ABOUT THE ANTI-RACIST EDUCATOR
The Anti-Racist Educator aims to critically challenge racism by exploring teaching, discussing ideas and sharing learning resources for all to use. Whether you are interested in becoming a more racially conscious educator, or you are simply an individual seeking to learn more about racial matters, we hope you will join us on our life-long journey of anti-racist education.
What is The Anti-Racist Educator?
The Anti-Racist Educator critically challenges racism in education by sharing knowledge through a blog, glossary, podcast and various events. A product of the Scottish Association for Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE), the platform is run primarily by a collective of educators of colour working in Scotland.
The Anti-Racist Educator is first of all a safe space for people of colour to express themselves without the fear of negative repercussions. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is that our unique narratives are heard; each of our stories has the potential to spark change. We hope that the blog posts will allow more people to understand what really goes on in the lives of people of colour: the impact that we have, but also the racism that we experience and witness around us. We know that such counter-narratives can help white educators raise their racial consciousness and, with time, such a platform can influence policy and drive change.
More than just a blog, The Anti-Racist Educator is also an educational tool for everyone to use, no matter how you racially identify. After all, to engage more closely with anti-racism, it is important to understand the historical roots of racism, its power structures and its multiple operations. That is why we are also working on an ever-expanding glossary of key terminology.
What does it mean to be an anti-racist educator?
Many educators think they’re not-racist by simply treating all pupils equally, regardless of race. But few really think about what it means to actively be anti-racist.
Anti-racist education acknowledges that just following the status quo is not enough to truly counter the deeper roots of racism. Anti-racist educators need to constantly reflect on their teaching, realising their power to inadvertently reinforce racial hierarchies. With that power to perpetuate racism comes the power to intentionally dismantle those racial hierarchies.
Why do we need anti-racist education?
In Scotland, in the United Kingdom, and in many other Western countries, race is often forgotten or side-tracked in education by other competing oppressions, such as sexism and poverty. Finding a space to discuss, create and share ideas about race is necessary to work towards a socially just world. That’s why The Anti-Racist Educator makes it a point to isolate race.
However, The Anti-Racist Educator recognises that collective action is needed for social justice and, to avoid counter-productivity, anti-racism cannot be a single-issue movement. Therefore, The Anti-Racist Educator deals with intersectional oppressions and opposes all forms of hatred and discrimination.
Does race really matter anymore?
Explore this platform to find out!
My name is Mélina, I teach English in a secondary school in Scotland and I am an avid anti-racist activist. With a particular interest in academic research, I am currently a member of the Reframing Race programme run by the Runnymede Trust, I completed my MEd dissertation on anti-racism in Scottish educational policy and I received a scholarship to visit the USA and explore racial dialogue in education.
A lot of my anti-racist activism also stems from my involvement in the Scottish and British trade union movement. It has given me opportunities to engage with racial matters in education and society at wide, network with local communities, speak at conferences and design and facilitate workshops on racism. All of the above experiences feed into my contributions to this platform.
I have multiple identities that I wish to share here – some of them tend to privilege me, while others may lead to disadvantage. All of them will have an impact on my perception and my experience of the world. I choose to share some of these identities because, too often, people forget the identities that privilege us and instead they tend to focus on the ones that make us different. I am biracial (South Asian and white); a French citizen and immigrant in the UK; a cisgender, heterosexual woman with light-brown skin and straight hair; bilingual in French and English; able-bodied; a vegan from a middle-class Catholic background and in my twenties.
I’m an early-career primary teacher based in Glasgow. My energy for anti-racist activism and research come from both my experiences of being a Muslim from a Pakistani family, and seeing the structures of racism persist in wider society. Thinking about where our Nike trackies come from, who gets space to speak, and what constitutes "refined" culture are things often on my mind. I am also trying to write poetry – may share with willing souls.
Mélina, Hashim, Sangeeta, Franklin, Khadija, Titi, Eyram, Yetunde Beatrice and Navan.
- Nighet Riaz
Dr Nighet Riaz is an early careers researcher at the School of Education at the University of the West of Scotland. Nighet’s research explores how young people and communities can become ‘othered’ fuelled by moral panics to tackle the perceived disaffection of young people who have been identified as ‘at risk’ of social exclusion through policy and practice.
- Smina Akhtar
Smina Akhtar is a PhD student at the University of Glasgow researching experiences of anti-Muslim racism within state institutions and the strategies used by communities to resist racism. Her interests include the historical development of racism, the role of the state and anti-racism with a particular focus on political activism. Smina has been active within the anti-racist movement in Scotland for over 20 years and before returning to academia she held senior management and community development posts within the housing and voluntary sectors.
- Tony Adams
Tony Adams is a black Lecturer and EIS equality rep at City Of Glasgow College. He writes for the Scottish Left Review and he has published in the Asian Times, Caribbean Times, Morning Star and Weekly Journal.
- Aneel Singh
As the grandchild of migrants that came from India to Scotland in the 1950s and 1960s, my concern for the wellbeing of people from minority communities has always been strong. By volunteering and working on pioneering schemes projects that encourage the empowerment of minority communities, I have been, and am, fortunate enough to work with organisations that vehemently promote equalities and human rights issues and take an inclusive stance.
- Navan Govender
Navan N. Govender is a Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. He holds a Bachelor of Education degree (specialising in secondary English teaching), and Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Applied English Language Studies, and a PhD in Applied Language & Literacy Education in the field of critical literacy. His PhD investigated how critical literacy could be used to engage student teachers with issues related to sex, gender and sexual diversity in South Africa. Currently, he is working to understand critical literacy's role in Scottish English language and literacy education as well as in initial teacher education.
We are inviting people of colour and parents/guardians of children of colour in Scotland to contribute to our blog and our podcast by sharing their unique perspectives and to create a collective voice that can spark change.
If you identify as BME, BAME, a person of colour, and/or politically black, or you are a parent/guardian of a child of colour in Scotland, you may contribute by joining as a member, becoming an organiser and/or becoming a writer for The Anti-Racist Educator. Please get in touch!