University of New Hampshire
Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy
July 23-25, 2019
Urging all of us to open our minds and hearts so that we can know beyond the boundaries of what is acceptable, so that we can think and rethink, so that we can create new visions, I celebrate teaching that enables transgressions—a movement against and beyond boundaries. It is that movement which makes education the practice of freedom.
-bell hooks (Teaching to Transgress)
Teaching to transgress—to fulfill the promise of democracy—can feel like a daunting, if not impossible, task given today’s current social and political climate. Too often, fear—as manifested through overt and systemic racism and xenophobia—has placed a stranglehold on our ability to communicate with one another honestly and responsibly. As educators, we have a responsibility to not only guide our students through this time, but to empower them to be an antidote to divisiveness and a voice for justice. In order for teachers to do internal work needed to be truly equitable in their practices, this institute will spark critical reflection and action. How can we help students read, write, and speak up for justice? How can we ensure that our practices are not just inclusive but equitable? How can we use our power and position as educators to transform systems, whether those systems be our individual classrooms, districts, or greater communities? Together, we will discover the possibilities for students when equity is the foundation for our literacy practices. In short, we will explore ideas that bring us closer to addressing the following overarching question of this institute: How can we use reading and writing to advance social justice?
Co-Instructors: Sonja Cherry-Paul and Tricia Ebarvia with Penny Kittle as chair of the workshop
Keynote Speaker – July 24
Literacy For All 2019
Monday, October 21, 10:30 AM to Noon
Providence, Rhode Island
Empowering Readers: Affinity Group Book Clubs That Affirm Student Identities
Affinity group book clubs are safe havens for students who feel marginalized in their schools and in the world. Benefits include affirming students’ identities in spaces where they feel valued, included, and empowered. They can transform “reluctant” readers into ravenous readers when they encounter characters who mirror their lives. Through reading and discussing texts students critique and expand the boundaries of society-imposed norms.