Racial and Social Justice Supports for Educators


Educators Advocacy for Students 

Establish a Socially and Emotionally Safe Space for Learning

  • Create a WELCOMING/INCLUSIVE Ritual/Rhythm daily
    • Check-in and Community Building that honors how people are showing up and connecting to each other (ex: Mood Meter or Circles)
  • Embed BRAIN BREAKS and MINDFULNESS PRACTICES throughout your lesson (include links in your Google Classroom or use Remind Text to encourage regular brain breaks throughout the day)
  • End each class/lesson with a meaningful Optimistic Closure- Hope is important for resiliency (embed a prompt in Google Classroom for reflection)
  • See ideas for here
  • If all you do tomorrow for class is hold a Zoom circle to process emotions and world events, it would have been a very good day of distance learning. If you don’t know what or how to do this, here’s a short version:
  1. Do a short opening telling students you care about them. If you are comfortable using the word “love” then say it.
  2. Say you want to suspend regular class to hold a time for sharing and talking about what is going on. Talk less in this class, listen more.
  3. Do a round of ” una palabra” – the one word to capture how you feel.
  4. Double a round of “share what is on your heart” about all of this. You might have to go first to model.
  5. Ask students what they feel like they want from school when this is over or how school could help with situations like this.
  6. Thank you, reiterate how much you care.
  7. Repeat una palabra.
  8. Repeat #6 and dismiss class.

#racialhealingallies (Shared by Dr. Elysse Versher, AP West Campus)

Be Trauma-Informed

  • Maintain routines and norms-Predictability is important for safety!
  • Withhold judgment. No matter our beliefs, it’s our job to make sure our students feel safe, supported and valued. 
  • Understand yourself, and recognize your own beliefs, privileges and responses. 
  • Use active listening skills – ask clarifying questions, seek to understand rather than respond.
  • Validate students experiences and feelings.
  • Talk with students 1:1 regarding behavior concerns – avoid discipline approaches that give way to shaming. (Call or schedule 1:1 zoom check-ins)
  • Balance normal school expectations with flexibility. Consider postponing large tests or projects that require extensive energy and concentration following significant events.
  • 4 Priorities for Trauma Informed Teaching During Distance Learning

Recognize Students in Need 

Model Humility, Vulnerability & Courage

  • As you discuss difficult issues about race, be open to learning something new – especially from your students. Approach conversation with a goal of learning and understanding, not persuading or convincing.
  • Consider context – Be mindful of the social and historical context and approach conversations with an awareness of your own privilege.
  • Be willing to acknowledge that you might be wrong!  Understand that we all have implicit biases that determine how we perceive the world.
  • Get comfortable with discomfort because concepts about race and trauma are difficult to discuss. We cannot avoid the discussions, instead we can have compassion for others through mindful engagement.
  • Guide on How to Facilitate Critical Conversations

Resources for Student Support 

SEL Resources

3 SEL Signature Practices for Distance Learning

Mindfulness Resources

Virtual Calming Room: for all grades and adults

Mindful Breathe.Move.Rest: Free curriculum for all grades and adults

Mindful Schools Free Classes for Kids: for Grades K-5

Free Headspace App: for Grades 6-12 and adults

Racial and Social Justice Resources

Teaching for Tolerance lessons

Facing History and Ourselves lessons on Race and Policing

How to Foster Civil Discourse

3 SEL Skills You Need to Talk About Race

Community Building Circle Prompts