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Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions March 2010
Dear Educators,There’s an unwritten rule that to avoid controversy, don’t talk about race, religion, or politics. The fact is: we’re a truly multiracial society. Do we embrace it? Confront it? Fear it?
YES! Magazine’s current issue, America: The Remix, can help your students understand the complexities of who they are and the beauty of our country’s diversity. The issue is brimming with stories and classroom tools about building a nation that is consciously inclusive.
We’re also pleased to feature Teaching Tolerance’s Teaching Diverse Students Initiative. This smart collection of research-based resources simulates encounters that will confront your attitudes about race and privilege and help you teach every student.
by Walter Davis
In urban Atlanta, Walter Davis teaches at a school within a school. It’s a school just for young teenage boys—all of whom are people of color. Read how Walter pours his heart, humor, and love for literature into empowering his students to believe in themselves, to be excellent students, and—ultimately—to become successful fathers, husbands, brothers, and professionals. This is Walter’s story.
MORE OF YOUR STORIES: Growing Good People. Beauty of Teenagers. Free to Be Me. Starting with Place. Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Classroom. The Power of Youth.
SEND US your own story to share with our growing network of YES! educators.
Today, many students are taught by someone who does not share their ethnicity, language, or culture. How can teachers effectively teach diverse students when they struggle with their own understanding of race?
The Teaching Diverse Students Initiative is the product of some of the leading scholars in multicultural education. Its tools focus on classroom strategies and pedagogy to reach all students. It also offers ways to reduce teacher and student prejudice. The unit “Understanding the Influence of Race” prompts you to take an honest look at your own beliefs and behavior about race, and see more clearly how and why your students of color may succeed or struggle. The teaching kit “The Power of Words” has eight lesson plans (grades 9-12) that explore words used to label ethnic groups, genders, and sexual identities.
You’ll also find other Teaching Tolerance treats, such as Mix It Up activities and their most current issue of Teaching Tolerance magazine, “The New Segregation.”
Young people develop their assumptions and beliefs based on stereotypes and limited experience. It’s not unusual for some kids to have little exposure to people different than themselves. Here are resources and lesson plans that will help them explore race and the experiences of multiracial people.
Half of America’s multiethnic persons are under 20 years old. Have your students read Dr. Maria Root’s 50 Experiences of Racially Mixed People. Ask them to step in the shoes of a multiracial person and wonder, “Where do I belong?”
Current science tells us we share a common ancestry, and the differences among people aren’t as great as they seem. Through three interactive lenses—history, science, and lived experience—the RACE Project will challenge how your students think about race.
by Charles John Pace
“the morning is my lamp and I say yes
Do you ever walk into your classroom and sense this feeling of no from your students? Do I have to do this? Do I have to do that? Do you simply want to shout, “Let’s be a classroom of YES!” Yes, I want to get along with others. Yes, I want to work hard. Yes, you are my favorite teacher!
INDEX: in this issue
How to Get More YES!
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YES! Web Picks
VIDEO Charter for Compassion
Behold what happens when 150,000 inspirational thinkers and leaders from 180 countries reconstruct the Golden Rule.
The Illusion and Power of Skin Color
Anthropologist Nina Jablonski has a lot to say about how our skin affects how we are perceived.
MUSIC Music to Sweeten your Mood
Afro-Peruvian jazz singer Susana Baca, toe-tapping melodies of Neil Halstead, and “By the People” soundtrack featuring Springsteen, Mayer, and more.
YES! in Spanish
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