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Apr 1

A Day of Purpose: Decolonizing Arts Education with Black Lives Matter at School

April 1, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

On April 1st, Black Lives Matter at School and the Teaching Artists Guild will partner on a special professional development opportunity for teaching artists that focuses on the ongoing activations and reflections from BLM at School’s Year of Purpose, which aims to uplift Black students and undo institutional racism. The centerpiece of the Year of Purpose is asking educators to reflect on their own work in relationship to antiracist pedagogy and abolitionist practice, persistently challenging themselves to center Black lives in their classrooms. Workshop facilitators from Black Lives Matter at School, Teaching Artists Guild, Zinn Education Project, and Creative Generation will partner on this event.

The first workshop in the series will have two parts. The first half will be a recorded discussion and Q&A on issues that Teaching Artists face with schools districts and employers that are banning reading material in their classrooms. They will also share resources for teaching artists to use in expanding their curriculum with a lens to Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and how to start conversations with their employers about broadening the canon of artists that are represented in their programming.

After the panel, participants will have the opportunity to have an intimate conversation with each panelist in a breakout room.

Each break out room will be led by a panelist and go into a unique issue that their organization is helping teaching artists resolve. Examples that the breakout rooms can address are dealing with banned books, how to highlight Black artists in your residency, or how to start a conversation about EDI with your employer. A NAC member from TAG will help take notes and type up resources discussed in the rooms that will be shared to the main group. This collective knowledge will be the starting point for a larger resource to be made out of this PD series and shared on the TAG website.

About the fee:

For this event, we are charging a modest $5 registration fee to help pay our facilitators and hosts. If this fee is a barrier to your participation in the event, please reach out to us at info@teachingartists.com for a promo code.


Auto-generated captions will be available during all sessions. We commit to providing ASL Interpretation if requested one week ahead of the event. Access needs can be requested at the time of registration or you can reach out to info@teachingartists.com to discuss your needs in advance of registering.


Tamara Anderson is a multi-talented actor, singer, writer, and director. She has been featured in musicals and plays across the country and in multiple TV, film, and commercials like The Blacklist and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She is an advocate for children and teens, an anti-racist trainer, a professional artist, editor, freelance journalist, and blogger with over 24 years of experience as an educator. Tamara is currently an adjunct at West Chester University in the Education Policy Department. Her production company, The Gumbo Lab, features a virtual platform for Black female identifying and Black queer solo artists and an annual ten-minute film festival. Her BIPOC Database and Resource Guide connects BIPOC creatives to work in the industry. She is one of the founding steering committee members of the National Black Lives Matter Week of Action at Schools, a founding member of the Racial Justice Organizing Committee, a founding member of Melanated Educators Collective, a founding member of Opt-Out Philly, a previous steering committee member of the WE Caucus, a diversity consultant for the American Association of Physics Teachers, a Teach Truth organizer with Zinn Education Project, and on the National Advisory Council for Teaching Artists Guild (TAG).

Ayva Thomas is the Assistant Director of Racial and Educational Justice for the Northshore School District in Washington, where she works to create the institutional conditions that are necessary for justice in education. She has a B.A. in Community Psychology and a M.A. in Cultural Studies (MACS) from the University of Washington Bothell School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences. She is a Prentiss Charney Fellow with the Zinn Education Project.

Deborah Menkart is executive director of Teaching for Change and co-director of the Zinn Education Project. She is co-editor of Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to K-12 Multicultural, Anti-Racist Education and Staff Development and Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching A Resource Guide for Classrooms and Communities.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-day-of-purpose-decolonizing-arts-education-with-blm-at-school-tickets-576172907677