DEI Versus CRT

Right now in our country there is an increased awareness of these 6 letters. The problem that is happening is the first 3 are actually what schools are attempting to address while the second 3 stand for a topic that isn’t traditionally taught in K-12 curricula. 

DEI stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion while CRT stands for Critical Race Theory, and the two teach different ideas. Schools over the past year have been attempting to transition their learning to be more inclusive and open to the ideas within those first 3 letters. 

What is happening now is the narrative is attempting to be changed towards teaching, as some have put it, “divisive concepts”.  I ask, what is divisive about learning the truth? If these truths had been part of school curricula since the beginning wouldn’t there be no need for this to be happening? 

In the 1960s Black Americans looked at education as a means of upward mobility for a more equitable society. They needed schooling to help them gain economic growth, which would help with housing issues and healthcare issues as well. In 2017 the Southern Poverty Law Center had a study that showed only 8% of students knew one of the main causes for the Civil War was slavery. The year is 2021 and many issues that schools haven’t taught, are still not being taught now and we continue to see the systemic issues continue. 

If we right now back down to the growing rage over DEI in schools and continue to teach the colonized curricula, there will not be an equitable society. Teaching in this way does not vilify white people in society today. It also doesn’t continue to allow Black people to play the victim, which has also been stated. What it does do is allow students to learn acceptance, empathy, truth and how our society can do better. 

Falling back into what the world was should never be the goal of a society. Instead, the goal should be to bring all people together to learn and grow with each other. In the words of James Baldwin, “The purpose of education… is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions.” As long as we teach an inclusive education to all of our students it will let students decide how they want to feel about it, engage them in conversation, and help them learn how to bring about change and make their own decisions. 

Elijah Manning
Cultural Consultant
Inclusive Education LLC

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