Anti-Black Racism and Critical Race Education Course
Learn to educate others and make changes to systemic barriers
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Learn more about the Anti-Black Racism and Critical Race Education Modules
Click on each module below for a general description of topics that will be covered. To earn a certificate of attendance, you must complete modules 1 to 8.
Note: Module 9 is a bonus module that is not required to be completed to earn thecertificate of attendance.
This module begins with the introduction of some key concepts and terms. The primary goal is to broaden participants’ knowledge and understanding of these key concepts and terms often used in anti-racism education. The discussions will draw on examples from local, national, and global contexts to bring conceptual clarity to these terms.
The following are some of the concepts that will be discussed in Module 1: Race, Racialization, Racism, Types of Racism, Anti-Black Racism, Intersectionality, Color Blindness, Meritocracy.
Module 2 continues the discussion on some of the key concepts and terms often used in everyday conversations and in anti-racism education. The primary goal is to broaden participants’ knowledge and understanding of these concepts.
The module will integrate research from social science disciplines with more traditional and critical sociological paradigms February 2023 to engage such questions as: what is ‘Whiteness,’ ‘White Privilege,’ ‘White Supremacy,’ ‘White Fragility,’ ‘Colonialism,’ ‘Indigenization’, and ‘Decolonization’.
This module traces Black peoples’ history in Canada predating the formation of Canada as a nation state. In doing so, it challenges three misconceptions about Canada regarding Black people’s history in Canada: (1) Canada never practiced slavery; (2) Canada stood against slavery by offering a safe haven for Black people escaping slavery in the United States; (3) Blacks started arriving in Canada after White Settlers had successfully built the country.
The module traces the history of anti-Black racism in laws, policies, politics, and practices in Canada dating back to the 1700s to the present day.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a relatively new form of legal scholarship emerging from the Civil Rights and Critical Legal Studies movements in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. The theory emerged in the 1980s from a group of, predominantly racialized, civil rights activists and legal scholars including Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Richard Delgado, and Patricia Williams. These Legal scholars felt the enthusiasm that greeted racial reforms in the United States during the Civil Rights Movements was gradually dissipating. They also noted that the old approaches of conducting protests and appealing to the moral sensibilities of American citizens were yielding fewer results. After the seminal Critical Legal Studies alternative conference on the silence of race, CRT as an activist movement exploded and scholars such as Richard Delgado, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Angela Harris, Charles Lawrence, Mari Matsuda, Patricia Williams, Neil Gotanda, Eric Yamamoto, Francisco Valdes, and Kelvin Johnson built on the earlier discussion of race and racism in jurisprudence. In Canada, CRT is finding expression in some of the work of Carol Aylward and locally based community legal groups like the African Canadian Legal Clinic in Toronto. However, it has not received the same amount of support or attention as CRT work in the US. Today, CRT has expanded to several facets of academic disciplines including the field of education.
In Module 4, we will explore in detail the CRT and its central tenets. We will explore the similarities and differences between CRT and Anti-Racism Education, as well as the importance of CRT praxis for educational transformation.
We know through cognitive science that human behaviours, beliefs, values, worldviews, and attitudes are formed and shaped by automatic and unconscious cognitive processes (Burgess, Fu & van Ryn, 2004). Even when that information is unreliable, inaccurate, and one-sided, it does not stop the mind to rely on the information it has collected consciously and unconsciously to make decisions and judgement calls about people and situations.
In Module 5, we discuss unconscious biases, their varied forms, how they get formed, the mechanisms that work against human ability to recognize them, and the most effective ways of dealing with unconscious biases in the workplace and institutional settings.
This module provides conceptual clarity of cultural competency, humility and sensitivity and its shifting nature. It will provide participants with the historical origin of cultural competency/humility and sensitivity and discuss the different stages of cultural competence. It will further discuss the limitations of cultural competency/humility/safety and sensitivity in critical whiteness studies and anti-racism education. What do you need to know about different cultural groups in order to work with them effectively.
Race is the proverbial White Elephant in a room. Everybody knows it is there, no one really wants to talk about it. Given the tensions, emotions, anxieties, and fears that come with conversations on race, we ignore race-based conversations even when legitimate issues are tabled for discussion.
In Module 7, we discuss attitudes and behaviours that can make cross-racial dialogue difficult and offer multiple strategies for organizations, management and institutions to facilitate critical discussions on race in workplace environments that have a diverse workforce. Questions that we will be discussing include what concerns you most about cross-racial dialogue? How do we position differences in ways that can make a difference? Do you need support in how your organization can engage in cross-racial dialogue in the workplace?
Module 8 will explore the psychiatry of racism, anti-Black racism and colonialism and their implications in the field of mental health. The discussion will draw on readings that speak to the historical and ongoing micro and macro aggressions against Black people in Canada and the United States. It will place significant emphasis on the language used in the field of psychiatry, mental health practices and counselling to deny the humanity of Black people while justifying their dehumanized treatments. The goal here is to unpack on how whiteness is situated within mental health practices and counselling emphasizing micro/clinical aggression against racialized people.
Although the scourge of racism and anti-Black racism has been evident in the field of mental health for many years, only recently that there has been an active interest to promote antiracist and decolonial approaches to correct historical damage done to the othered communities. I agree with Dr. Angela Davis that “in a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” Healthcare providers must actively work on every single level, towards being anti-racist.
This module explores the importance of culture and race in cross-racial therapeutic settings. The goal is to identify and discuss guidelines for anti-racist strategies in mental health care counselling as well as to discuss appropriate culturally and racially assessment tools for working with racialized and Indigenous clients. The section ends with discussion on treatment approaches that address the real needs and issues of racism experienced by Indigenous and racialized individuals.