Background/Context: This article explores how the classic U.S. educator effort to stay politically “nonpartisan” when teaching became particularly complicated in an era of spiking K–12 harassment, when government officials openly targeted and denigrated populations on the basis of race, national origin, gender, sexuality, and religion. We share research on a pilot (2017–2019) of #USvsHate, an “anti-hate” initiative we designed and studied with K–12 educators and students in the politically mixed region of San Diego, California.
I wrote this OpEd featured on edweek.org. My goal was to support collaborative antiracist effort by clarifying how “antiracism is not some zero-sum game of ‘us’ vs. ‘them.’ It’s a collective investment in the human ‘us.'”
“Anti-racism is about leveling the playing field of opportunity, dismantling opportunity barriers, benefiting from the rich diversity of all communities, and treating all people humanely.”
I appreciated the chance to offer this 1-hr webinar for the Swift Education Center, introducing Schooltalk for educators. The series overall was designed to “help build confidence and competency around equity-forward professional practices.”
In October 2020, I spoke with colleagues at the Berkeley Graduate School of Education about three “onramps” to K12 antiracism I have designed and helped design: Everyday Antiracism (edited, 2008), Schooltalk (2017), and #USvsHate (2017+). Check it out!
In March 2021, I spoke with principal Candace Hunstad, school instructional coach Brigid Dux, ESOL teacher/school equity lead Samantha Gauta (all of Fairhill Elementary), and district coordinator of professional learning/cultural responsiveness Junena Thomas — all educators from Fairfax County, Virginia — about their use of Schooltalk for sustained antiracist equity work at the school level. It was a really exciting discussion about how to go beyond initial use of books to long-term use of texts for change. Sharing here to support others in similarly sustained efforts!
A podcast with Ethical Schools, where I speak about #USvsHate and Schooltalk.
Episode description: “We speak with Mica Pollock about #USvsHate and Schooltalk. Student anti-racism messaging in any medium can catalyze youth activism. Comments embedded in teachers’ everyday communication can impact students’ lifetime trajectories.”
These lessons for K12+ students draw from nearly 20 national teacher-support organizations. I curated these lists for #USvsHate. I’m working right now to add youth-facing lessons based on Schooltalk and Everyday Antiracism.
These lessons help build inclusive relationships, start to challenge stereotypes, and explore overarching issues of empathy, bias, bullying, and ally behavior. Start here if the people in your group don’t know each other well.
These lessons build a stronger foundation to explore and refuse specific forms of hate, bias, and injustice needing attention in specific communities and the nation, so we can together build a society where all are valued!