This 8 session series is part of the Chicago Teachers for Social Justice 's Inquiry to Action Groups (ItAGs). ItAGs gather educators, activists and others to study a topic and collectively create an action around that area of study, making it a true community of action and reflection (praxis). The ItAG cycle is a total of 8 meetings, with a kickoff (January 27) and finale (March 17) and six meetings in between (locations TBD). Countering Islamophobia in Classrooms and Schools will decide the dates/locations of the six meetings in between the kick-off and finale with the group that signs up.
Countering Islamophobia in Classrooms and Schools
Description: In the U.S., the fear of terrorism has been used to justify the racial and religious profiling of Muslims and people perceived to be Muslim. Since the 1970s, we've witnessed a steady rise in violent incidents and policies that intimidate, harm, and exclude Arab, Muslim, and immigrant communities. As critical educators for social justice, we have a responsibility to actively confront and dismantle Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism in our classrooms and schools.
Join our learning community of educators as we:
-Build understandings about the structural roots of anti-Muslim racism and how it affects our communities;
-Unpack the dominant myths and narratives around Muslims/Islam;
-Reframe Islamophobia as only individual acts of bigotry toward an analysis of state violence and systems of oppression;
-Strategize around meaningful ways to address anti-Muslim racism in classrooms and schools;
-Leave the ItAG with action steps and questions for further study;
-Develop skills to speak out against anti-Muslim racism; advocate for policies that respect the rights and dignity of Muslims; and oppose profiling, surveillance, and state violence against Muslim communities, inside and outside of schools.
Facilitator Bios: Mary Zerkel is coordinator of American Friends Service Committee's (AFSC) Communities Against Islamophobia Project and directs the Chicago Peacebuilding program, which works to challenge militarism and support the growth and well-being of communities. Mary is also an artist working in a variety of forms. Nicole Nguyen is a TSJ member and education professor at UIC. Her teaching, research, and organizing focus on the criminalization of youth in schools.