The following suggested materials are a way for you to familiarize yourself with the format of this self-guided curriculum.
Let’s start by examining the xenophobic messages and oppressed realities of communities of color in the U.S. during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Racism is a system of oppression that results from a combination of prejudice and power, and it produces institutional structures and social practices that deny equity to people based on race.
As a recent example, accompanying the spread of COVID-19 is the spread of anti-Asian, anti-immigrant, and antisemitic messages and incidents, as described in When Xenophobia Spreads Like A Virus.
Explore the Feelings Wheel: There is a wide range of emotions that you may feel as you explore these topics. All possible feelings are valid reactions, and this wheel can be used as a tool to help identify how and why you are feeling a certain way. The Feelings Wheel includes 130 different feelings with a focus on negative emotions.
To use the wheel:
- Start with one of the seven core emotions and then work your way out to dig deeper into its derivatives. Or identify a higher-level feeling and track it back to the core emotion.
- If possible, keep a journal of the emotions you experience as you explore the different topics. Here are some questions to help start your reflections:
- What physical reactions do the article and the interview generate?
- How were your mood and your behavior affected?
- Why am I feeling this way?
Set clear intentions for yourself. Intention setting is about directing our attention in a very particular way. When we are the leaders responsible for setting a safe, respectful and dynamic learning environment, then it is important that we be the first to pause, reflect, notice and ask ourselves questions like:
- What is happening around you?
- Who is at the center of the stories we see? Who is at the margins?
- Who do I need to become to create space for all stories to be shared, to show up in meaningful ways?*