PC Justice Coaching Center

By Sharonne Navas

We are plagued by binary thinking, always putting things in terms of two options that are mutually exclusive. That is, all the possibilities are either option A or option B and not both. Sometimes this is valid, but often it is a mistaken simplification. For instance:

•Equity/Equality

•Good/Bad

•Racist/Nice Person

•Coke/Pepsi

•Special Ed/General Ed

•Black/White

Part of what makes white supremacy culture difficult to navigate (among the five hundred other things) is this binary thinking. When someone is confronted by “Hey, what you just said was pretty racist” — our minds, particularly white people’s, jump to Racism…


Illustration by Miguel Gallardo, The New Yorker

Local Seattle billionaire and philanthropist Nick Hanauer’s piece in the Atlantic, Better Public Schools Won’t Fix America, has so many great points; points that are particularly resonant coming from a 1 percenter. Yes, more millionaires and billionaires should be shouting TAX ME! (especially the Washington elite, given our state tax code favors the rich more than any other in the country).

But even a billionaire can have serious holes in his understanding of inequality. (Who would have thought?!)

Namely, Hanauer — an advocate for economic equality — largely ignores how racism and poverty intersect, and the unique experiences of people…


By Reneeka Massey-Jones

PC: https://decolonizingmedia.tumblr.com/

Let’s start off with the definition of decolonizing education. Decolonization is “the dismantling of colonial systems that were established during the period of time when a nation maintains dominion over dependent territories.” I know you are thinking… wait what? Territories? Dominions? What does that have to do with our education system? Well, the key takeaway is the dismantling of colonial systems. Our education system wasn’t integrated until the 1970s. How can a system that separated people of color and white people, that was created and maintained by white people, be an inclusive system that prioritizes the success…


By Sharonne Navas

PC: Quartz

Whether it’s ancestry.com, MyHeritage DNA or 23andMe, taking ancestry determination tests have grown more and more popular each year.

I think it’s fascinating that for a country that is constantly denying our racist and colonialistic history, we sure are quick to find out what kind of “immigrant” we are.

BUT … these tests have a lot of health benefits that can help folx design their weight loss, or help cure their diabetes, or understand their history of heart disease, allowing us to predict possible health-related issues. So it’s hard to hate on them 100%.

And though almost…


By Sharonne Navas

PC: Showing Up For Racial Justice

Organizational Leaders and HR folx — we need to talk.

In the past four months, I have gotten about 15 requests from HR directors and Board Leaders to meet and talk about openings at their organizations and how they can get more people of color to apply and, ideally, to work in their organization.

Often, however, when I ask a few simple questions about their organizational culture — like “how upset do you and your staff get if a meeting doesn’t start exactly on time?” — I get quizzical looks. …


Hey girl! My name is Risa, I’m also a white lady, and I think we should talk about racism.

PC: Shutterstock

The truth is that a lot of well-meaning white women, even those of us who have #BlackLivesMatter yard signs and voted for Obama, traumatize people of color on a daily basis. As it turns out, it’s actually pretty difficult to grow up white in America and not participate in racist systems. …


By Sharonne Navas

When I first heard “Office of DEI,” I’m going to be honest, I had to ask someone what that meant. Sadly, I realized that something as important as Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity had become yet *another* cup of alphabet soup.

Here’s my problem with “DEI” as an acronym — Words. Matter.

We are supposed to be talking about including people who have been historically oppressed, exploited, and excluded in making decisions about things that affect our lives. What a cute acronym for something SO fundamental to justice.

Is diversity about rainbows? Or about not being racist to Black and Brown folks?

The shorthanding of racial and social justice principles into easy-to-digest…


By Reneeka Massey-Jones

PC: Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

I am a young black woman concerned for the future of our teachers and students of color. I attended a predominantly white college in the State of Washington. I was an English major, and the majority of my courses were paired with students from the teacher preparation program.

Just about every single teacher prep student I met was white — and there lies the problem.

We do not have nearly enough students of color in our teacher prep programs, meaning a key pipeline that’s critical in diversifying the teacher workforce is broken. …


By Sharonne Navas

Shutterstock

People have asked if I would ever run for office — really only a few people but it still makes me think about it. Would I be allowed to use my identity in order to win an election?

In 2008, I would have embraced running as a “Fierce, Latinx woman” as my election slogan because Obama had shown us that we, as a nation, were above race; above racism; above Jim Crow and starting to dismantle our systems of oppression. And then, the birther argument started. …


Source: iStock

Within education circles, the importance of teaching children ‘grit’ has ebbed and flowed like a bad fashion trend. And just like the velour jumpsuit you donated to Goodwill last year, it’s finally time to toss ‘grit’ out for good.

Here’s our issue with grit: it’s only being taught to the kids who don’t benefit from the current system.

It’s the kids who are most impacted by, rebel against, or criticize the embedded racism and classism of their institutions that are being told to have more grit, that school is hard for everyone. …

Sippin the EquiTEA

A blog by the Equity in Education Coalition — WA’s only civil rights organization focused on building a revolution in education.

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