Black Lives Matter Week of Action at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor was sponsored by the School of Education, U-M Libraries, Spectrum Center, Ruth Ellis Center, Equality Michigan, and Affirmations.
Dr. Yusef Salaam Meet & Greet
February 3, 2020
Dr. Yusef Salaam is a poet, activist, and inspirational speaker, who uses his experience as a teenager who was incarcerated for 6 years and 8 months after being unjustly sentenced for the rape of a jogger in Central Park. In 2002, he was exonerated by DNA evidence and as a member of the “Exonerated Five,” he shared his reflections about false confessions linked with police coercion, and reminded attendees about the charge we all have to keep in ending mass incarceration. We welcomed Dr. Salaam to our campus in a dinner hosted by the School of Education and celebrated our first day of Black Lives Matter at School: Restorative Justice, Empathy, and Love.
The Accent is Black English
February 4, 2020
Black speakers of Caribbean English or other World Englishes are at times cast as English Learners, even when they are English fluent. One point educators contend with is that the "World Englishes," or Englishes that are situated in parts of the world that are not predominantly White, tend to be inherently seen as diminished in value. What is the work of educators in disrupting this gaze upon students who are English fluent even as their teachers say they are not? Dr. Debi Khasnabis, Chair of Elementary Teacher Education and Clinical Associate Professor, and Brittnee Johnson, MAT student, facilitated this event on the second day of this week’s events: Diversity and Globalism.
Repairing the Fault Line: Making School Spaces Safes Spaces for Trans + Queer Black Students
February 5, 2020
Our third day marked a focus on the theme of Trans-Affirming, Queer Affirming Intersectionality. Partnering with the Spectrum Center, Ruth Ellis Center, Equality Michigan, and Affirmations, this community conversation centered the voices and experiences of Black youth and educators who identify as LGBTQ+ to respond to the questions: What are the experiences Black trans and queer students are having in schools? What are the solutions they’re proposing to open their schooling experiences to more imagination and possibility? Participants brought gently used clothing, accessories, and shoes to donate to Ruth Ellis’s clothes closet.
Black Families, Villages, and Authors: Celebrating the Joy in Your Identity
February 6, Angell Elementary School
Books are both mirrors and windows. They offer us a reflection of our own lives and experiences as well as an opportunity to see into the lives and experiences of others. Stories have the power to give us a place where we can see ourselves—and others—as joyful, passionate, and playful. What does this actually look like? How do we see this in books by Black authors? How do Black authors offer us both windows and mirrors that help us see the joy we have in ourselves and the joy we give to others? This event highlighted books by Black authors and resources for books and conversations about finding joy in who we are. This family-friendly event featured crafts, food, and interactive read-alouds that demonstrated the power of books. This fourth day of Black LIves Matter Week of Action in Schools featured intergenerational Black families and Black villages.
Black Joy, Periodt.
February 7, 2020
This joyful lunchtime event featured soul food, participants’ favorite games, playlists and dance steps, ideas for how to create joy in school spaces, and an opportunity get loose together on the final day of Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools: Uplifting Black Women and Unapologetically Black!
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The School of Education is proud to be a leader in the campus-wide initiative promoting Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. Adding "Justice" to these values underscores the role of educators in the creation of just societies. Through research, public scholarship, community building, and the preparation of education practitioners and policymakers, we articulate and advance our dije agenda.