Book Study: Courageous Conversations About Race…Part 1 Introduction (Passion) and Chapter 2 (What’s So Courageous About This Conversation?)

Book Study: Courageous Conversations About Race…Part 1 Introduction (Passion) and Chapter 2 (What’s So Courageous About This Conversation?)

I’m reading a great book about how to talk about race. It’s called Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools, Second Edition, by Glenn E. Singleton.

I previously shared notes about earlier parts of the book, so check those out if you’re interested:

Here are the notes I’ve jotted down from the introduction to Part 1 and Chapter 2:

  • Part 1 Introduction
    • “…African American children do not come into this world at a deficit.” … “If we do not recognize the brilliance before us, we cannot help but carry on the societal views that these children are somehow damaged goods and that they cannot be expected to succeed.” -Lisa Delpit
    • “…teaching is not a technical job.”
    • “…teachers and administrators who are most proficient at engaging all students of every race in rigorous studies also have a tremendous amount of passion for this particular work they do.”
    • “Educators need to locate this passion in order to transform schools.”
    • “Culturally proficient, racially conscious, courageous education of all races can succeed with all students, but only after they locate and nurture their passion for equity.”
    • “There is little honor in holding back, limiting participation, accepting mediocrity, and finding comfort in the status quo.”
    • “…with passion, we will have the strength not only to stand up for what is right for our children, but to do what is right for them as well.”
  • Chapter 2
    • “…some educators…admitted…they might not be quite as great as they had thought they were when it came to educating all students.”
    • “…a truly first-rate school district is one where all students succeed, not just those of a certain race or background.”
    • “…all members of the school community need to be able to talk about race in a safer and honest way.”
    • A Courageous Conversation:
      • engages those who won’t talk.”
      • sustains the conversation when it gets uncomfortable or diverted.”
      • deepens the conversation to the point where authentic understanding and meaningful actions occur.”
    • Challenge is to “move beyond a basic awareness of the racial patterns” involving “inquiring about why the data show a gap.”
    • Four Agreements educators must agree to:
      • “stay engaged”
      • “speak your truth”
      • “experience discomfort”
      • “expect and accept non-closure”
    • “…traditional rules and guidelines for dialogue are insufficient in interracial discourse about race.”
    • “…the agreements define the process, while the conditions outline the content…”
    • The “specifically ordered and necessarily sequential” Six Conditions guide educators:
      • Engage
        1. “Establish a racial context that is personal, local, and immediate.”
        2. “Isolate race while acknowledging the broader scope of diversity…”
      • Sustain
        1. “Develop understanding of race as a social/political construction of knowledge…”
        2. “Monitor the parameters of the conversation by being explicit and intentional about the number of participants, prompts …, and time allotted…”
      • Deepen
        1. “Establish agreement around a … definition of race…”
        2. “Examine the presence and role of Whiteness and its impact on the conversation and the problem being addressed.”
    • Emotionally, we respond to information through feelings…”
    • “Our intellectual response is often verbal and based in our best thinking.”
    • Morally we respond from a deep-seated belief…”
    • Relationally, we connect and respond…through our acting…”
    • “…the problem of educators not knowing what to do about racial achievement gaps or how to talk about race is not as devastating as the problem of educators failing to seek ways to close the gaps.”

One thought on “Book Study: Courageous Conversations About Race…Part 1 Introduction (Passion) and Chapter 2 (What’s So Courageous About This Conversation?)

  1. Pingback: Book Study: Courageous Conversations About Race…Chapter 3: Why Race? | Thoughts from the CSD Supt

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