EBarney Profile picture
10 Jun, 28 tweets, 9 min read
Very excited to join #EdEquityTalks to learn from Kimberlé Crenshaw @sandylocks (known for her foundational work around critical race theory and intersectionality) for a talk titled "Intersectionality in Action"
First Q: What's something about Dr. Crenshaw we couldn't learn from Google?

A: She loves gadgets - which helps for webinars like this, doing her @IMKC_podcast podcast & also eating and exploring new foods when she travels!
Summary: CRT & Intersectionality provide a framework, ways to engage with ways inequality is formed, provide tools to imagine how to dismantle oppressive structures. (this is an abbreviated version of conversation, not exact quote)
Historical background: as child of civil rights movement, moved from society formed around idea of white supremacy, now society has repudiated idea but is still grappling with how to really do that inside institutions.
Sit-ins done from outside. Now folks are trying to bring change from within, but learning issues and changing are two different things!

See the power of figure like Thurgood Marshall: those who open up path to knowledge production, see role of lawyers & educators & activists.
What came out of integrating educational institutions: many more intersectional studies depts. But institutions helped create segregation, how can we keep working to create integration now?

Backlash coming from seeing that path moving forward.
Resistance and fear of reimagining, dismantling is very, very clear right now.

SO many different definitions of CRT, attacks on racial justice work - weaponizing the terminology to prevent teaching uncomfortable history.
Preventing students from critiquing race is larger phenomenon, not just a "southern strategy"

Q: How do you make meaning of this larger landscape? What messages do you have for educators, students, policymakers?
A from @sandylocks: Thanks for framing it this way! Key to see how institutions give into these attacks. How have we seen this before, why does it take so long to see what's really happening?
Abolitionist literature was criminalized! Southern states mobilized federal law to stop the narrative of abolition from spreading, enslaved people weren't permitted to even read.

Why is suppressing ability to read, think, debate so key to history and this moment?
People who prefer the status quo always claim discourse is divisive, substantive moves include frames of "reverse discrimination" and violations of rights if whites had to be near blacks in civil rights movement.
This twisted strategy, to generate resentment & insecurity from zero-sum narratives of power every time inequality is challenged, is always the method no matter what the current terms & battles are. Distortion is key to misinformation. - @sandylocks
Consider the source: What do they want to persuade people to believe? So many lies: Election stolen, Jan 6th tourists, no climate change, civil war "northern aggression" - all are meant to advance grievances & defending status quo power. - @sandylocks
Q: Why are they so good at this? We know power & white supremacy will never concede.

A: For the other side, starting w/ cultural understandings that people don't even see. Interrupting is like going against gravity, redirecting the dimensions of power. It's always disruptive.
What's taken as "neutral/natural/just there"? What interrupts, what goes against the grain?

@sandylocks points to the substantive, unequal realities: however they are created (from laws, from patterns of segregation) they are all problems that hard to overcome w/n status quo
If you reinforce the status quo by telling people you deserve this, you earned this, folks don't want to lose that security/ identity.

Can we see who was wiped out, wasn't able to do the same? That story is harder to tell, but people are activated when they see it. - @sandylocks
Q from audience: How can we help those who set policy for youth stand strong on teaching history & reality of racial oppression? Is protest best tool?

A: See history here too! Protest not the only tool, but w/o it, no robust effort for difficult conversations - @sandylocks
Transformative progress happens when folks "from White House to outhouse" see problem similarly.

What do we need now? Greater capacity to read conditions of inequality, engage in activities that let us see problems that still exist. Get beyond colorblindness - @sandylocks
What can we do to be more present, to take protest energy into institutions of power? Keep asking questions. Keep aligning what we're doing with these values. Name social problems clearly. Defend tools to measure problems. Lift up & bring to table those being harmed - @Sandylocks
Philanthropy has played a huge role in determining which versions of racial inequality were centered, what narratives we see. Need to examine that, understand impact. - @sandylocks
More on Black Girls Matter initiative - see @sandylocks article on Ma’Khia Bryant from April here for quotes: aapf.org/theintersectio…

Out of @LawyersComm discussion of how narratives about "school to prison pipeline" etc. not seen as issues that affected black girls
Disparities of risks w/ school discipline higher for black girls than black boys, but not part of the discussion!

Do we see how particular forms of racism affect black girls? Are they part of the agenda? That's intersectional erasure if they're not. - @sandylocks
We can choose not to participate in erasure & silence w/ #BlackGirlsMatter, see the growing research & advocacy as a result.

Generating interest & demand means we can't look away! Centering the black girls at the margin helps everyone else along the way! @GislaineEdSpeak
Great Q from @GislaineEdSpeak - how do you sustain hope, what are you dreaming about these days?

A from @sandylocks: Times where she wants to fight, but takes a step back to see where this is distraction, see how crazy these attacks on tools to help are.
We wouldn't say the solution to asbestos poisoning is to stop talking about toxicity - @Sandylocks

Seeing how many people are beginning to be activated is hopeful, seeing how reactions are part of cycle but different situation w/ people wanting to dig deeper.
Those who passed the baton on - one that was smaller and harder to carry - did their job in passing something to move forward.

This is our moment to stand firm, tall, strong to not let tactics shift (no talking! that's discrimination!).

Preserve framework, ideas, to transform!
Dreams? What does the awakening within the awakening look like?

Marching not just in protest but into advocacy within the school, the workplace, places of worship and daily life.
Goal: Go beyond individual perspectives, beyond prejudice. Grow understanding of implicit bias, unequal distribution of opportunity. Ask better questions! Take all this energy and use it to build out transformative justice! @sandyhooks #EdEquityTalks

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