Wednesday, August 29, 2018


As part of our 2 day teacher PD to begin the year, our school wrote a grant to bring the ADL (AntiDefamation League) in to do training with our students and our teachers.  We had a 3 hour training session for our teachers and our students will have leaders participate in their own training.  If you go to the website, there are a ton of resources!

I have not been in a session about this before.  I am mostly writing this as a method to share ideas, links, and resources with you and to also process my own thinking.

We started with this brief video the ADL made to celebrate 100 years. 
It is called Imagine: A World With Hate. 
Watch carefully.  What do you notice?
Pretty powerful.

We did some small exercises.  Here is one.  Quick, count the Fs in the following sentence.  Don't look below until you have counted. 

"Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years."

counting, counting

Did you say 3, 4, 5, 6?  Hmmmmm.  The answer is six.  Go ahead, go back and look.  What did you miss?  Oh, those f's in the word "of".  Why?  Because the "f" in "of" sound like a v and not an f.  It shows us that we didn't notice the small words.  We need to become aware.

Now, something different, go ahead and fold your hands together. Yes, so your fingers are all entwined.  Which thumb is on top?  We did this in a room of about 100 teachers and it was about 50/50 with left or right on top.  Now, go ahead and switch your thumbs around.
How do you feel? Uncomfortable...but not wrong.  There is no right way to do it.  Just different.  But, we are comfortable with it, so we might think it is right, or the only way.

Another.  Again, we did this with a group of 100 teachers.  We were instructed to take a piece of paper in our hands and then close our eyes.  Now, fold the paper in half.  Fold the paper in half.  Rip off the bottom right corner.  Now, flip the paper over and rip off the new bottom right corner.  Open up your paper and hold it up in the air.  Open your eyes and look around.

What did you look for?  You probably looked for someone, anyone to have one that looked like yours.  We are looking to be correct.  We are looking for others that are like us.

Oh, and this final one.  He had us count out loud as a chorus as he showed one number at a time.
Say the answer as you add each number.  This probably won't work as well because you can see all the numbers.  Just read right to left and add.
1000 + 40 + 1000 + 30 + 1000 + 20 + 1000 + 10 = what does it equal

No peeking

Did you say 5000?  Are you sure?
Look again.
The answer is 4100. How do you feel?  Stupid, maybe shutting down because you were wrong?  You fell into a pattern and went with it, kind of like a stereotype.  Maybe because we all said it together, you were influenced by what others were saying and stopped thinking for yourself?

Just some activities to make you think. 

WGBH has a video called Peanut Butter and Jelly Racism about implicit bias.

MTV has short vignettes on microaggressions at  These vignettes are on Youtube.  Link

And, we finished with John Cena and a video about the Love Has No Labels Campaign.  You can find resources at Love Has No Labels

As I said this session made me think and then I wanted to share.  I hope you are able to take and use and share some of this information.

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