Courageous Conversations About Race by Glenn Singleton


Alongside my IEA cohorts, we are reading Courageous Conversations About Race by Glenn Singleton as a book study for our Human & Civil Rights Committee. I am one chapter in and I am excited to be reading this book. I believe it is so very important to be an educator that thinks of creating a culturally responsive classroom. The questions and activities in this book, alongside the discussions that I will have through Google Classroom with committee members, will help build a strong foundation towards achieving equity in my future classroom.

Chapter 1 Breaking the Silence: Ushering in Courageous Conversation About Race begins with the following quote by W.E.B. Dubois (1949)
Of all the civil rights for which the world has struggled and fought for 5000 years, the right to learn is undoubtedly the most fundamental. We must insist upon this to give our children the fairness of a start which will equip them with such an array of facts and such an attitude toward truth that they can have a real chance to judge what the world is and what its greater minds have thought it might be!  
Each week, we have one chapter to read and a few questions to complete to start the discussion. I will be sharing my answers with you each week as I read the book, in hopes that they will start a conversation about the chapter's main ideas. The following are this week's questions:

  1. What do you need to know and be able to do to narrow the racial achievement gap?
  2. To what degree have you demonstrated the will, skill, knowledge, and capacity to understand issues of race as they relate to existing achievement and opportunity disparitities? 
In order to narrow the racial achievement gap in my future classroom, for my students. I need to know that the color of the skin has an effect on my student's ability to succeed and I need to intentionally act upon this knowledge toward creating a learning environment for ALL students to achieve personal success. 

Personally, I have committed to creating a culturally responsive classroom for all of my students, no matter what color, religion, culture, gender, social class, or ability. In this commitment, I have intentionally chosen books for me to read to help assist me in what I need to know to succeed; as well as those for my classroom library that future students will read (mirrors, windows & sliding glass doors). I purposefully select conference sessions that will help me gain knowledge in the areas of diverse literature, equitable lesson planning, Racial Institutionalism, LGBTQ+, and more. In addition, I have obtained a spot on the Human & Civil Rights Committee and was asked to attend the 2017 Women & Minority Leadership Conference; to assist the work of the Idaho Education Association toward reaching the goal of achieving equity in our schools. With all of this information gained, I have chosen to be the active voice, sharing within my circles at home, school, church, social media, and community.

Your turn, What do you need to know and be able to do to narrow the racial achievement gap and to what degree have you demonstrated the will, skill, knowledge, and capacity to understand issues of race as they relate to existing achievement and opportunity disparities? Please share in the comments below.

Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...

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