Anti-Racist Pedagogy Part 4: Core Elements of ARP (according to this white girl)

Full disclosure. I am white. When I get my blood drawn, I usually joke with the nurse that I am translucent. So pretty white. And yet, I am doing my best to offer up a list of some of the essential core elements of an anti-racist pedagogy. Make no mistake, I am missing a lot here. For one, this list is extremely U.S. centric as that is my main context and audience. This is merely a starting point. In addition, there is no “one” ARP. There are many anti-racist pedagogies. At the same time, educators cannot just willy nilly run around claiming they are practicing ARP without any attention to these core elements. At least, that’s my viewpoint on this.

For more on the difference between diversity, inclusive teaching, and ARP, head back to the previous ARP posts.

Core Elements of Anti-Racist Pedagogy

Within higher education contexts including classrooms, campus programs, departmental meetings and events, conferences, research labs, advising and mentoring sessions, etc., anti-racist pedagogy:

As you see above, I converted my original list to a live google doc. No doubt the core tenets lists will evolve and grow. For the most currrent list, please click on that live link above and share with others.

I repeat, this is not an exhaustive list. What do we need to incorporate here for a robust ARP model? As with all things in social justice movements, we will continue to evolve these ideas and core elements as we maintain a critique of the systems that maintain racism and white supremacy.

Letters ARP spelled out with post-it notes (stands for anti-racist pedagogy)

*My soapbox about the term “ally”

I use the term “ally” intentionally. Accomplice and co-conspirator are great terms. However, I disagree with current trends that critique the term ally as representing white saviors or white people claiming they can be “race neutral.” The real problem is the misuse and claiming of an ally identity by white folks not engaging in anti-racist action to dismantle white supremacy. Should we stop using the word “intersectionality” in response to its widespread misuse in the academy and beyond? No. Despite our frustrations, we continue to educate those who engage in its misuse. 

New terms will not correct the widespread misuse and watered-down meanings. The system will simply gobble up each new term and grind it into meaninglessness. Therefore, I continue to use ally in an effort to reclaim a term that was not to promote passive race-neutrality.

The Anti-Racist Pedagogy series

For more on anti-racist pedagogy, head back to the previous ARP posts.

Learn more about the White Anti-Racism and Action course I created for (aspiring) white allies.
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