Radical Teacher Black Lives Matter statement

Radical Teacher stands with activists fighting for justice and equity for all people. Black lives matter. As a journal that focuses on “the theory and practice of socialist, feminist, anti-racist teaching,” we are committed to fighting white supremacy both in the world and in our own organization, and providing our readers with tools to practice anti-racist pedagogy.

Behind our work is the assumption that schools and colleges are an important site for interrogating and dismantling racism. We recognize that educational systems are too often complicit in the white supremacy and other forms of domination that they claim to be working against. Many Radical Teacher articles have critiqued structural racism in education, a central feature of the educational system exacerbated by neoliberal educational and social policy over the past 40 years. We have attacked the privatization and corporatization of education through schemes such as charter schools, “public-private partnerships,” and the abdication of responsibility for public education by state and federal governments.  These policies have hit marginalized students, especially Black and Indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC), the hardest. Moreover, we recognize that the abandonment of desegregation of public schools, and the legacies of redlining, racially discriminatory housing covenants, the school-to-prison pipeline, and disastrous public housing policies are all symptoms of a larger pattern of diminishing the educational opportunities for Black students. Finally, we are invested in liberatory pedagogies that resist these social and economic forces and celebrate Black creativity and discourse. 

Our decision to exist as an online, open-access journal is a reflection of our basic values: that the pedagogy of liberation should be free to all. At the same time, we recognize that we have fallen short in our commitment to antiracism: our board over-represents white cis men and white people in general. This reflects the predominance of whiteness in academia more generally, something we are dedicated to dismantling.  The impact of the predominance of white people on our board can lead to a muting of anti racism as one of our three central priorities: socialism, feminism, and antiracism. Going forward, we recommit to centering ourselves around antiracist work, including, but not limited to, amplifying the voices of BIPOC teachers, students, activists, and artists in the pages of the journal; prioritizing antiracist topics in individual articles and our choice of focus for specific issues of RT; working to make our editorial board and processes welcoming and inclusive for BIPOC educators; and expanding our vision so that issues of race and racism are more central to the work of our editorial board. 

As the editors of our “Teaching Black Lives Matter” issue noted, BLM “is an embodied response to a political moment where the fate of Black and Brown bodies hang in the balance.”  The editors of Radical Teacher contribute our bodies, our words, and our political will to this moment.