How Do We Build the Antiracist Society of the Future? Ibram X Kendi and Aisha Thomas
Ibram X Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist) and Aisha Taylor (Representation Matters) discuss the differences and similarities of teaching our children the realities of racism in the US and in the UK.
How do we talk to the children in our lives about racism? How can we inspire and learn with the children in our lives to challenge ourselves to be better? And how do we as caregivers, in a developmentally appropriate way, teach children about racism and other forms of bigotry?
These are the questions Ibram X Kendi found himself avoiding as he anticipated the birth of his first child. Like most of us, he felt the impulse to not talk to his child about racism, which he feared would stain her innocence and steal away her joy. But research into the scientific literature, his experiences as a father and reflections on his own difficult life ultimately changed his mind.
Former assistant principal, campaigner and Bristolian Aisha Thomas draws on her own lived experience of the UK education system to show why representation is fundamental in every school. Through reflective questions, activities and discussion points, she wants to coach educators to create an action plan for their classroom or school and offers practical strategies to drive change and promote an anti-racist approach to education.
Kendi and Thomas speak about the existing research; diversifying the curriculum; challenging overt and covert racism; and how we can build an antiracist society that safeguards all children.
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Ibram X Kendi’s How to Raise an Antiracist is published by Vintage. Aisha Thomas’ Representation Matters is published by Bloomsbury. Order your copies online or buy from our partner Waterstones at the event.
Ibram X Kendi is the Andrew W Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is the author of many books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, and three #1 New York Times bestsellers, How to Be an Antiracist, which was also a Sunday Times bestseller; Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored with Jason Reynolds; and Antiracist Baby, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky. In 2020, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Image credit: Stephen Voss
Aisha Thomas is a former assistant principal responsible for diversity, equity and inclusion. She provides training on race in education in universities and schools nationwide. In 2018, she presented a documentary for the BBC investigating the low number of Black teachers in Bristol, and in 2019, she delivered a powerful TEDxBristol talk called ‘Why Representation Matters’. She is currently working on a number of local and national projects, including Beyond the 26, which collects stories and experiences from Black and minority educators in Bristol. She also contributed to a series of videos on allyship for BBC Teach. For more information, follow @itsrepmatters and visit www.repmatters.co.uk.
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