EGSC Fall Institute: A Primer on Antiracism in Education

The Graduate Students of Colour (EGSC)

During the upcoming Reading Week the Education Graduate Students of Colour (EGSC) are hosting the Fall 2020 Institute: A Primer on Antiracism in Education 

Dr. Saba Alvi is our keynote speaker along with workshops by Linzey Corridon (McMaster University), Rebeca Mahadeo (University of Toronto-Mississauga), and Shyam Patel (University of Ottawa). 

All workshops are open to teacher candidates, graduate students, teachers/professors, and the wider uOttawa community. 

Antiracism is not simply a teaching and learning strategy, it is a philosophy — a shift in our collective consciousness — that addresses and challenges our assumptions and biases. For teacher candidates, this is particularly significant because of the growing diversity among our students. To this end, the Fall 2020 Institute: A Primer on Antiracism in Education organized by the Education Graduate Students of Colour (EGSC) provides an opportunity to listen to voices with a range of backgrounds and experiences. 

1) What is antiracism?

The keynote speaker, Dr. Saba Alvi, will launch the series of workshops happening across the week. As one of the Global Cohort Co-Leads and a Part-Time Professor at the University of Ottawa, she brings a nuanced understanding of antiracism, as a theory and practice. Moreover, Dr. Alvi works as a teacher at Tarbiyah Learning, an experience that allows her to share experiences and stories about her work with antiracism in the classroom. More specifically, she will delve into ways teacher candidates can build on antiracism to develop a classroom culture to inspire educators to disrupt the field of education and better support our students. 

2) How can I be an “ally” as a teacher educator?   

Drawing on the theory and practice of antiracism, this second workshop delves into the role of allyship with/in education, starting with a reading of Shyam Patel’s “I’m Afraid of White People.” Taking this personal account into consideration, the workshop then reflects on how teacher candidates and teachers can think about how to dismantle white privilege and white supremacy while also shifting away from performative politics. It might make for an “uncomfortable” workshop, but the aim is to think about how we can move past this place — one of complacency — that we seem to be stuck with/in.

3) What is the term intercultural education?

Rebeca Mahadeo is the Student Development Coordinator for Intercultural Programs at the University of Toronto-Mississauga. Her workshop will pose questions to teacher candidates that will shake the foundation of this notion of multiculturalism — one that is deeply rooted in the nation-state referred to as Canada. Instead, Rebeca offers insight into the emerging work towards intercultural education, which takes on a more holistic approach. Here, she locates a trajectory based on an intercultural continuum, providing teacher candidates an oppportunity to reflect about their own position and place.

4) How can deepen our understanding of antiracism?

Finally, Linzey Corridon will close off the week of workshops, with a focus on queering antiracism. While this has been widely used in education and other fields, antiracism spaces can be troubling, particularly for queer and trans peoples. For teacher candidates, this workshop provides ideas on queering antiracism vis-à-vis efforts, ethical citations practices, and knowledge production in the classroom. His workshop is also particularly helpful to think about your own writing in the program and beyond.  

The EGSC also plans to run a Decolonization 101 workshop with Molly Swain next semester along with the launch of Counter Narratives

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