Skip to main content

REC Summer Institutes

At the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC), we view the ability to cope with racial stress as a matter of skill, not character or morality. Dr. Howard Stevenson’s annual Summer Racial Literacy Institute seeks to increase racial literacy—the ability to read, recast, and resolve racially stressful social interactions—in our participants. The more we practice the skills of racial literacy, the more competent we become in navigating racially stressful encounters across various social contexts. The Racial Literacy Institute will be held this August from the 5th through the 8th.

The training is designed for superintendents, administrators, teachers, and students (as well as others from the not-for-profit sector) who engage with racial conflicts that all too often occur in schools. 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. Racial discourse is so stressful physically, physiologically, and intellectually that instead of facing conflict directly, educators and school leaders perpetuate a set of avoidance and 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, we believe schools will be able to provide learning environments in which students of color thrive.

Attendees will learn:

  • A model that applies culturally relevant behavioral stress management strategies to address racial stress in schools and elsewhere.
  • 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/faculty/staff professional development.
  • Teaching and leadership skills that will create a more tolerant and supportive school environment for all students.