Action Steps and Additional Resources

Black Lives Matter in Gifted Programming

By Jessica Stargardter

In my Blog post, I stated the initial steps I was going to take as a White teacher to reaffirm that Black Lives Matter in our gifted progamming. Here are additional ways we can promote anti-racism, equity, and inclusion.

In Professional Development

  • Educate yourself by reading books on race and racism written by Black authors
  • Engage in conversations about race with your colleagues
  • Do the anti-racist work in your personal life and then apply it to your practice

In Identification

  • Implement universal nonverbal ability screeners
  • Use multiple measures of intelligence (e.g. student work samples, teacher rating scales, observations notes, achievement data, universal screeners)
  • Educate teachers on biases while nominating
  • Send information about identification processes home in multiple languages
  • Hold identification meetings with a team of educators

In Programming

  • Provide talent development opportunities at a young age
  • Provide schoolwide enrichment opportunities for ALL students
  • Build relationships with students
  • Develop mentorship programs
  • Hire Black teachers
  • Vote for local officials that will advocate for equitable practices in gifted programs

In Curriculum

  • Discuss acts of resistance, activism, and empowerment made by Black people throughout history
  • Read texts written by black authors
  • Invite Black guest speakers into your classroom
  • Provide space for students to discuss race and racism
  • Provide tools and strategies for students to discuss their feelings
  • Embed student choice and voice into lessons on a daily basis
  • Remove white-washed history books and lessons
  • Incorporate rigor and relevance into curricular plans
  • Teach critical thinking skills

Below is a list of books for classrooms and professional learning to build equity and inclusion

Grades K-2        

Hands Up!, by Breanna J. McDaniel and Shane W. Evans

Hey Black Child, by Useni Eugene Perkins & Bryan Collier

I am Enough, by Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo

Grades 3-5        

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James

Let’s Talk About Race, by Julius Lester, illustrated by Karen Barbour

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation, by Duncan Tonatiuh

Something Happened in Our Town, by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin

Young Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present, by Jamia Wilson, illus. by Andrea Pippins.

Grades 6-8        

A good kind of trouble 150.pngA Good Kind of Trouble, by Lisa Moore Ramee

Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson

One Crazy Summer, by Rita Garcia

Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

Grades 9 - 12    

I am Alfonso Jones, by Tony Medina

Clap When You Land, by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Hate You Give, by Angie Thomas

Professional Development         

Better Than Carrots or Sticks, by Dominique Smith, Douglas B. Fisher and Nancy E. Frey

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, by Monique W. Morris

For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood... and the Rest of Y'all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education, by Christopher Emdin

Teaching for Black Lives, by Dyan Watson, Jesse Hagopian, Wayne Au

Young, Gifted, and Black: Promoting High Achievement among African-American Students, by Theresa Perry, Claude Steele, Asa Hilliard III

Parenting & Personal Development        

How to be Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, by Layla F. Saad

This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work, by Tiffany Jewell