It`s not easy to talk about race. Regardless of your ethnicity, conversations about race feel like they are loaded with anti-personnel mines just waiting to go. People become defensive. Or scared. No one wants to say the wrong thing. So we often avoid talking about race. The course, supported by PCGs EducatorEd, is based on the idea that one of the main barriers to advancing racial issues is people`s discomfort talking about them, which gives participants the tools they need to lead these difficult conversations. The news added another level of difficulty: teachers felt ill-equipped when students wanted to talk about the racialized stories that kept coming up in the news. Fearing that these conversations would be wrong, many teachers simply changed subjects. Watkins felt they needed help.
“How do they allow this very important rich conversation to take place on their premises, but they are not vulnerable to a misstep in communication and can they cost their work?” The four agreements, rules for participation in these difficult discussions, are an important element of the protocol of the courageous talks. Even without taking the course, learning these four agreements can provide guidance on what it takes to progress in a dialogue about race. If this sounds familiar, you may feel that this piecemeal approach lacks cohesion, that even if you and your colleagues have changed your practices to some extent, something is missing. Maybe it`s because only a few employees are really on board with the changes, while you feel the resistance of others. Or behaviors change, but it feels like the heart and mind aren`t completely present. Or it could be that you`re tackling a few issues related to stocks, but not consistently across the board. “I watch human transformation take place in a relatively short period of time around a topic that so many think is insoluble,” he says. “And for me, that`s what makes my job, I think, the best job in the world.” Of the 300 participants who had registered for the course, only three did not complete it. All the others gave dazzling positive evaluations. “We can`t have frustrated educators because they can`t fix it, tie it up in a loop and do it,” Singleton says. “This is something that is still tenacious in our society. There is still a challenge that we face at a greater level, and that is why we must be able to remain engaged, even if the final solution is not yet in sight. The impact of the course has gone beyond the individual attitudes and behaviours of teachers and has led many to take a leadership role when it comes to justice.
When it comes to improving the way we serve different groups of the population, most schools have thrown a lot of things against the wall to see what`s stuck: one-day trainings, book studies, attending conference meetings, speaking speakers. There are a lot of people who do a great job in justice, so we use what we find when we find it, and crush it with all the other initiatives that are supposed to improve our schools. “When we did the polls,” Watkins says, “we had a hard time finding someone critical. They thought it was something they were waiting for, that this kind of online experience, to approach something that was this taboo, and to give them the resources to better communicate with their own students, was something they had never seen before. “The Pacific Educational Group was founded in 1992 by Glenn E. Singleton and advocates for racial justice in the United States and beyond. We engage in lasting partnerships with training, coaching and counseling with organizations to transform beliefs, behaviors and outcomes so that people of all races can reach the highest level and lead their strongest and most powerful lives.