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Six Lenses for Anti-Oppressive Education

Partial Stories, Improbable Conversations


Edited By Kevin K. Kumashiro and Bic Ngo

This book spotlights six themes or «lenses» for understanding and analyzing education and its relation to oppression and anti-oppressive transformation. It brings together multiple perspectives on anti-oppressive education from various contexts, including K-12 schools, teacher education programs, postsecondary institutions, and community-based organizations. The book provides an array of practical and theoretical resources for educators to explore and innovate ways to confront and dismantle racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism and other forms of oppression in education. Significantly, this 2 nd edition boasts ten new chapters as well as new or considerably revised Conversations for each of the six Parts. The chapters provide readers with diverse perspectives for considering anti-oppressive education from a range of content areas in K-12, postsecondary, and community contexts; student and educator populations; social differences; activities; and research methodology. In addition, this new edition significantly amplifies the perspectives and experiences of youth, including those from Southeast Asian, South Asian, and African American communities.


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Part Five: Complicating Race and Racism in Theory and Practice


Complicating Race and Racism in Theory and Practice p a r t f i v e c h a p t e r n i n e In 1849, the abolitionist orator Frederick Douglass wrote: If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet de- preciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will. (Douglass, 1991, p. vii) Over 150 years later, Douglass’s potent statement and call to action continues to hold true. The struggle against dominance fascinates me. I have always been drawn to those who resist oppression and demonstrate agency—today and in history. Opti- mally, institutions of higher education should be spaces of access and opportunity, the opening of minds, the broadening of perspectives, and the acquisition of valuable skills. Serving as Associate Dean for Institutional Diversity on my campus, I aim to shift institutional culture and climate while empowering students with the critical framework and skill sets to shape their own destinies and, I hope, challenge the dom- inant system. Throughout the history of higher education, however, universities have also been spaces of exclusion, dominance, and...

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