Dare 2 Be Real (D2BR)
The purpose of D2BR is to:
- identify and affirm students who are especially effective at navigating culturally or racially diverse settings and foster the growth of interracial allies
- develop and support a team of intercultural/interracial student leaders who will seek to eliminate systemic, cultural, and individual racism in their school and community
- empower young people as racial equity leaders with opportunities to facilitate discussion and engage in collaborative inquiry and cross-cultural learning experiences
- help students develop and understand their individual and collective racial identity
Student participants in D2BR will:
- engage in training to develop leadership will, skill, knowledge, and capacity
- participate in an Underground Railroad simulation and other experiential learning
- engage in and learn protocol for courageous conversations with interracial peers
- engage in local, regional, state, and national anti-racism leadership opportunities
- work on relationship, interpersonal conflict, and intercultural communication skill-building
- develop constructivist listening skills and engage in mindful inquiry
- engage in a dynamic and demanding learning experience with opportunities to apply their learning in authentic scenarios within their site and the district
- use literature/film/texts as a basis for shared inquiry
- engage in interactive lessons on stereotypes and race relations/tolerance/advocacy
- participate in dramatizations, role plays, and presentations with peers and younger students
- develop a symbiotic mentorship relationships with adults and younger students
- develop a team that constructively advocates for each other and themselves
- identify opportunities for individual and systemic growth in racial and cultural equity
- develop a sense of cultural and racial identity through reflection/discussion with allies.
Concurrently, the Office of Leadership Development must accelerate staff learning in D2BR schools: while students are doing the work, teachers and principals must be trained to support them in it. Together students, teachers and principals will work to involve parents in the work of creating a vision for racial equity rooted in strong classroom and instructional practice.
For students to do their best work, they need to sense a culture of learning among adults that is deep and collaborative. The degree of student engagement can depend largely on how far removed staff members feel from that culture in their schools, including how honest they can be about the racial realities in their buildings.
Patrick Duffy says, “The SPPS racial equity work thus far has focused primarily on adult dysfunction and behaviors. Once adults become engaged in partnering with students on racial equity transformation and school transformation, then we’ll see results.”