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Teacher Professional Development

The Teacher Professional Development program by the R­acial Empowerment Collaborative (REC) seeks to increase racial literacy—the ability to read, recast, and resolve racially stressful social interactions—of teachers and school leaders. At REC, we view the ability to cope with racial stress as a matter of skill, not character or morality. The more we practice the skills of racial literacy, the more competent we become in navigating racially stressful encounters across various social contexts.

Racial conflicts in schools often remain hidden at the expense of a healthy school climate and the well being of Students of Color. Most schools fail to act on racial microaggressions because the stress of negotiating such conflicts is extremely high. Stress affects thoughts, feelings, body reactions, relationships and actions, and racial discourse is so stressful physically, physiologically, and intellectually that instead of facing conflict directly, educators and school leaders perpetuate a set of avoidance coping strategies. A healthier approach is to cultivate racial literacy by means of storytelling, journaling, relaxation, debating, and role playing. By reducing teachers’ and school leaders’ racial stress, REC believes schools will be able to provide learning environments in which Students of Color thrive. 

REC Teacher Professional Development offers:
  • A model that applies culturally relevant behavioral stress management strategies to address racial stress in schools
  • Workable solutions for students, parents, teachers, and administrators
  • Measurable outcomes and strategies for developing racial literacy skills that can be integrated into the K-12 curriculum and teacher professional development
  • Teaching and leadership skills that will create a more tolerant and supportive school environment for all students