In this highly anticipated work, Dwayne D. Williams argues that schools often rush to make surface-level changes that don’t address the racist beliefs and practices that result in inequity. In a compelling argument, Williams contends “It is possible to design highly engaging, culturally responsive programming for students of color, yet maintain racist and oppressive beliefs and attitudes about their cultures, abilities, languages, literacies, and identities.” Instead, educators must engage in surgical work of the mind by interrogating and rejecting racist, deficit-based thinking concerning students of color, which Williams describes as the “prep work” that precedes designing antiracist and culturally sustaining programming. In this book, Williams employs CASEL’s five SEL competencies as both a framework and a toolkit to interrogate beliefs and attitudes, and then to prepare for antiracist and culturally sustaining teaching.
“Dwayne D. Williams illustrates how trauma associated with the Black American experience derives from a systemic tradition of anti-Blackness. The impact of this trauma on the teaching and learning for students and educators of color necessitates the redesigning of educational practices grounded in social emotional learning. If educational institutions and individual practitioners are authentic in the call for antiracism, Redesign positions organizations to do the adaptive and technical work that leads to equitable student outcomes.”
~LeVar J. Ammons, Ed.D, Executive Director of Equity and Student Success
Oak Park and River Forest High School