By: Elizabeth Guldimann
The Chicago Public Schools system has implemented a new series of trainings and initiatives intended to create a “culturally-responsive school district”, including hiring “anti-racist” educators aimed at “changing the mindsets and behaviors of white people.”
According to materials obtained exclusively by Young America’s Foundation’s Campus Bias Tip Line, the district is implementing a district-wide equity plan titled “Healing-Centered Framework for Chicago Public Schools: Our Commitment to a Trauma-Engaged and Culturally-Responsive School District.” The topics include “Generational Embodiment and Historical Trauma,” “Race, Social Conditions, and Local Context,” “Trauma is a systemic issue,” and “The Need for Healing, Today,” the framework seeks to challenge current perceptions of “racism” in the majority-minority district.
One training from Jones College Preparatory High School is titled “Birth of Whiteness in the United States-Tracking Power and Privilege.” According to a timeline of their equity plan obtained by YAF, the school district will tackle topics such as “the role US schools play in supporting white supremacy and developing white supremacy culture,” and how “ideologies can be used to conform to, reform, or transform systemic racism.”
The school also mentions on their website that they have partnered with Jessica Acee of Western State Center, co-author of the “Confronting White Nationalism in Schools” toolkit.
Other schools in the Chicago district have adopted similar materials and mindsets. Walter Payton High School has hired Kristin McKay as their new Director of Transformational Justice. According to her LinkedIn bio, she “is an anti-racist educator and facilitator with a deep commitment to changing the mindsets and behaviors of white people,” and “is committed to investment in white learning and accountability.”
The recent hires and new “frameworks” occurring in the Chicago Public School District are reflective of a larger issue across the country––schools wasting taxpayer money on racist initiatives like critical race theory, aiming to divide students rather than unite them.
Elizabeth Guldimann is a National Journalism Center intern at YAF’s New Guard.