Anti-Racism and the Writing Classroom:

A workbook for FYW teachers.

Introduction

Anti-racism and the writing classroom: A workbook for FYW teachers is designed as a collection of resources and activities to help orient teachers of writing to antiracist practice and pedagogy. While this workbook is particularly invested in supporting First-Year Writing (FYW) instructors in the Writing, Rhetoric and Cultures (WRaC) program at Michigan State University (MSU), it also contains information, resources, and reflective practices that can support any teacher of writing. It is the hope of the contributors that anyone engaging this workbook will be able to reflect on their pedagogical values, expectations, experiences, and practices to gain a better understanding of who they are as teachers and where antiracist interventions could support them and their classroom environments.

To this end, practicing in on-going reflection is a major cornerstone of this workbook. This workbook refuses an understanding of anti-racism that doesn’t start with self-work (Baker-Bell, 2020). Throughout this workbook you will be continually asked to reflect, to interrogate your values, assumptions, and commonplaces, and to use this knowledge to guide your inquiry into anti-racism.

In this workbook, anti-racism is defined as an intentional stance against white supremacy and structural racism manifested by redressing the harms of white supremacy and structural racism through individual, structural, and institutional change (Baker-Bell, 2020; Kishimoto 2017).

Metis artist Dylan Miner best captures this idea through the following graphic:

a dark circle with the text "we will confront state-sanctioned white supremacy and racism" in the center surrounded by the phrase "on many sides" at each intercardinal direction

Three major reflective question structure and guide the workbook. You will encounter them throughout the different pages of this website, and we present them here as an initial reflective moment:

  • Do you consider yourself to be anti-racist?
  • Do you consider yourself to be an antiracist teacher? Why or why not?
  • What do you see as the obstacles preventing you from engaging in anti-racist practice?

Before you move anywhere else in the workbook, take a moment and review these questions. If you have the time, take some time to write out your answers. Whatever your answers, these questions can inform how you might navigate the workbook.

Anti-racist work is on-going, complicated, and ever-changing. We acknowledge that everyone learns and processes content differently. This workbook is intended to promote both solo and group usage. We encourage all who come to this work to embrace the contents as ongoing, shifting, and largely contextual. To that end, if at any point you want to give us feedback, please use the Feedback Page to do so.

Please check out our User Guide if you want a more in-depth description of the table of contents.

Return to the Explore Page to access the rest of the workbook using the button bellow.

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