“The Race to an Anti-Racist Community”

Kharma Edwards, Literacy Facilitator, Shamrock Gardens Elementary

Curriculum Unit (PDF)


Essential Statement: If racism is distinguishing people as inferior or superior based on their race, color, or shade of their skin, and using structures and personal messages to reinforce those ideas, then, anti-racism is using concepts of empathy, fairness, and racial affirmation to eliminate structural and personal messages of superiority and inferiority according to race, color, or shade of skin. Anti-racist pedagogy, in the early years, should begin by teaching empathy, equity, and self-affirmation. My unit is based on this essential statement that I constructed during an exercise with my seminar. In this unit, my lower elementary class will be able to come up with ways to consider fairness and to combat their biases to create a classroom culture that is like a family where all children treat each other the way they want to be treated…on purpose. My topic idea connects with student’s lives because teaching anti-racism and how to be anti-racist is extremely relevant in their lives. While teaching young children to have a deeper understanding of others has been something that teachers have strived to do for years, with more recent events affecting our nation regarding conscious and unconscious racism that is the backdrop of social life in America, it is more important than ever to teach younger students how to acknowledge race and racism and ensure that biases do not manifest as racism for them as they grow up in our country.
To accomplish this through this unit, students will have discussions, creative activities, read- alouds, and a project to work on that will give them the opportunity to participate in an intentionally anti-racist classroom community.