COURSE: What is anti-racist/anti-oppressive education? An introductory course for white faculty wanting to effect change (October 5-December 14)

This course is only open to Dalhousie Faculty and instructors

Tragically, it took the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer, to awaken many white people (especially within the United States and Canada), to anti-Black and anti-Indigenous violence and systemic racism.  Although Floyd’s murder was what finally drew the attention of many folks who had previously been unaware, there are countless individuals who have died or been brutalized, both before this event and afterward, and in both the United States and Canada. The news has erupted with those individuals’ stories, and once-silenced survivors are stepping forward at a time when it seems that the ‘dominant’ culture might actually be listening, and that there is the possibility of reform. And in all of this, social media is rife with many white people asking, “What can I do?”

Taking this course can be one small, first step, by assuming the responsibility of educating ourselves to address systemic racism within our own institution. As white teachers and academics, we will take on this work under Kayla Reed’s (Executive Director, Action St. Louis), “A.L.L.Y” framework*:

  • Always centre the impacted
  • Listen and learn from those who live in oppression 
  • Leverage your privilege
  • Yield the floor 

Through anti-racist and anti-oppressive theory and voices, we will learn how to position ourselves, our disciplines, and our institution in relation to the systemic racism and oppression in which they are embedded, and that they reinforce and reproduce. We will simultaneously determine how to put into practice what we have learned.  Anti-racist and anti-oppressive education are relevant in every discipline, and folks from every Faculty are encouraged to engage in this critical work.

While open to anyone, this course is designed for those who are just beginning their anti-racist and anti-oppressive education learning journey.Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Uncover and discuss how racism and oppression are replicated and reinforced in all institutional spaces  
  • Identify and plan how you will apply each component of the ALLY framework in your teaching, research, and academic (and personal) lives
  • Embrace these first developmental steps as part of lifelong learning,  

This course is primarily asynchronous (Brightspace, OneNote) with opportunities (but no requirement) to meet synchronously one-on-one with the instructor, and/or with your peers (via Teams).  Course modules, assignments, and opportunities for engagement will be released every two weeks (five modules for 10 weeks, from September 21st to November 30th).  Synchronous discussion opportunity dates and times will be determined by participants.


Tereigh Ewert
Senior Educational Developer (Diversity and Inclusivity)
Centre for Learning and Teaching

*@iKaylaReed. “A- always center the impacted L- listen & learn from those who live in the oppression L- leverage your privilege Y-yield the floor.” Twitter. June 13, 2016, 3:32 a.m.