The Urgency of Action

Submitted By:
Laura Reardon, Sierra Canyon School, Chatsworth, CA

Learning and Teaching While White: Antiracist Strategies for School Communities by Jenna Chandler-Ward and Elizabeth Denevi
Norton Professional Books, July 26, 2022

White educators and educational leaders who feel stymied or ill-prepared to work towards cultivating and sustaining antiracist practices in their schools will find Jenna Chandler-Ward and Elizabeth Denevi's text, Learning and Teaching While White, to be essential to their practice. Chandler-Ward and Denevi state that, "White people can only stand in solidarity with, take leadership from, and develop authentic relationships with those most impacted by racism—People of Color—if they know how they have been racialized." The text is divided into two sections. The first provides important frameworks for white educators' racial identity development and how whiteness and racism operate in schools. The second offers defined steps for action for educational communities. Denevi and Chandler-Ward provide relevant activities and discuss common pitfalls for white educators and educational leaders. Chandler-Ward and Denevi capture the urgency of action, stating, "We have to stop pretending racism is someone else's issue...Let's get busy doing things differently, because if we don't, the harm continues." Learning and Teaching While White provides a robust knowledge base, a framework for schools, and clear action steps for white educators, school leaders, and parents to not only interrupt racism in school environments and develop racial literacy, but also to effectively partner with educators and school leaders of color to cultivate belonging for all.

Teaching Practice
Leadership Practice