“There’s no such thing as neutral education. Education either functions as an instrument to bring about conformity or freedom.” - Paulo Freire  

 "As a classroom community, our capacity to generate excitement is deeply affected by our interest in one another, in hearing one another’s voices, in recognizing one another’s presence." - Bell Hooks 


Good morning! If you missed the Day 3 Challenge email yesterday, click here.

Every day students, families, and educators are working hard to co-create learning experiences that center, value, and nurture all students as whole humans. They work to celebrate the rich histories, presents, and futures of their communities. To be effective, they must integrate culturally sustaining pedagogy, restorative practices, socio-emotional learning, and anti-bias anti-racism, while growing students’ abilities to understand our world as it is and take action to create a more equitable society for all. 

Yet there has been tremendous backlash to this approach. Critics have lumped all attempts to pursue broader cultural understanding under Critical Race Theory and falsely characterized this as “revisionist history” that harms and villainizes white students. 

Today’s challenge is chock full of resources for you to learn more about the work of countless students, families, and educators working hard to create the learning communities that all of our young people deserve. 


- "Students Say Teach the Truth" - Why we must center our students' perspectives in classroom learning experiences and teach about race, gender, and privilege, among other social justice-related topics.

- "The Predictable Backlash to Critical Race Theory" - Q&A with Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, pioneering scholar and writer on civil rights, critical race theory, Black feminist legal theory, and race, racism, and the law.

- "Equity Exclusion and Everyday Science Learning in Museums" - See the many barriers that learners face in out-of-school learning environments.


- "What Works: Restorative Practice vs. Traditional Discipline" - Hear from educators who have enacted restorative justice in their classrooms and why these practices are important in urban classrooms. (10 minutes)

- "Teaching to Thrive Podcast, Episode 3: Woke Kindergarten" - A conversation between Dr. Bettina Love, Chelsey Culley Love and special guest, Akiea "Ki" Gross. (47 minutes)

- "Teaching Hard History: Lessons on Indigenous Enslavement" - Educators share difficult narratives around the enslavement of Indigenous peoples in the USA. (28 minutes)


- "Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy" - Learn ways to enact educational practices that encourage students to bring their whole selves to class. (20 minutes)

- "10 Questions on Building Culturally Relevant Schools" - Conversation with one of the founders of culturally relevant pedagogies about structural and philosophical changes we can make. (45 minutes)

- "The Attack on Anti-Racist Education in CT" - Panel of students, educators, and parents/caregivers sharing insight about anti-racist education. (90 minutes)


- Review these Social Justice Standards. With a young person in your life, choose one or two standards that you both believe are an important part of a wholistic, anti-bias anti-racist education and are currently missing or inconsistently a part of their learning.

- After reading Dr. Simmons’ piece about being an anti-racist educator, choose one of the five actions that you will start doing.

- Attend a Board of Education meeting in your community. As you get to know which groups in your community are fighting for anti-bias anti-racist education, sign their letters and petitions and make testimony to support their efforts.

Post your reflections from today’s challenge on social media or share with a friend that you are participating in this Equity Challenge as part of your learning and commitment to racial justice. Use the hashtag #UnitedForEquity and tag @UnitedWayOfGreaterNewHaven.

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