Across the country, demonstrations against systemic racism, sparked by police killings of unarmed Black people, have led many K-12 educators to re-evaluate their practices. Some are asking whether their curricula, instruction, and school climate must change to better serve students of color. Others are looking into anti-bias training for school staff. But focusing only on what adults should do differently overlooks a key constituency: students. They, too, have biases and blind spots. They, too, can behave in ignorant, insensitive ways. One teenager, Zoë Jenkins, decided to do something about it. If ideas like hers—effective anti-bias training for all students—take root nationally, millions of young hearts and minds could change. Jenkins noticed that no one was teaching her fellow students about the realities of race and its effects on people and systems. She couldn’t find any trainings, so she teamed up with a university and a nonprofit to write one. We asked Jenkins to write about the project.
A version of this article appeared in the September 23, 2020 edition of Education Week as Students Need Anti-Bias Training, Too