Equity and Inclusion
The School of Education recognizes that COVID-19, the economic collapse, and the subsequent uproars over disparate treatments by Black Americans at the hands of police and the criminal justice system have further unmasked forms of systemic inequity and racism in our society. We are committed to building inclusive and diverse learning communities across the educational pipeline, from cradle to career. We hope this page can help foster community interactions and the sharing of resources that speak to ways in which we can better listen, understand, and help one another. In this time, systemic forms of inequity are unmasked more than ever and require change.
Issues of inequality in learning have only been further exacerbated due to COVID-19, the unfolding economic hardships, and the racial unrest grappling America. All of which have resulted in a rapid move toward remote learning. This shift in learning has further highlighted the digital divide that exist across communities as well as called for new ways of ensuring that our curricula and learning environments are inclusive and responsive to the varied backgrounds of learners in our classrooms.
This site provides teachers and parents with a curated list of online resources and tools to address issues of inequality and create culturally relevant learning experiences. In addition, you can find links to webinars where experts from the School of Education and the local community discuss these important issues.
Below we share a few suggestions of ways we can continue to uphold these values of diversity, inclusion, and equity in action:
- Be mindful that our lived experiences and biographies impact how we are experiencing the current moments, often differently. Both individuals, and communities, from different cultural contexts – be that of gender, ethnicity, religion, race, socioeconomic status, geography, immigration status, sexual orientation, etc. – will likely have nuanced and varied responses to the systemic manifestations we are all witnessing and/or experiencing. Be sensitive to this. Listen first. Culturally responsive pedagogy becomes more critical now than perhaps ever before. See our list of resources on how to engage in active listening and culturally relevant pedagogy
Students who are differently abled need modifications with remote learning to ensure equity. Record video meetings, enable captions for video downloads, share written notes or slides, and be mindful of other ways you can modify materials to help create an equitable learning space for differently abled students in technologically heavy remote learning spaces. This can also include “simple” technology such as a phone call which eliminates the need for high bandwidth. We will be sharing models of how such teacher-parent phone calls are being used to maintain learning effectively. Watch our Webinar on Emergency Home Learning & Students with Special Needs with Dr. Giney Riley of Hunter College and Dr. Tammy Ellis-Robinson of UAlbany as well as Caralee Kardash of Capital Region BOCES
- Be sensitive to how we communicate about the pandemic. Keep in mind that in particular, many of our Asian and Asian-American’s are suffering from heightened forms of racist attacks right now because of rhetoric and blame being used around the coronavirus/COVID-19. Ensure that derogatory terms that target or single out any community are never used and are called out and addressed when you see this being done by institutional spaces. It may be in ignorance, it may not be, but it heightens harms. We must do better.
COVID has not impacted all communities equally. Minority communities have been hit disproportionately. UAlbany’s Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities has helped take a leading role in this work.
Be kind. Be flexible. Be adaptable. Many are operating with limited resources, this could include limited access to computers, internet, or privacy, in addition to the many additional stressors that people are facing right now, be that financial, health related, or the trauma around race relations and systemic forms of violence in our society. Be kind. WEBINAR Considering Stress and Trauma During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Implications for Administrators Teachers Parents and Families by Dr. Alex Pieterse and Dr. Elena Gordis
- Teaching for Social Solidarity: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in a Time of COVID-19, Higher Education Today
- Equity and Inclusion During COVID-19, University of California
- Maintaining Equity and Inclusion in Virtual Learning Environments, San Diego State University
- Inclusion, Equity, and Access While Teaching Remotely, Rice University Center for Teaching Excellence
- Institute for Research in Race in Public Policy
- NEA Edjustice
- How Can Parents Make Their Kids Understand How To Be Anti-Racist?
- Interview: Ibram X. Kendi and Renee Watson NPR
- #KidlitCommunity: Rally for Black Lives sponsored by The BrownBookShelf – see also educator Chad Everett’s powerful reflection as part of this gathering
- Culturally Responsive Education, NYU
- Black Male Educators Talk on twitter, @BMEsTalk: https://twitter.com/BMEsTalk
Black Male Educators Talk on twitter, @BMEsTalk, Curating safe professional learning spaces for Black Male Educators. We chat here Tuesdays | 9pm EDT | #BMEsTalk
- Council for Exceptional Children: https://www.cec.sped.org/~/media/UPDATED%20ED%20Fact%20Sheet%20Press%20Release.pdf
Position with guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on disabilities, Fact Sheet and Webinar From the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
- EdChange: http://www.edchange.org/
Resources and programming promoting equitable and just schools, communities and organizations through transformative action.
- Educator Innovator: https://educatorinnovator.org/join-the-marginal-syllabus-for-social-reading-in-a-time-of-social-distance/
A series of four synchronous social reading activities that extend Marginal Syllabus conversations from both the 2018-19 and 2019-2020 Literacy, Equity + Remarkable Notes = LEARN syllabi. LEARN is an ongoing collaboration among the National Writing Project, the National Council of Teachers of English, and Hypothesis.
- 8 Black Hands: https://anchor.fm/8-black-hands-podcast/episodes/Ep--54-The-Quarantine-Episode-ebr08i?fbclid=IwAR30BLLwUWNIdY0cA0NRlhHXpeP4UZVDzvsC_Gb-U0PZeEvQkWuf5-d-ohE
“Deep in the heart of public school education wars rage on, and few warriors come to fight for the people. Yet, there is one small band of freedom fighters bring sanity to the village. Anyone who threatens the education of our 8 million black children is likely to catch these eight black hands.”
- Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCMLk4cES6A&feature=youtu.be
A short webinar from the U.S. Department of Education on website accessibility.
- Reading Rockets: https://www.readingrockets.org/article/exploring-digital-literacy-practices-inclusive-classroom
“Exploring Digital Literacy Practices in an Inclusive Classroom.”
- Teaching Tolerance: https://www.tolerance.org/
“Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use our materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants. …Our program emphasizes social justice and anti-bias.”
- SCSD Learn at Home - Culturally Responsive Education: https://sites.google.com/apps.schenectady.k12.ny.us/schenectady-tech/culturally-responsive-education?authuser=0
The shift to distance learning due to COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on all of us, especially our students. For our most vulnerable students this period can be especially challenging. Creating safe, responsive and supportive connections with students can help to alleviate anxiety and provide students with a sense of calm and support.
- How to Respond to Coronavirus Racism: https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/how-to-respond-to-coronavirus-racism
As COVID-19 infections increase, so too does racism and xenophobia. Use our “Speak Up” strategies to let people know you’re not OK with racist or xenophobic comments about coronavirus or anything else.