Message from Division VP
Message from Division VP
Actions Toward Racial Justice and Equity

Dear Division K Colleagues,

The latest onslaught of police killings of Black people in the US calls on us to reflect deeply on our work and our responsibilities to address the entrenched racist violence and injustices that continue to plague our society. These heinous acts remind us that educators, not just the police, have and continue to use state power to dehumanize and criminalize Black children. We cannot ignore how our educational institutions are bound up with the carceral state.

Both individually and as a field, we must recognize and truly listen to the pain, outrage, and exhaustion fueled by the pervasive White supremacy and anti-Blackness in our schools, universities, streets, and society. While racism, White supremacy, and anti-Blackness are hypervisible in this moment, they are deeply rooted in all parts of our institutions, our work, and our daily lives. We must acknowledge this reality and stand in solidarity, as Black, Latinx, Indigenous and First Nations, Asian American, Pacific Islander, South Asian, Middle Eastern and White educators and scholars, to take action to make real change.

In his statement on the police killings and his 2021 Annual Meeting Theme, AERA President Shaun Harper calls on us to acknowledge our role in the inequities entrenched in our institutions and to take action to end them. As a multi-racial community of scholars whose work is dedicated to ensuring that all students have caring, competent, and culturally sustaining teachers, the Division K Executive Council is taking the following actions to move this work forward within and beyond the Division:

2021 Annual Meeting Program:

  • We call on Division K members to submit proposals for the 2021 Annual Meeting that directly address White supremacy and racial in/justice in teaching and teacher education; 
  • We are adding an evaluative criterion for proposals that addresses issues of in/equity and in/justice. We encourage those submitting proposals to consider explicitly how their work addresses these issues;
  • We will request that all chairs of sessions at the 2021 Annual Meeting read a statement of acknowledgment of racial injustice in our educational systems that recognizes what Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings calls the nation’s educational debt; 
  • The Division will host a series of dialogues dedicated to addressing White supremacy and racism in teaching and teacher education research and practice.

Establish Division K Committee on Racial Justice: This committee to work with the Division’s Executive Council and Equity & Inclusion Officers to ensure that Division K addresses issues of equity and racial justice in all aspects of its work, including programming and nominating committees. The Committee will lead the Division in efforts to affect Division and public conversations and action on racial justice in teaching and teacher education, especially those related to the processes of truth, reconciliation, and reparations.

Special Issue: The Division will work to secure a special issue to uplift and center scholarship focused on issues of racism and White supremacy in all its intersectional manifestations (e.g. anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, Islamophobia, xenophobia, linguistic racism), and on movements towards racial justice in the context of teaching and teacher education.

Virtual Conversations: The Division is planning a series of virtual events focused on a number of critical issues in teaching and teacher education. These events will explicitly consider how racism and White supremacy operate in and through all the issues addressed and provide forums for Division members to work together to develop racially just responses and solutions through our scholarship, our work with pre- and in-service teachers, and our work with K-12 schools.

We offer these steps not as 'solutions' to the entrenched White supremacy in our field, our institutions and our society, but as concrete steps we can take today to move our Division forward. We see these as just a beginning, and look forward to engaging together in continuing conversations and actions. 


The Division K Executive Council

Dorothea Anagnostopoulos, Vice President


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