CTI Hosted Equal Justice Workshop for CMS Teachers

CTI and the Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice hosted a curriculum planning workshop for CMS teachers on Aug. 15 at Queens University of Charlotte, presented by the Equal Justice Initiative (Montgomery, AL). Committed to changing the narrative about race in America, EJI produces groundbreaking reports, discussion guides, teacher education workshops, lesson plans and other educational materials, as well as short films that explore our nation’s history of racial injustice. EJI recently launched a national effort to create new spaces, markers, and memorials that address the legacy of slavery, lynching, and racial segregation, which shapes many issues today.

Long-time and greatly admired East Mecklenburg High School teacher Larry Bosc, now retired, coordinated the workshop. Larry is a former CTI Fellow who participated in CTI’s African American Literature of the Civil Rights Movement at Davidson College in 2012. (See civil rights-related curriculum units from that seminar HERE.) Following the day-long workshop with the EJI and his CMS teaching colleagues, Larry provided this report on the day:

Given recent events in Charlottesville, last Tuesday’s seminar delivered by EJI staff Kiara Boone and Jonathan Kubakundimana couldn’t have been more appropriate. Although EJI’s work in criminal justice reform has righted many wrongs, their focus in this seminar was on their stated message that “we cannot reach reconciliation without first acknowledging the truth about our past, and until we confront this history and its legacy, we will remain challenged by extremism and racial bias.” The event, sponsored by the Charlotte Teachers Institute and the Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University, was attended by 27 CMS teachers. It began in the morning with presentations by Boone and Kubakundimana featuring their research into racial violence in American and their plans for a museum and memorial to victims of the over 4,000 lynchings in the South from 1877-1955. Additionally, they made available to all participants numerous pamphlets containing this information and exposed teachers to their curriculum guide available on their website. The afternoon session featured small group work as teachers processed the information given to them in the morning and began work on their lesson plans. Judging by teacher comments, the morning presentation had given them some great energy as they prepare to meet their students in the weeks to come.

CMS teacher Kheiston Tilford had this to say about the workshop: One of the best PD’s I’ve ever been to. I left feeling honored to tell my history, empowered and compelled to do more research and ask more questions about my family history and resources….Great resources to help us facilitate discussion inside and outside of our classrooms! ??❤️? Thank you!