We partner with experts to offer monthly training and workshops to the community. Examples of topics we’ve discussed are the importance of multicultural curriculum, curriculum violence, the problem with color-blindness, Walking in my Shoes: Community members sharing what it’s like to live in their skin, role-play conversations on race, and a panel discussion on the documentary 13th. We also have a bi-monthly book club with over 80 active members.
PreK-12 Curriculum Development and Classroom Resources
We examine the diversity in our school curriculum and resources to ensure accurate history and diverse stories are being taught. This includes working with the teaching staff as they develop the new K-5 curriculum. We recently worked with school leadership and wrote new social justice standards to augment what DESE’s latest standards. We are currently grading and scoring books to find the best materials to teach to the new social justice standards.
Diversity in Classroom Leadership and Literature
While creating a diverse and inclusive school environment is important to many districts, it’s challenging to accomplish in MA because over 90% of teachers are white. The shortage of teachers of color is an issue that has profound effects on all students. When black and brown students have teachers that look like them, they are more likely to feel connected to their schools, be recommended to honor programs and attend college. Diverse teachers are equally important to white students as school is a child’s first experience of community leadership and the omission of teachers of color can propagate stereotypes and misinformation. Over 70% of white people only associate with other white people. . This segregation is harmful to communities and is, in part, perpetuated by the lack of diversity and racial competence within school systems and town governance.
Our program has the potential to diversify teacher demographics and curriculum across MA. We recruit, train and support multiracial high school and college student teachers to spend time in K-5 classrooms where they read diverse books and create conversations about race, racism and social justice. Since our founder’s child suffered 3 racial incidents in Kindergarten, we recognize the need to facilitate these conversations early and work with schools to change curriculum. RMK’s diverse team developed social justice standards to teach children the necessary language and skills to productively discuss these issues as well as empower them with ways to take action. Prior to our work with Easton Public Schools, its teaching staff was 99% white. Now 55% of K-5 grades have diverse Student Teachers visiting once a week. Student Teachers not only serve as role models and create essential lesson plans, but time in the classroom provides them the opportunity to explore teaching as a career. All Student Teachers are mentored and when one decides to major in education, we work with local universities to provide any support needed to ensure their success. We have already expanded our work to another district and hope to secure additional funding to further grow.
Click the Listen Here button below for more on the positive impact when given the opportunity of cultural representation in the classroom
The goal of the youth forum is to bring together youth from the Easton community to lead conversations with their peers on race, racism and social justice. This is also a place for young people to feel safe and supported as they do this work. RMK works to bring in resources such as mentorship, project management training and additional coaching for our young leaders.
We serve as a platform to amplify the voices of our multicultural families when they experience incidents as a result of their race or culture. We pull together RMK members, local leaders, and other local groups to address the families needs and recruit additional supports. We also serve as a space for anyone doing this work to unite and collectively gain the strength to continue advocating for equity. We also host social events to get to know each other and do self-care.