It takes 21 days to form a habit. 

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Week 2: Education
Today's Challenge: Teacher Impact
Yesterday, we challenged ourselves to look deeper into the ways in which school disciplinary policies disproportionately affect children of color and Black girls. Today, let’s take a look at the early impact teachers have on students' educational outcomes and their likelihood to attend college. Unconscious biases in white teachers, who favor a “colorblind” approach may cause unintentional harm to their students, while the early acknowledgment of differences can prepare students for a diverse world. Positive outcomes sparked by same-race role models can potentially shrink the education achievement gap and usher more students of color into colleges and universities.
In 2017-18, according to the Tennessee Department of Education data, the 2017-2018 academic school year reported 37% of Tennessee students were students of color, but teachers of color represented only 13% percent. In addition, half of Tennessee’s 147 districts had at least 95% white teachers. Furthermore 40 districts had no Black teachers, and 50 districts had no Hispanic teachers. Check out the graphs below to see this breakdown for YWCA’s service area. 

We Challenge You To Take...

Read this article by Pirette McKamey, the first Black principal of Mission High School in San Francisco titled "What Anti-Racist Teachers Do Differently: They view the success of black students as central to the success of their own teaching."
K-6 classrooms are led by a primarily white, female teacher population, whose inherent biases often come into play in their approaches to children and teaching. Read this interview with Dr. Robin DiAngelo on white fragility in teaching and education.
Listen to this first-person story from Victor Rios, a high school dropout who had a teacher who truly believed in him. Victor went on to be a sociologist who studies youth and the factors that nurture their potential.
Through books, art, interactive activities, and stories, PBS offers numerous ways in which parents and caregivers can have meaningful conversations with their young children about race, racism, and being anti-racist. Check out their resources HERE

Education Week Action Items

Read this brief intro on school segregation and bring together a small group of colleagues, family or friends to participate in one of 6 interactive activities. 

Check out this map and see which school district you are located in within Knox County. Write a letter to your  school board representative or attend your next school board meeting to bring up a big issue of concern. 
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