Charlotte as Teaching Canvas: Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms and Equity-Mindsets by Engaging in Local African, Latinx, and Southeast Asian Diasporic Spaces

Leslie Gutierrez, Ph.D., Spanish, Johnson C. Smith University

With changing global demographics, socio-cultural and linguistic landscapes are shifting, prompting educators to expand their curricula and their understanding of the world as well as their students’ lived realities. Despite the diversity of the students present in their classrooms, there is often disequity in whose histories, heritages, experiences, and ways of knowing are valued and included into the curricula. Participants in this seminar will explore and exchange ideas on how they can cultivate culturally responsive classrooms by engaging the city’s diverse communal spaces as teaching canvases to reshape how knowledge is constructed, represented, and taught in K-12 classrooms. The purpose of this seminar is threefold: (1) to reimagine teaching and learning by going beyond traditional classrooms and textbooks to explore dynamic African, Latinx, and Southeast Asian diasporic bodies of knowledge and landscapes; (2) to affirm students diverse cultural, racial, and linguistic identities in the classroom and; (3) to encourage global learning and equity mindsets [1] [2] during a time in which the country is grappling with nativist attitudes as well as racial tensions and violence.