Element Participant Instructions Instructor/Facilitator Notes
Purpose
  1. Individual Reflection:  What if racist structures were eliminated and all children had truly equitable access to high opportunities? What structures, practices, and policies exist in your current school and/or district that limit access to high opportunity resources for students of color? What actions will you take to create anti-racist schools? What actions will you stop? What actions will you start? What actions will you continue? (5 minutes)
  2. Form dyads to share reflections and brainstorm additional ideas (10 minutes)
  3. Quads: Partners form quads and share reflections and brainstorm additional ideas. (15 minutes)
  4. Quads discuss brainstorm ideas and select three specific actions they can engage in to create anti-racist schools and record on chart paper or electronically in a three column table: Stop/Start/Continue (20 minutes)
  5. Group Share: Each quad shares the 3 selected actions with the group. Ask for a volunteer to “type up a table that includes all of the actions described by the group and distribute as a visual reminder of their commitment to action” (Hafner, 2010, p. 206).

 

Introduce Stop/Start/Continue Action Plan: What if racist structures were eliminated and all children had truly equitable access to high opportunities? What structures, practices, and policies exist in your current school and/or district that limit access to high opportunity resources for students of color? What actions will you take to create anti-racist schools? What actions will you stop? What actions will you start? What actions will you continue?

Note: This is a brainstorming experience. It may be necessary to review with participants that brainstorming requires that we free the brain of constraints and produce many ideas rapidly – so individuals, partners and groups should record all ideas without judgment

 

Pre-Activity    
Video    
Websites    
Reflective Journaling    
Product Products: Class created Stop/Start/Continue Action Plan for Anti-Racist Schools [adapted from Hafner, M. M. (2010). Teaching strategies for developing leaders for social justice. In C. Marshall & M. Olivia (Eds.), Leadership for social justice: Making revolutions in education (pp. 194-218). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.]  
Extended Activity