America to Me in Oakland

nep-americatomeLast weekend, National Equity Project was honored to host America to Me’s Oakland Training in partnership with Participant Media. The free training convened over 60 educators, students, administrators, activists and others at Oakland Tech High School. Participants came together to learn how to use the America to Me docu-series as a catalyst for discussions about race, racism, and racial equity in America today.

America to Me is a 10-part docu-series exploring the complexities of race, identity, privilege, and education through the stories of 12 students at Oak Park and River Forest (OPRF) High School, a large, affluent and diverse school outside Chicago. The series illustrates structural racism, teacher biases and blind spots, and other equity challenges through the lens of the student experience. It’s a powerful artifact and tool to use in equity discussions as the series highlights the drastically different experience of students within the same school building depending on their race and social background. It also showcases the needs and experiences of teachers of color, parents, and classified staff in the OPRF community.

We were especially grateful to have Jess Stovall, one of the OPRF teachers featured in the film, join our facilitation team! It was a joy to have her lend her voice and expertise to our team and the Oakland community. 

We grounded the day in The Art of Conversation, adopted from Arrien, A. (2001) “The Way of the Teacher: Principles of Deep Engagement”.

  • We acknowledge one another as equals
  • We stay curious about each other
  • We recognize that we need each other’s help to be better listener’s and to act with more courage
  • We slow down so there’s time to think & reflect
  • We remember that conversation is the natural way humans think together
  • We expect it to be messy at times

Here are resources including the deck and clips from the Oakland Training.

Watch the Series
Participant Media has partnered with Film Platform to offer all 10 episodes of America to Me for free for educators through June 2019. Learn how to access the Film Platform site here. The series is also available On-Demand on the STARZ network as well as on iTunes and Amazon.

Form a Watchgroup
Visit America to Me Real Talk for more information and resources on forming a Watch Group in your school, organization, or community.

Oakland Screening
NEP also co-hosted the Oakland screening of Episode 9 in October. NEP Executive Director LaShawn Routé Chatmon joined the panel – see video below.

About Sara Gray

Director of Communications & Marketing at the National Equity Project
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