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A graphic of schoolchildren painted on a wall.
COVID-19 has highlighted longstanding racial inequalities in the education system. Educators say there is a way forward and out of this. (Leonardo Burgos/Unsplash)

How to spark change within our unequal education system: Don’t Call Me Resilient EP 3

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Official reports have been declaring systemic racism in North America’s education system for more than 30 years. What will it take to change?

Even before COVID-19, education experts were sounding the alarm about the future of racialized children in our schools. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only underscored — even deepened — the divide.

On this episode of Don’t Call me Resilient, we speak with Kulsoom Anwer, a high school teacher who joined us from her classroom in one of Toronto’s most marginalized neighbourhoods. With her is Carl James, professor of education at York University. Together we discuss the injustices and inequalities in the education system and, in the conversation, we also explore some possible ways forward.

Every week, we highlight articles that drill down into the topics we discuss in the episode. This week, both articles say that combating racism in schools is not only possible, but also that solutions are in the hands of educators.

To make change, teachers must not only question existing power dynamics, but they must also acknowledge and validate the racism that is experienced by Black, Indigenous and racialized youth.

This week:

For a full transcript of this episode of Don’t Call Me Resilient, go here.


Read more: Short-term anti-racist training is not enough to counter systemic racism in Canadian education


You can listen or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. We’d love to hear from you, including any ideas for future episodes. Join The Conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #DontCallMeResilient.

This podcast is produced by The Conversation with a grant for Journalism Innovation by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. It is hosted and produced by Vinita Srivastava. The producer is Nahid Buie. Production help from Ibrahim Daair, Anowa Quarcoo, Latifa Abdin, Vicky Mochama, Nehal El-Hadi. Sound engineer: Reza Dahya. Audience development: Lisa Varano. Theme music by Zaki Ibrahim. Logo by Zoe Jazz. Saniya Rashid is our research assistant supported by MITACS. Our CEO is Scott White. Thanks to Jennifer Moroz for her advice. Launch team: Imriel Morgan/Content is Queen.

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