Racial discrimination in education today is rampant, especially due to the increased use of the internet. You have likely experienced racial discrimination in school, around your community, or online. You could have even witnessed it in your classroom, whether you’re in high school or college.
Today, there are numerous demonstrations taking place. And more people are taking to the streets to say no to injustice and prejudice. Does your stomach churn or your heartbreak due to stories of injustices caused by racial discrimination in schools?
The main question on most people’s minds is, “how can I make the world a better place for everyone?” Understanding that racial discrimination is happening and recognizing it is the first step to preventing it. Below are tips to help fight racial discrimination and teach people tolerance:
1. Learn About It and Stay Informed
In most cases, people often think they know more about a topic than they do. But when it comes to racial discrimination, staying informed is very important. You can start by watching movies, reading books, and checking out online articles to learn more about it.
This is just the beginning of the journey to enlightenment. It’s essential to understand our implicit biases and why we have them. Understanding where a bias comes from will impact how you behave and think about something.
Mostly, racism is a deep-rooted part of our communities and societies that we may overlook. You may not even know when you are being racist or recognize when it’s happening.
For instance, most schools nowadays have dress codes with inclusionary policies. This is especially essential when dealing with hairstyles.
There have been a lot of reports of African-American students who have been deprived of the right to participate in school activities such as sports or graduate because of their hair. Some students have also been asked to cut their dreadlocks to be allowed to graduate.
According to a report, a daycare shaved a biracial child’s hair because they considered it unclean. The daycare informed the 7-year-old child that her hair would grow back straight after shaving.
Because most people in the community don’t understand the natural African-American hairstyles, it’s essential to educate yourself on these matters. Racial discrimination within the black community is a major cause of trauma and depression in children.
Some families are punished because they refuse to conform to racially discriminatory school policies. Therefore, schools and educators must take a step to stop this destructive pattern and stand with the affected communities.
2. Don’t Keep Quiet Speak Up
Have you ever been robbed, and the people around you didn’t do anything to help?
Nothing is more painful than going through a painful experience, and the people around you are quiet and are just looking at you while you suffer. It doesn’t matter the conditions and circumstances. It’s not right to keep quiet when you witness someone being abused or mistreated.
Anytime someone is being discriminated against and mistreated on the streets, ensure you address the situation and talk about it. This helps you easily pinpoint injustices in schools, families, and the community as a whole. You must speak up whenever you notice any discriminatory activities around you.
You should also address any discriminatory policies and guidelines in your school. Speaking up could mean staging a protest, a go-slow, or a walkout. You may also be required to have a difficult conversation with your school administration representatives.
Responding to bias and hate in school is an instrumental part of fighting against racial discrimination. Unfortunately, standing alone against discrimination can feel like the world’s weight is falling on our shoulders. However, speaking up will motivate others to join in the fight against discrimination and racism.
Most people look for a bit of nudge to push them to join the fight in acts of solidarity. Don’t stand on the sidelines when these toxic behaviors continue. We need to speak up and call out people enabling these toxic dynamics.
3. Educate Your Classmates About Diversity
It’s human nature to incline towards familiar concepts. This is why it’s essential to push yourself out of your comfort zone and educate your classmates about racial discrimination. Start by preparing a classroom diversity audit.
Today more than ever, it’s essential for everyone to feel included in the classroom and out-of-class activities. Understanding diversity is a great way for other students to feel loved, celebrated, and supported for who they are. Whatever race you are, everyone wants to know that others support and recognize them without conditions.
Look at your actions and the people around you. Are you using your voice, space, and resources to create an inclusive classroom environment? Are you showing other people discrimination examples so that they can recognize it in the future?
How you teach your classmates and equip the classroom is an excellent step towards setting a tone on how people deal with institutional discrimination. If you’re a teacher, ensure you create a safe space for students of all racial backgrounds. Everyone should feel cherished, loved, and safe.
A simple poster that promotes diversity and inclusivity will be enough to start the conversation. Students will ask questions such as “What is discrimination and how can we help end the injustice.” These are essential questions that require to be addressed.
4. Commit Yourself to Listen
Teachers can nurture cultural awareness in the school by expressing interest in different students’ ethnicity and backgrounds. Ask students to name their ethnicity and give a background history. Then, analyze these stories and ensure you celebrate the different beliefs, social behaviors, and traditions.
Such classes help students realize that their ethnicity and traditions have a rich culture that should be celebrated. This is a necessary step towards developing accurate cultural responsiveness among your students.
However, note that active listening is more than listening to what your students are sharing. You should listen keenly to understand their experiences, especially when they are going through a challenging time. Listening is also vital when students come to you to report incidents of racism or bullying.
How you respond to these incidents will set the tone on how students view these matters. Ensure you create a classroom culture that gives students a voice to speak up and provides them with emotional and social safety to report these issues. You can also make everyone feel included, heard, and seen by promoting student-led discussions surrounding racial discrimination topics.
5. Improve the Curriculum
Some books and other learning materials are often biased when accounting for historical events. Therefore, the best way to teach students tolerance and fight against racial discrimination is by boosting the curriculum. During the early formative years of a child, it’s essential to find ways to be fair and balanced.
You can find a way to inform students about white supremacy and find ways to fight against it. Sometimes, this may feel like a heavy topic to discuss with students. However, keep in mind that the black students in your class and their families are probably dealing with far much worse injustices of white supremacy.
Check out this site for other social injustice examples that you can teach your students about. Ensure you also take online classes and read as many materials as possible on the topic to help you better understand it.
6. Lead Students by Example
Improving your curriculum and educating students more about diversity will set a foundation to speak about the topic. After laying the foundation, communicate with the school, students, and their parents about your expectations. Ensure you set high expectations for them to be inclusive and respect diversity in school.
Managing discrimination, intolerance, and racism in class can be quite challenging. However, it requires effort and determination.
Check out the school’s policies and punishments and pinpoint ones that take away the right for students to be included. Building an inclusive environment is excellent for all your students.
Most schools have a zero-tolerance approach to racial discrimination. However, a recent study shows that this might not be the best approach for schools because it doesn’t make the school a safer environment for everyone. An alternative approach is zero indifference towards harassment, racism, bullying, and other disciplinary problems.
This approach involves addressing disrespectful conduct but avoiding implementing automatic punishment such as expulsion and suspension. However, you should lead by example. Show your students how to behave accordingly and include all students in discussions about racism.
7. Empower Your Students to Act and Speak Up
Students, especially soon-to-be adults, are impressionable and require leadership. After educating them about racial discrimination and how it affects different ethnic groups, ensure you also empower them to speak up and take action. This is the only way to bring change to the world through education.
It’s useless to educate people about the world’s happenings and not offer them a way to report injustices. Teach students how to respond to white supremacy and stop racism.
You can also share essential resources such as books, articles, and movies for students to watch. Such resources will help the students make a commitment to social change and stopping social injustices.
8. Donate and Raise Money
Addressing racial injustices requires one to act. Sometimes speaking up isn’t enough. However, raising money and donating towards the cause is an excellent way for your student to contribute to the country’s and community’s efforts of fighting racial injustices.
You can help your students form a small fundraising business such as a bake sale or a car wash. The money raised from the business should go towards addressing national concerns such as racial discrimination and disparities.
This way, your students will feel like a part of something bigger than themselves. They will also be proud of their contribution towards improving the community and solving a major social problem in the country. Raising money also allows you to educate the students further on the gravity of the problem and how best to solve it.
9. Advocate for Community Partnerships
The impact of racial discrimination in our country is far and reaching. After teaching your students about white supremacy and racism, you must release them into the world to experience these issues. This helps them interact with the effects of racism in real-time.
The best way to do this is through community partnerships. Look for community outreach programs and organizations that handle the issues of equality, racism, and other social injustices and partner with them. You can invite the community into the school to further educate students on social injustices and how they affect the community.
Another great tip for teaching students about discrimination is inviting families to talk about their culture and ethnicity. They should also share their experiences that line up with different topics in class.
This helps students realize that people from different races are just as important. It also opens them up to what is happening globally and helps eliminate future racial biases.
10. Get Involved in the Fight
It’s so easy to dismiss something if we’re not connected to it. You might ignore a sad story that involves a Black person or an Asian in your community because it doesn’t affect your life.
This is why racial discrimination has gone unnoticed for many years. Most people don’t even recognize racism. However, ensure you educate yourself on racial discrimination and find ways to be involved.
Check online petitions and sign them, examine policies that encourage discrimination, and request sensitivity training for teachers and school administrators.
11. Learn From Others
If you are a teacher, you already know that other educators in your school are a wealth of information. You have likely asked for their opinion and help on other topics such as tips for the best workbooks or even room décor. Ensure you do the same for discrimination and diversity issues.
If you are white, consider asking a teacher of color about diversity and the racial discrimination issues they face every day. There are also blogs, YouTube channels, and online resources where people of color share their experiences and how racism has shaped their lives. Check out these resources and learn from others to better grasp what is happening in the world.
Stand Against Racial Discrimination Today
The pain of racial discrimination has led to devastating impacts affecting the whole country. You may have witnessed racism without even knowing. Hence, it’s essential to educate yourself on racial injustices and their impact on the community.
Ensure you also join in the fight against racial discrimination by speaking up and advocating for change. If you liked this article, check out other posts on our site for more informative tips.