Today, the Center for Antiracist Education (CARE) is launching to respond to the enormous number of teachers who want to contribute to ending racism in their schools and in society, but say they lack the tools, resources, and professional development to do so.
According to a survey conducted by EdWeek, 84% of teachers want to teach from an antiracist perspective, but only 14% feel they are well-equipped to do so. CARE will bridge this massive gap by empowering teachers to identify racism in learning materials, providing guidance on materials that align with antiracist principles, and offer valuable professional learning via a first-of-its-kind certification program. CARE will also conduct research and evaluation to rigorously assess the impact of its resources.
“Teachers see the tremendous suffering and strife and the massive waste of human potential that racism causes in society, and also how racism hurts and holds back students,” said CARE Executive Director Maureen Costello, who previously led the highly successful Teaching Tolerance program. “They want to help their students to do better and their schools and our society to be better by strengthening what they teach and how they teach it.”
CARE is an initiative of Stand for Children, a nonpartisan national nonprofit focused on ensuring all students receive a high quality, relevant education. CARE is led by widely respected educators Maureen Costello, Valeria Brown, and Kate Shuster and guided by a distinguished Advisory Board of educators and researchers including University of Pennsylvania Prof. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, Harvard Kennedy School Prof. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, University of California, Berkeley Prof. Kris Gutiérrez, Ohio State University Prof. Hasan Kwame Jeffries, University of Texas at Austin Prof. Daina Ramey Berry, and National Teacher of the Year candidate Juliana Urtubey.
“Antiracist educators see the humanity and potential of every student and ensure that what we teach and how we teach helps students to flourish, see each others’ shared humanity and perspectives, and learn to recognize and combat racism and systemic inequities. It is our duty to holistically embody what it means to be antiracist educators,” said Urtubey, a learning strategist at Booker Elementary School in Las Vegas. “The outcome is huge — more joyful and just classrooms and a better future is achievable for every educator — and CARE is here to help every committed educator progress and reap the benefits.”
Across the country, hate crimes and racial terrorism are on the rise, as are the number of students who report experiencing hate-driven bullying by their peers. The rise of highly public acts of hate combined with the nation’s reckoning with racism and the stark racial inequities laid bare by the pandemic have produced an enormous appetite among teachers for tools and resources to help them ensure every student is seen and learns to see the world from different perspectives.
A dozen prominent groups of educators and education leaders, including AASA, The School Superintendents Association; the National Council for the Social Studies; and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) have already endorsed CARE’s principles for an antiracist future.
“Teachers are asking for the tools to do better,” said Stefanie Wager, President of the National Council for the Social Studies. “They know we ourselves were taught an incomplete version of the story of this country, and they know that we build a stronger country by building well-informed citizens. CARE is offering an answer to the question they’re asking.”
For more information about CARE, visit AntiracistFuture.org.