You've got to be carefully taught
September 4, 2009 3:55 PM   Subscribe

A friend is teaching a "Multicultural Education and Identity" class in a high-school setting, and asked me for advice, so I'm asking you, hive. I would like a broad spectrum of anti-discrimination educational resources and materials, for ages 12-adult. Interested particularly in racism, classism, able-ism, and privilege.

My friend wants to spice up lectures with visuals, videos, articles, and other supplementary materials. He's looking for a variety of stuff, including, but not limited to, the following:

Some sample topics:
- respectful discussions of privilege
- helpful ideas for privileged people to navigate the world fairly
- ideas for PoC and whites to address racism in real life
- internalized racism, beauty standards, etc.
- reverse racism and whether or not it exists
- racist tropes in pop culture, media bias, etc.
- clear & engaging definitions of key terms and supporting statistics

Ideal Materials could include anything, really: blog posts, articles, essays, YouTube videos, songs, short films, art, visuals, quizzes, interactive activities, stand-up comedy, whatever.


- Would really prefer to avoid snark and condescension. Sites like Derailing for Dummies, for instance, have fantastic information, and are fun for PoC to read, but tend to alienate the very people they intend to educate. I absolutely understand how frustrating these issues can be (first hand... believe me) but ideally we'd want these materials to be inclusive, not accusatory.

- On the other hand, we would love stuff like The Deal With Disability, which was recently featured on the blue. Eva's a tiny bit snarky, yes, but her humour and her very unusual vantage point more than make up for it. So I guess SOME snark is okay, if it's thought-provoking rather than abrasive.

Other resources I think would be great, to give more examples:
Chris Rock's "Good Hair"
Kiri Davis' "A Girl Like Me"
"A Class Divided"
Peggy MacIntosh's "Invisible Knapsack"
the Harvard Implicit Association quizzes
Heidi the Sugarmonster's article about why she chose to have weight-loss surgery
Even small doses of pop culture phenoms like Borat and Russell Peters, who sometimes cross the line but could still provide good seeds for discussion.

... More, like those would be really helpful. Thanks in advance!
posted by pseudostrabismus to Education (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh dang, I just realized it's an undergrad course, first year university (my friend formerly taught high school, I got confused). So more "adult" stuff, perhaps geared to age ~19, would be great.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 4:13 PM on September 4, 2009 <>
posted by guniang at 5:58 PM on September 4, 2009

The essay "Shame", by Pam Noles, is one of the most clearest first-person accounts of the impact that pop-culture representations can have on people of color.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:00 PM on September 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Murderball might be a good movie to consider. There's a lot of discussion of how the respective participants are treated among many other things.

Sam Lurie
would be an excellent resource on transgendered and raising awareness of transgendered persons and the "privileges" that go along with not being transgendered. I attended a workshop he gave a few years ago, and some of what non-transgendered people take for granted really hit a chord with me as I just didn't realize it before.

Counseling the Culturally Diverse is a book that was used in my Diverse Populations counseling class. There's a lot of discussion of frame of reference, "privilege" in different forms and from different perspectives. As you can probably tell from the title, it does have a counseling perspective, but a lot of what your friend seems to be looking for is also covered --- perhaps your friend can take bits and pieces from it.

Vernon A. Wallis amazing. Freaking amazing, I dare say. He led a workshop I attended on cultural identity and how that affects our interpretation of others, etc. What I really liked about him is that he puts forth the idea of multiple identities, and that someone may be privileged in one identity but not in another. Sooooo much was covered in the seven hour workshop I attended. If your friend is working in higher ed., I strongly recommend that he or she speaks with appropriate people at the institution to have him come for a workshop there and to couple that with him guest lecturing at his or her class. I'm sure he has materials available or would be willing to respond to some e-mails about how to approach some of these topics. I'll say it again, this guy is awesome.

I'm sure I can come up with a lot more if I think about it some.
posted by zizzle at 6:13 PM on September 4, 2009

The movie Dancer In The Dark, while bleak and depressing and so on, touches on a lot of classism/ableism issues.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:19 PM on September 4, 2009

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh is a great, short read. It's a little dated at this point but still very eye-opening. Just Google for it, you'll find it. Teaching Tolerance has a lot of great diversity resources that you can download for free online.
posted by NHlove at 7:22 PM on September 4, 2009

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a lot of great material for all age groups. They also sponsor the Teaching Tolerance site that NHlove mentioned above.
posted by amyms at 7:29 PM on September 4, 2009

Nthing teaching resources from the Southern Poverty Law Center. They are professional designed curriculum for school children of various ages.
posted by metahawk at 8:19 PM on September 4, 2009

June Jordan's essay: Nobody Mean More to Me than You and the Future Life of Willie Jordan

Available online.
posted by cushie at 9:35 PM on September 4, 2009

The American Anthropological Association has a pretty good project on race, with lots of interactive stuff. (You can skip the intro if you want.)
posted by carmen at 11:44 AM on September 5, 2009

If the class involves fat-acceptance and sizeism, this is slightly abrasive, but very moving to people who read it in that weird way.

Target Women and That's Gay are short videos that a college kid would be entertained by. They both mock the pervasiveness of the priveleged's stereotypes in the media in an accessible way.
posted by itsonreserve at 11:30 PM on September 5, 2009

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