Who We Are
What does community look like? Whose voices are most centered, now and throughout history?
What do we leave behind on the path to liberation? How do we move from conversation to action?
These are some of the inquiries we explore in Community Conversations, a two-part initiative designed for White children and educators to engage in humanizing investigations on racial equity. One element of the initiative is a curriculum for children, and the other is ongoing professional development for educators. Affinity grouping in this initiative is intentional. We believe conversations around race are uncommon and often uncomfortable between White people, whereas Black and Brown people talk about race very early on and much more frequently. We believe that this dichotomy fosters tension in individuals and communities, and that regular conversations with White people around race can help heal these tensions by pushing us to different stages of awareness. Beverly Daniel Tatum writes: "One of the reasons we are still struggling with these issues is because we have tried to avoid dealing with them. We don't talk enough. And, in part, our silence allows the problem to be perpetuated,
because you can't solve a problem if you can't talk about it."
Our goal for children and educators alike is to create a brave space for deeper engagement that results in meaningful action. And while this is an educational initiative, our end goal is to mobilize White community members to support direct giving as reparations for Black and Brown individuals and organizations. We know that racial equity will not be possible until power and wealth are redistributed. We also know, as White people, that our own learning about racism is a result of the oppression of others; therefore, we do not believe we can profit from this work. For these reasons, after material costs, all funds go directly to communities most marginalized by systemic racism.
Curriculum for Children
We have designed a framework that offers invitations of art, poetry, music, and role play, among others, to explore racial identity, history, liberation, and action. We connect White elementary and middle school children to each other and the issues to empower them to be voices for change in their communities. The semester-long explorations can be used by schools and community groups.
Ongoing Professional Development for Educators
Stay tuned for our Spring Workshop Series announcement centering Zaretta Hammond's text, 'Culturally Relevant Teaching and The Brain'. Coming soon!
After material costs, all funds go directly to support Black and Brown individuals and organizations within St. Louis and beyond. For more information, please contact us.
Rachel (she/her) believes in children. She trusts their ideas and voices. She is inspired by their energetic spirit and deep sense of justice. She believes that tapping into these traits early can motivate the next generation to stay engaged in the issues central to racial equity work. She is also driven by the belief that to be an educator to all children, she must first be continually committed to learning about and working towards justice and equity.
Rachel sees her anti-racism work as a lifetime commitment, and one that she is working to pass on to her three children, ages 14, 11, and 8. She also firmly believes that direct giving as a form of reparations must be at the heart of all racial equity work done by White people.
Rachel is an elementary educator with fourteen years' experience in public, independent, and alternative schools. She serves on the Affirmative Action Committee of the Early Childhood Education Assembly (ECEA), a national organization working to support educators in culturally responsive pedagogy, critical literacy, and language.
Rachel holds a M.Ed. from University of Florida.
Angela (she/her) believes thoughtful, reflective, and persistent action will lead to change. She feels a responsibility, not only to work within herself to address her own bias and racism, but also to actively work to dismantle systems of oppression. After Michael Brown’s murder in Ferguson, Missouri, she became more urgent about her work. She believes that change is leveraged when White people learn about whiteness, white supremacy, and the damage it has done and continues to do. Raised by her mother, a Civil Rights-era social justice educator, Angela continues to learn and change as she works alongside children, supporting their understanding of how to actively work towards racial equity. As Angela Davis said: "You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time."
Angela is an educator with over 18 years of experience in public and university settings. Recently selected as St. Louis' Regional Teacher of the Year, she chairs her school's anti-bias committee. Angela is also a member of the Anti-Racism Organizing Collective of St. Louis. Angela obtained her M.Ed. from Washington University.