Archive for the 'College of Education' Category

Dwyane Wade LIVE TO DREAM Summer Reading Program: Reflections from Christine Reinders

Christine Reinders holds a Master of Arts in Literacy and Director of Instruction license from the College of Education. During the academic year, she is the Literacy Specialist at Lake Shore Middle School in the Mequon-Thiensville School District. Since 2016, she has worked with Dr. Kathleen Clark as the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development for the Dwyane Wade LIVE TO DREAM Summer Reading Program in the Hartman Literacy and Learning Center. Although the Center is not running this summer due to COVID-19 restrictions, we asked Christine to share some insights as the LIVE TO DREAM reading program hits its fifth anniversary.

DSC_2406Marquette Educator: What do you see as the benefit to the community (students, children, leadership team)?

Christine Reinders: The Dwyane Wade “Live to Dream” Summer Reading Program is a tremendous gift. The program gives young children, who often feel challenged in the area of literacy, the opportunity to grow in their reading and writing achievement, but also feel success. For many children, our program is the first time they’ve felt success in their academic journey. Once students feel success, they grow more self-confident and more willing to take on new academic challenges. While our program grows students’ reading and writing achievement, which is crucial for success in the 21-century, it also plants the seed of life-long learning.

What is your favorite part of the program?

I love being a part of the ​Dwyane Wade “Live to Dream” Summer Reading Program for many reasons and I cannot identify just one aspect as my favorite. Working alongside my mentor and Director of the Hartman Center, Dr. Kathleen Clark has been very rewarding. Dr. Clark possesses a wealth of knowledge and I continue to grow from her year after year. Additionally, educators participating in the summer reading program are eager to grow in their professional practice, and I love that I am able to share my knowledge and experiences with them. The children are always amazing. Many of the students participating in the Dwyane Wade “Live to Dream” Summer Reading Program feel challenged in the area of literacy. I love and cherish the days when our students begin to feel success as a reader and writer. Suddenly there are more smiles and bouts of laughter, and soon their self-confidence begins to shine through. It’s the most rewarding aspect of the entire summer and I am so fortunate to be a part of it.

What opportunities do you see for the future of the program?

Honestly, the future of the program is contingent on funding. With continued funding, we can continue to strengthen the literacy achievement of children living in the City of Milwaukee. In the future, I would love to use students’ growing strengths in reading and writing to foster learning and growth in other content areas. I dream of developing a social studies and socio-emotional hybrid curriculum that would give students the opportunity to learn about strong leaders and provide them with ways in which they can use their literacy prowess to become a successful leader. I want students to feel that they are valuable members of society that have the power and knowledge to make the world a better place.

Thank You, Faculty

Stephanie Ganoe graduated this spring with a Master of Science degree in counseling from our Counselor Education Counseling Psychology department. In gratitude, she shared the words below.

university-student-1872810_960_720Marquette Faculty:

In my two short years being a part of the Marquette family I learned a lot from each and every one of you. I learned various therapeutic theories, counseling skills, ethical guidelines to adhere by, statistics and research methods, how to differentiate between diagnoses, and so much more. While I’m forever thankful to have had the opportunity to learn these essential skills that will carry me through my career, I am writing to thank you for teaching me so much more.

Thank you for teaching me how to be a upstanding member of my community and larger society. Thank you for teaching me to be an ally to those facing injustice and an advocate for change. Thank you for teaching me to speak up for those without a voice and amplify the voices of those not being heard. Thank you for teaching me how to shut up and listen. Thank you for pointing out my privileges and teaching me how to use them to help others. Thank you for teaching me to find the root cause of injustice and providing me with the skills to make change, even if that change is within myself.

I know that because of what you all have taught me that no matter what job I hold or where my career takes me, I will always be able to help others and fight to make the changes that our world needs. Our world desperately needs more people like all of you right now and I will never be able to thank you all enough for giving me even the smallest amount of your knowledge and skills to pass on to others. I will always try my best to carry what you all have taught me to help make this world a better place for everyone.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Stephanie Ganoe
Class of 2020

Distinguished Professor of Education Dr. Howard Fuller to Retire

howard-fullerThe College of Education celebrates the work of Dr. Howard Fuller, Distinguished Professor of Education and the Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University. This summer, Dr. Fuller will be retiring from the university after a storied career as an academic, education reform advocate, civil rights activist, and author of several books.

A staunch promoter for school choice and a passionate champion for the equitable education of African American children, Dr. Fuller has held positions as Senior Fellow in the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, Associate Director of Marquette University’s Educational Opportunity Program, Secretary of Wisconsin’s Department of Employment Relations, Director of the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services, and the Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree from Carroll College, a Master’s degree from the School of Applied Social Sciences at Western Reserve University, and a Ph. D. in Educational Policy and Leadership from Marquette University.

In addition, Dr. Fuller has served as the Chair of the Board for Black Alliance for Educational Options, Alliance for Choices in Education in Milwaukee, CEO Leadership Academy, and Quest Milwaukee.  Moreover, he has chaired the Charter School Review Committee for the City of Milwaukee and served on Boards such as Transcenter for Youth, the Johnson Foundation, the Joyce Foundations, School Choice Wisconsin, and Advocates for School Choice.  As a fitting tribute, a Milwaukee-area charter school, the Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy, is the namesake of this extraordinary educator.

Dr. Bill Henk, Dean of the College of Education, commented: “The professional journey of our valued colleague, Howard Fuller, has been truly remarkable. From humble beginnings, he embraced the formidable challenges of civil rights, and then ascended to several noteworthy leadership positions, finally emerging as a nationally recognized figure in American education. His tireless and effectual advocacy for the equitable schooling of children of color situates him historically as a true champion of social justice. The College of Education wishes him the very best.”

Using Mindfulness for Emotion Regulation

imagesBy Dr. Karisse Callender

Every day we find ways to cope with challenges and life circumstances, and one part of that is paying attention to how we feel and finding healthy ways to practice emotion regulation. We may feel dysregulated (not able to control emotions appropriately) when we can’t adjust and express our emotions in safe, healthy ways. There are a few things that contribute to emotion dysregulation:

  • not knowing how to cope with intense emotions
  • an unsupportive environment
  • underdeveloped coping skills

It may also be hard to regulate our emotions if we feel flooded (several waves of emotions at the same time, or consistently over some time), and when we believe myths about emotions. Some of these myths include:

  • “emotions are bad”
  • “showing emotion means I’m weak”
  • “I have to be in emotion dysregulation to get what I want”
  • “my emotions are who I am – it completely defines me”

Here are some mindful tips for regulating your emotions. Some of these may take some practice, and that’s okay! Remember the important thing about mindfulness is being in the present moment, focusing on one thing at a time, and having full awareness of what is happening around you.

  • Name what you feel: pause to identify what you are feeling. Is it anger? Fear? Sadness? Resentment? When you can name it, you can work through it.
  • Deep breathing: there’s a lot of power and healing in our breathing. Deep inhales and long, slow exhales help to regulate our bodies and emotions.
  • Journaling: when you are feeling overwhelmed, get a piece of paper and write down what you’re thinking. It can be therapeutic to get your thoughts out on paper instead of storing them in your mind.
  • Prayer: when you feel your emotions becoming more intense, you can close your eyes (or keep eyes open) and say a calming prayer in your mind. This prayer doesn’t have to be a long one and can be a few words.
  • Self-soothing: grounding is a great way to self-soothe. An easy one is to pay attention to what is around you and in your mind, name the things you see. You can also change the temperature – you can grab an ice cube or open the freezer and feel the cool air on your face.
  • Movement: you can take a quick walk, go for a run, or jump in place.

Stay well

Dr. Karisse Callender is an Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education Counseling Psychology department within the College of Education. Her research focuses on how mindfulness based interventions may improve wellbeing and quality of life. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Dwyane Wade LIVE TO DREAM Summer Reading Program: Q&A with Dr. Kathleen Clark

This summer would have been the fifth session of the Hartman Center’s Dwyane Wade LIVE TO DREAM Summer Reading Program. Even though we were unable to run it due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’re still thinking about the impact its had. We recently caught up with Dr. Kathleen Clark, Director of the Hartman Center, to ask for a little more insight into the program. 


Marquette Educator: Could you share how the backstory of how this program came to exist?

Kathleen Clark (KC): In 2014, I applied for a Wisconsin Read to Lead grant to fund a summer session that would be a variation of the Hartman Center’s after-school reading program. The program would have included 60 hours of literacy instruction for students across 6 weeks and 90 minutes of professional development for teachers each week. Governor Walker’s Read to Lead Development Council did not fund the grant. Marquette University Advancement officers approached the Wade’s World Foundation with the grant’s contents and the foundation funded the program for three summers with the agreement that Marquette University would find community partners to fund an additional three summers of the program. The program’s inaugural session was in the summer of 2015.

What do you see as the benefit to the community (students, children, leadership team)?

The program benefits the community at multiple levels. Most visibly, we work to prevent the summer slide in learning that many children who are growing up in low-income circumstances experience, and we have been successful: Five summers of data reveal that 46% of children have maintained their instructional reading level across the summer and 54% have increased their level. Moreover, statistical comparisons of pre- and post-program scores on multiple assessments show that children have made significant gains in the ability to recognize words and read with comprehension.

The program also benefits the teachers. The teachers participate in approximately 40 hours of professional development (PD) as part of the program. A portion of these hours are allocated to teaching aspects of the reading process within the program and others are allocated to the summer’s additional curriculum. To date these have been the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Units of Study for Writing (2017) and the University of California at Berkeley’s Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading integrated literacy/science curriculum (2018, 2019). Additionally, each teacher has a mentor. The mentors are licensed reading specialists, directors of instruction, and classroom teachers with considerable expertise in reading. Mentors work individually with teachers on aspects of instruction that are areas of focus for them, most of them self-selected. The PD teachers receive strengthens their instruction in the program and, moving forward from the program, instruction in their home classrooms.

What is your favorite part of the program?

I love that we are able to provide intensive, high-quality, small group instruction that is targeted to children’s specific reading needs as well as to enable children to grow in writing ability and science knowledge as these curricular areas can be less emphasized in the primary grades. An aspect of the program that is particularly special to me personally is the opportunity to collaborate professionally with educators who are my former students and to learn from them as we work together to prevent the summer learning slide.

The Retreat

This post was originally published on June 6, 2020, on the personal blog of Dr. Melissa Gibson, Assistant Professor in the Educational Policy and Leadership Department within the College of Education. 

We were on the shores of Lake Superior when we learned about George Floyd’s murder, just as we were when we learned about Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor’s murders. We were in Eagle Harbor, our home-away-from-home, where generations of my partner’s family have lived and worked and played. We were getting bonus months up north in this very white community thanks to COVID-19 and our stable white-collar jobs that had us working remotely. We had fled north when school closings and shelter-in-place orders were popping up back in March in order to be available for my mother-in-law, who lives alone, but we also knew that, for a while still, we were safer up north, where we joke that social distancing is the way of daily life. And so we were also on the shores of Lake Superior when we began to learn about the disproportionate effects of the pandemic on Black and Brown communities in Milwaukee. As we mourned and raged and talked in that grand kitchen with in-heat flooring while looking out over another lakefront sunset, I was reminded that we were also here when Sylville Smith was shot in 2016 and Sherman Park rose up. And I started jogging my memory to remember, what other explosions of injustice were witnessed from afar, up here in Eagle Harbor?

​In all of these moments, my instinct (often at odds with my partner’s instinct and the wishes of my own mother, who is so grateful that her baby and her baby’s babies are safe) is to go home. It feels wrong to be here in idyllic, very white Eagle Harbor when my city is in crisis. It feels necessary to be home in solidarity, to stand in protest or at risk with my neighbors, to be in my multiracial and economically diverse chosen community if only to declare to my neighbors and the universe: I am with you. I am with you. I am with you. But every time, I stay. With my family, in this place that doesn’t fit me quite right but is still my home, where I am welcomed and loved.

​I was reminded of this dissonance today as we headed out to a protest in the North Shore suburbs of Milwaukee. We had spent the morning at a smallish children’s march a few blocks from our house. A peaceful walk through a residential neighborhood ended at the MLK Peace Park, where Black community members spoke to the children, led us in call-and-response chants, and asked for nine minutes of kneeling silence to honor George Floyd. While white allies and other people of color were present, the crowd was predominantly Black. Harambee is, after all, a Black neighborhood in one of America’s most segregated cities.

​From Harambee, we went to Shorewood (our neighborhood, Riverwest, sits between the two and is a hodge-podge mix of all sorts of everything), where a young person had organized a seven-mile march through several North Shore suburbs. The young man is a friend’s university student, and we were eager to march with friends and support the racial awakening of white folks. In fact, I’d earlier explained to my children that there were different kinds of anti-racist work for us as a white family to do: yes, there is the work of being an ally and co-conspirator, leveraging resources in support of Black communities, but there is also the work of being a catalyst for change in the white community, of rooting out racism among ourselves because ultimately it’s up to us as white folks to release our grip from white supremacy. Of the 30 or 40 different actions in Milwaukee this weekend, I chose these two for my family because, yes they were kid-friendly, but they also offered an important lesson to my family about the multiple ways of being an anti-racist.

​So this afternoon, we went directly from the “What About Us?” children’s march to the “North Shore Justice for George Floyd Peaceful Protest.” The crowd at the starting point for the march was big. For blocks, there was a stream of mostly white folks headed to the lake with posters and Black Lives Matter t-shirts and face masks. There were a smattering of Black families, multiracial friend groups, and other people of color, but it was mostly a sea of well-heeled whiteness. My stomach lurched. On the one hand, YES! White people created this system; white people must dismantle it. We NEED white folks to show up for racial justice (and yes, there’s a #FBgroup for that). But on the other hand, what I really felt was indignation. If Black lives really mattered to this sea of white folks, why had they self-selected life in a town that is 87% white? Why did Black students in their schools report systemic racism and alienation? Why had I heard reports of police physically preventing Milwaukee protestors from crossing into the town earlier in the week? Why had they gleefully opened their town back up when the Supreme Court struck down the governor’s stay-at-home order, knowing that this disease is disproportionately harming Black and Brown folks in Milwaukee? I couldn’t help but look around judgmentally and think, “To whom in this crowd do Black lives actually matter? And for whom in this crowd is this just another event in the White Woke Olympics?”

​Full of judgment and self-righteous indignation, I happily volunteered to be the parent to take my whiny, tired, sore-footed youngest child home. These were not my people; this was not my march.

​Except: They are my people. And this is my march.

​It’s no accident that I have been in Eagle Harbor for so many moments of racial injustice and trauma. It’s no accident that I am able to sit in the long, late rays of the northern sun, bothered by not much more than ticks and mosquitoes and a s’mores marshmallow that caught fire too quickly, and rage, argue, mourn, and debate at a distance. It’s no accident that, despite my urge to go home and be with my ‘real’ community, I don’t go home.

​It’s no accident because this is how whiteness works. It’s a cocoon that we can’t quite escape from. No, that’s not right: it’s like a poisonous bubble that we are safe from as long as we are inside of it. No, that’s not right either. It’s more like this recurring dream I’ve had since childhood where I’m chewing gum—crappy, cheap, very sticky gum. In my dream, I forget that I’ve been chewing it for a while (or that I have braces, or dental work, or a presentation coming up), and when I try to spit it out, the chewing gum just spreads into finer and stringier filaments that cling to my teeth-gums-orthodontia-palette-throat, and when I start pulling at those filaments with my fingers, those strings of no-longer-satisfying gum stick to my skin and just keep spreading around my mouth with every pick, floss, and pull. In my dream, I never get the gum out. I am mortified by the mess in my mouth that everyone can see, and I am anxious and heartbroken at the irrevocable damage to my teeth and my smile. I’ve never quite figured what the underlying anxiety is in this dream that I’ve been having for as long as I can remember, but damn if it isn’t the right metaphor for whiteness when you’re trying to do antiracist work.

In our little nuclear family, we have intentionally crafted a life that we believe aligns with our values, where justice and antiracism are central. We chose the city over the suburbs; we chose our neighborhood because of its economic and racial diversity; we chose our children’s school because of its intentional integration and Montessori approach; we chose our jobs because they allowed us to teach in ways that aligned with our values.

These choices: this is me trying to pull that gum out of my teeth.

But then there is also that little idyllic town up north, where we can retreat when needed. Where the next harbor over still has restrictive covenants. Where intergenerational wealth—yes, often built through back-breaking work in the mines and other blue-collar jobs that used to allow for financial stability—allows (mostly white) families to maintain homes and connections and community. Where old friends good-naturedly joke about “insiders” and “outsiders.” Where the county has more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in Michigan. Where zoning keeps things just as they are. Where we joke that we won’t ever have to run away to Canada because this place is otherworldly all on its own.

​This: this is the gum that I can’t ever really get out of my teeth.

​Let me be clear: I love Eagle Harbor. It’s magical, really, as anyone who’s traveled north with us will attest. And I am so grateful to have a second home where, in times of both duress and joy, we can retreat. If YOU had an Eagle Harbor, you’d love it, too. But let me also be clear: this is how whiteness works for those of us who are white. It’s a magical protective shield behind which we can retreat when necessary.

​So white folks, we need to be honest with ourselves: when and where are we retreating?

This was the source of my initial discomfort with this afternoon’s march: it appeared to me at first like a performance of solidarity in a community that is in and of itself a retreat into whiteness. My knee jerk reaction was thus one of judgment and moral superiority, but it shouldn’t be. Louder for the folks in the back: It shouldn’t be. I am not morally superior. Because I have my retreats, too. Part of the work of becoming antiracist is seeing when we retreat into whiteness, seeing when we capitalize on the systems of oppression that benefit us, and then the hardest part: training ourselves not to retreat. But like that gum in my dream, our whiteness is sticky. So after our performances of solidarity, after our right-now reckonings, all of which are A CRITICALLY IMPORTANT FIRST STEP, we have to look into our own dark corners and acknowledge: as long as there is whiteness to retreat into, we will keep retreating.

Let me be clear: When people say that all white folks are all a little bit racist, when people say that all white folks experience privilege, this is one of the things we mean. We have the option of retreating, physically or metaphorically, when the world is scary or uncomfortable or difficult. And so when we say that we have to unlearn racism or that antiracism is a journey we never leave, this is what we mean: When the protests are over, and we’re back home and able to look into our dark corners and reveal what’s there with no one else watching, white folks, let’s ask ourselves, how have we been retreating?

​Doing this often requires that we sit with shame, discomfort, vulnerability—all of the things that whiteness protects us from. There’s a reason Robin DiAngelo’s work on “white fragility” has been so popular. Sitting with these emotions and experiences requires humility. It requires that we stop talking and start listening. It requires that we decenter ourselves and our comfort. This is the antithesis of the “racial arrogance” that whiteness teaches us. Whiteness has not socialized us for humility. It has not socialized us for pain. It has not socialized us to listen.

White folks, I know this seems hard. I know it can be painful and uncomfortable and risky. I know that we all have a chorus of “yeah buts” going on in our head to justify our retreats and to protect us from hurt, and I know how easy it is to march and shout and rage and then go back to regular life.

​But then I want you to remember that George Floyd had a knee in his neck for nine minutes and Breonna Taylor was shot in her bed eight times and they will NEVER get to go back to regular life.

#BlackLivesMatter: A Statement of Solidarity and Call to Action from the Department of Education Policy & Leadership at Marquette University

“It is your responsibility to change society if you think of yourself as an educated person.” 

—James Baldwin, “A Talk to Teachers”

As scholars, we are acutely aware of the long history of structural racism and oppression in the US. Whiteness and white supremacy have been working for over 400 years to subjugate, criminalize, dehumanize, silence, and kill people of color, particularly Black people. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade are some of its most recent victims, but they are not alone: according to the National Academy of Science, Black men are 2.5 times more likely and Black women are 1.4 times more likely to be killed by police than white men and women.

As members of the Milwaukee community, we are acutely aware of how racialized disparities and violence play out in the day-to-day life of our city, including our schools. Milwaukee is one of the most segregated cities in America and one of worst cities in America to be Black, as measured by educational outcomes, health outcomes, life expectancy, incarceration rates and more. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of these inequalities, with infection and mortality rates far higher in our Black and Latinx communities. Yet Milwaukee also has a robust community of Black resistance, joy, and organizing, a community that has long been working against racism in our city.

As educators, we are most acutely aware of how schooling perpetuates this racialized violence. We perpetuate this violence in curricular silences, in white-dominant narratives, and in one-dimensional representations of people of color. We perpetuate this violence through zero-tolerance discipline, the disproportionate suspension of Black and Brown students starting in pre-school, and the school-to-prison pipeline. We perpetuate this violence when we leave narratives about ‘achievement gaps’ unquestioned without attending to education debts, when we over-identify Black students for special education, and when we refuse to engage students of color in intellectually meaningful learning experiences. We perpetuate this violence when we say nothing about systemic racism because ‘teachers shouldn’t be political’ or because ‘it’s inappropriate for children.’ We perpetuate this violence when we insist that all students assimilate to an impossible target of whiteness and when we refuse to let Black and Brown children be joyful, playful, thoughtful, complicated, and fully human.

We cannot be silent in the face of this deeply ingrained racism. As educators at a Catholic, Jesuit institution, it is our responsibility to actively teach anti-racism daily. Catholic social teaching tells us we must act in solidarity with the most vulnerable, and that we must affirm the dignity and divinity of every human, but especially those who are marginalized. This will not dismantle white supremacy on its own, but it is the heart of our work as Marquette educators. Therefore, EDPL commits to:

  • Examining our teaching practices, in the same way we are calling on other educators to examine their practice, using the thirteen guiding principles of Black Lives Matter.
  • Supporting students, educators, and staff of color. We are a predominantly white institution, preparing educators for a predominantly white profession. We must do better to recruit, support, and retain colleagues of color. We must leverage resources in support of our colleagues of color, speak out against a culture of racism on campus, and decenter whiteness in our curriculum.
  • Building racial literacy with our students, who have likely experienced their own miseducation. Our courses must integrate racial literacy, cite scholars of color, and challenge dominant narratives.
  • Cultivating anti-racist relationships, communities, and pedagogies. In K12 teacher education, specifically, we must dismantle ideas of ‘management’ and behavioral control that inflict violence on youth of color. We must pass the mic to abolitionist teachers who show us what freedom is.
  • Working for anti-racism in education more broadly. We call for abolishing disciplinary and special education practices that perpetuate systems of racialized violence, building anti-racist partnerships with practitioners, and using our university-based privileges to advocate for racial justice.
  • Working for intersectional anti-racism in our society more broadly. Education does not exist in a vacuum. We must work in partnership with community organizations, anti-racist leaders, and policy makers to root out white supremacy and racism in our communities beyond the school building.
  • Celebrating joy, love, healing, and resilience with our Black and Brown students. We acknowledge that antiracist work too often focuses only on naming inequalities, injustices, and traumas. If that’s the entirety of our work, then our work is also dehumanizing. Instead, our classrooms must prioritize the beauty, resistance, resilience, and joy of communities of color.

These are our commitments. They will guide our work in the next academic year and beyond as we create tools of accountability and action steps for our department. We also invite you—particularly our students—to share feedback on the steps we need to take toward intersectional, anti-racist education.

However, we also call on you, our community of alumni, students, and practitioners, to take action. We especially urge this of our white community members. The teaching force in Wisconsin, like elsewhere in the US, is overwhelmingly made up of white women, many of whom consider themselves kind, well-meaning, and not racist. But this has never been enough to dismantle white supremacy, and this ‘not racist niceness’ masks our complicity in these systems. Without active and ongoing work to become anti-racist, we can too easily retreat into our otherwise invisible whiteness when convenient. Amy Cooper’s verbal assault on Christian Cooper in Central Park is a reminder to those of us who identify as white women that we are often the perpetrators of systemic, racialized violence.

Unlearning racism is also intersectional work. For those of us who are non-Black people of color, the work to be anti-racist will look different than it does for our white colleagues. While we may live and experience the systematic violence of white supremacy, we must still commit to the on-going work of combatting anti-Blackness in our own families, communities, and educational spaces.

In this spirit of collective action, we offer the following lists of anti-racist resources. On their own, they are not enough to dismantle the ideological, internal, interpersonal, and institutional ways of white supremacy. We know this, but still: we offer them as a starting point and as a commitment to action. Words are important but not enough. We must act every day to ensure that #BlackLivesMatter.

In solidarity,

The Faculty & Staff of the Department of Education Policy & Leadership
Marquette University College of Education


Anti-Racist Resources for Education

Anti-Racist Action Networks & Communities


Resources for Self-Care & Racial Healing

Countering Anti-Blackness

Celebrating Blackness

Classroom Self-Assessment (from the Early Childhood Education Assembly)

Resources for Talking & Teaching About Race & Racism

*Note that many, though not all, of these resources are written for white adults and children

Background Resources on Race Talk

Teaching Materials

Teaching Communities


We recommend buying your books from a Black-owned bookstore

  • Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (free PDF through Juneteenth)
  • Tiffany Jewell, This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, & Do the Work
  • Ibram X. Kendi & Jason Reynolds, Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You
  • Ibram X. Kendi, Anti-Racist Baby
  • Jennifer Harvey, Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America
  • Mica Pollock, Everyday Anti-racism: Getting Real About Race in School
  • Cheryl Matias, Surviving Becky(s): Pedagogies for Deconstructing Whiteness & Gender
  • Bettina Love, We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching & the Pursuit of Freedom

Resources for Building Racial Literacy

Web-Based Resources


We recommend buying your books from a Black-owned bookstore

  • Carol Anderson, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
  • Austin Channing Brown, I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
  • Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
  • Paul Ortiz, An African American and Latinx History of the United States
  • Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Anti-Racist
  • Charles Mills, The Racial Contract
  • Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want To Talk About Race
  • Brittney Cooper, Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower
  • Ta-Naheisi Coates, Between the World & Me
  • Craig Wilder, Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, & the Troubled History of America’s University’s
  • Cherríe Moraga & Gloria Anzaldúa, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color
  • Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
  • Jennifer L. Eberhardt, Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do

Other thoughtful and heartfelt statements on racial injustice have been provided by Marquette University President, Dr. Michael Lovell, and Vice-President for Inclusive Excellence, Dr. William Welburn. Both messages focus on the University’s responsibility to transcend words and exert impactful action. Marquette students have also taken a stance on this vital issue through their student government association.  In addition, as an institution, our community came together recently both in person and remotely in a Mass for Healing and Reconciliation. It should be noted that statements are emerging from other academic units at the University like the Diederich College of Communication. In the collective, these declarations signal an earnest intentionality on the part of our University, in the Catholic, Jesuit spirit of magis, to do significantly more to eradicate racial inequality.

Dr. Bill Henk, Dean
College of Education

YOU Are Our Best Hope

UnknownDear College of Education Students—

The past few days I’ve literally read dozens of heartfelt narratives sadly highlighting the most recent tragic realities of racism in our country and passionately calling for its rightful ending.

Without exception, I greatly appreciated and admired each one. These texts had been rendered in such reflective, eloquent, and powerful terms that sharing my own perspectives on this enduring and inexcusable injustice, while equally earnest, would add little or nothing to the conversation.

That left me wishing I could otherwise contribute to the cause.  And ironically, I found that pathway in a takeaway that haunted me after each reading, which is why I’m writing to you. Specifically, I kept coming back to the same nagging question, “Yeah, but how do we REALLY end racism in America?

More specifically, I wondered how we might rise above the thoughtful rhetoric and eradicate this social plague, one that is deeply rooted in almost all of human history and thus far impervious to every effort to squelch it.

One pathway is clear if we consider that outrageous episodes of bigotry, violence, and even murder continue to occur despite countless attempts to vilify racism through our words.  Namely, let’s quit talking and take definitive action.  In turn, that conclusion, admittedly obvious, begs the much tougher question of who then most needs to step up.

The cliché answer is everyone.  To the extent that such an ambitious prospect could somehow ever be realized, there’s no debating it.

But the more pragmatic response is this one – those who have the conviction, capacity, and reach to exert a truly systemic impact on society, altering the future through the young lives they touch. In other words, it’s teachers.  And that means YOU are humanity’s best hope.

In the College of Education we expect our graduates to embody the tenets of social justice, we expect them to be Men and Women for others, we expect them to be faith-filled, and we expect that all of their endeavors will be driven by magis, always doing the “more.”  So stop and ask yourself, “What more can I do both as a professional and child of God, for and with others, to erase inequality?”

One profound retort to that question is to make the ending of racism an absolutely integral aspiration of your call to teach.  If you do, then in the best Marquette University tradition, you really can “Be The Difference.”


Dr. Bill Henk, Dean


Tips for Coping with Race-Related Trauma

stones-relaxation-wellness-natureBy Dr. Karisse Callender

When we talk about trauma, we refer to events that are deeply disturbing or cause extreme stress. These experiences may be direct (it happened to you) or indirect (you know it happened to someone else). Specifically, race-related trauma refers to the cumulative negative impacts of racism or discrimination and microaggressions. Experiences of racism may cause severe emotional distress which can be overwhelming and affect the ability to cope with life circumstances.

As Dr. William Welburn shared in his reflection, “we are tired, overwhelmed, and fearful.” We might also be feeling sadness, anxiety, anger, isolation, or resentment. I want to share some tips to help you cope during this time, and hopefully, you find one or more things helpful. These are suggestions and I recommend that you adapt one or more of these as you need to fit your needs. Please, be kind to yourself during this time.

  • Monitor your newsfeed intake: While it is important to stay informed, it may not be necessary to take in the news consistently during the day. You may want to consider limiting time on social media or taking a break from it. Taking a break does not mean you don’t want to be informed, instead, think of it as pressing the pause button so you can re-set your mind and body.
  • Seek counseling: You are not alone in this situation. Many counselors are providing tele mental health so you can still receive services while we need to maintain physical distancing. You must find a counselor with whom you are comfortable sharing.
  • Move your body: Find ways to get some movement in. You can take a short walk, exercise, do yoga, or dance! You can take a walk around your room or neighborhood and even doing household chores can help you move your body. Take a moment to stretch or take your pup for a walk.
  • Journal: Write down how you feel so you can get the thoughts out of your mind. It doesn’t mean you will forget about it, instead, journaling gives you a chance to express your thoughts and feelings about your suffering.
  • Talk with those you trust: Connect with people who believe are safe, who you think you can trust, and who you believe will provide the support you need. It is okay to be selective about who you choose to talk with.
  • Meditation and Mindfulness: Focus on the present moment, the here-and-now. What are you feeling? What do you need to feel safe? Pay attention to your painful emotions using RAIN meditation. You can also try doing a body scan to help you tune in with your emotions. Permit yourself to feel and to sit with your emotions. If you need to cry, that’s okay!
  • Breathwork: Take a moment to focus on your breathing. Take long slow inhales through your nostrils and long slow exhales through your mouth. You can count as you inhale and exhale or repeat a calming, nurturing mantra that will help you feel safe.
  • Prayer: connect with the religious and spiritual values that make you feel safe and supported. Reach out to others in your religious and spiritual community for virtual fellowship.
  • Connect with the things that bring you joy: What are some simple things you can easily do that usually make you happy? Make a list of pleasant activities that you can do to help you improve your mood.
  • Practice self-compassion: Be gentle and kind to yourself as you cope with how you feel. When you notice you are having a difficult time, don’t ignore it, and resist the urge to judge yourself. Be warm and understanding toward yourself and say comforting, kind words.

Dr. Karisse Callender is an Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education Counseling Psychology department within the College of Education. Her research focuses on how mindfulness based interventions may improve wellbeing and quality of life

Reflections from a Double Alumnus

49502238502_d208a05167_oBy Brock Borga, Ed ’12 and Grad ’19

My name is Brock Borga. Receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Sociology and my Master’s Degree in Educational Policy and Leadership (with license in both principalship and director of curriculum), Marquette University has been a huge part of my life. I have been part off the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for the past eight years at St. Anthony School of Milwaukee. The first seven years of my journey at St. Anthony had me teaching 3rd grade, and I have moved positions this school year to the Dean of Instruction.

In my new role, I observe teachers every other week and have coaching sessions with the teacher after the observation. In these coaching sessions, we reflect on what teaching practices went well and what could have gone better. It is from those reflections that we create an action plan together and I come back to observe the action plan in action. I started off teaching in the Muskego-Norway School District, and while my time there was great, I didn’t feel connected with the students, staff, or community around me. I knew that there was somewhere for me to feel accomplished with my teaching. I remembered my time as an undergraduate at Marquette University and the schools I was able to work with through my courses, and knew that schools throughout Milwaukee were my calling. Because Marquette has instilled faith throughout its courses in my undergraduate courses, I began looking at schools through the Archdiocese. It is there I found St. Anthony School of Milwaukee. My time there has been wonderful. The students are eager to learn, the parents repeatedly state how blessed they are to be a part of the school, and the faculty is eager to continue their professional growth for the community we teach.

Before I was in this administrative position, I was been given additional opportunities to grow at my school that would not have been possible otherwise. I was able to have two student teachers from Marquette University be with me in the classroom (one from August 2017-January 2018 and the other from January 2019 – March 2019). It was an amazing experience not only giving back to Marquette, but practicing many of the leadership skills I was learning about in my graduate courses. I apply many of the practices that were discussed in my graduate courses in my new position, ranging from leadership styles to having effective conversations with teachers.

Marquette has helped me achieve these additional opportunities, outside of helping me achieve my administration license / master’s degree. I am both blessed and honored to say I have been a part of Marquette University for my entire undergraduate career and my graduate career. It is all thanks to the Catholic Schools Personnel Scholarship that I am able to continue my professional growth and achieve the goals I have set.


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