March 13 RACE - Sligo Education Centre

Sligo Education Centre
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Talking about Race in the Classroom: Getting Started
Briana Fitzsimons   &  Dr Susan McDonnell
March 13th  (7pm)
There is substantial research from Ireland and elsewhere that demonstrates firstly that children learn attitudes about race based on what they see and hear in their societies, and secondly that black children, children of colour, Traveller and Roma children and others may experience racism and exclusion at an early age. Teachers, together with families and communities, have a role in helping children to develop positive perspectives on diversity in their societies, linking this work to social justice, equity and anti-racism. It is vital that teachers have access to suitable resources and training, allowing them to develop skills and confidence to engage with issues of race in an informed, clear and sensitive manner, safeguarding the wellbeing of all children in their classes.
In this webinar, we will:
Briefly mention some of the relevant research in this area
Introduce a new (free) resource ‘Talking about Race’, an illustrated book intended to support first conversations about race in Irish primary schools between teachers and younger children, in conjunction with families and carers.
Outline the Anti-Bias Anti-Racism (ABAR) training available to educators. This training, provided by Briana Fitzsimons, gives teachers opportunities to develop understanding of how bias and racism inform our interpersonal connections and how ABAR can be brought into their daily teaching practice.

Briana Fitzsimons is an award-winning author, anti-racism advocate, educator and DEI specialist who grew up in Yonkers, New York and has lived in Ireland since 2017. She was a secondary school teacher for 13 years and has been working in the area of anti-racism since 2021. With her passion for social justice, one of Briana’s main goals is to empower teachers and young people with the tools they need to make sure that everyone is seen, heard and feels a sense of belonging in all educational spaces. Her award-winning book, Black & Irish: Legends, Trailblazers and Everyday Heroes was published in 2023 and is being widely used in schools across the country. Briana is also the co-founder of SPARK Teachers, a pan-European community for racialised teachers, in collaboration with the European Network Against Racism. Briana was named one of the “50 to Watch in 2024” by The Irish Times. She lives in Co. Kildare with her partner and two children and is proud to call Ireland home.

Dr Susan McDonnell is a sociologist and lecturer in the Department of Social Science at ATU Sligo, currently chairing the BA (hons) programme in Sociology and Politics. She is interested in visual and participatory feminist approaches to teaching, learning and research.  Her teaching spans fields including Childhood/ Youth Studies, Race & Migration and Climate & Society; and she is engaged in supervising MA and PhD candidates in these areas. Her research to date has been concerned with Irish childhoods, race and belonging; and with exploring pedagogies for possible futures in the context of climate breakdown. Prior to joining ATU Sligo in 2007, Susan worked as an artist/ facilitator in a range of community contexts.  
ATU Campus, Ballinode,Co Sligo.
Tel: (071) 9138700

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