A Year of Talking Race | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation

A Year of Talking Race: A paper by TC’s Laura Smith and an event by the TC Reading & Writing Project punctuate the national conversation

Ferguson, the debate over Confederate memorials, the Black Lives Matter movement, the Senate race in Alabama...these are just some of the reasons that public conversation about race has risen to a level of intensity comparable to that of the Civil Rights era. That discussion also is unfolding in college courses offered around themes of racism, ethnicity, and multicultural studies. 

The dynamics that surface when a white professor teaches such a course are the topic of an article co-authored this past summer by Laura Smith, Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology Program at Teachers College, in The Counseling Psychologist (See story.) Titled “White Professors Teaching About Racism: Challenges and Rewards,” the piece locates the work of white professors within the context of white people’s broader participation in anti-racist actions.

In late September, the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project convened a “Social Justice Saturday” at which some 600 educators considered how educators in general — and reading and writing specialists in particular — can support students and help them understand and navigate events that sometimes constitute very real threats to personal safety and social justice.

Published Wednesday, Dec 20, 2017