Through the Arch of Self, LLC, I work with pre-service and in-service teachers, as well as other educators and school leaders in a process of digging deep and "peeling back layers" on their life experiences. I have conducted professional development workshops with community colleges, the New York City Department of Education, programs, such as New York City Men Teach, and in colleges/universities across the U.S.
My article, "Archeology of the Self in Racial Literacy Development: An Imperative for Urban Teacher Education" (forthcoming), dives more into detail of this work.
Arch of the Self: Toward Sustaining Racial Literacy in Teacher Education and the Academy
Individuals who develop racial literacy are able to engage in the necessary personal reflection about their racial beliefs and practices, and teach their students to do the same. Racial literacy in schools includes the ability to read, write about, discuss and interrupt situations and events that are motivated and upheld by racial inequity and bias. Sustaining racial literacy across the lifespan is possible by engaging in an "Archaeology of the Self" - an action-oriented process requiring love, humility, reflection, an understanding of history, and a commitment to working against racial injustice.
When I think of the Archeology of the Self in Education, I compare it to an archeologist who uses various techniques "to dig, uncover, identify, process and record archaeological remains" as part of the excavation process. The same is with teachers, like myself, in education, who use tools and resources such as books, professional development, dialogue and reflection to dig into our preconceived notions about the students and the communities we serve as well as our self as the teacher.
-SG, Middle School Teacher
The Racial Literacy Development model theorized by Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz
Visual: Dr. Angel Acosta
© 2020 by Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz
Archeology of Self Intensive:
A Healing-Centered Excavation
26th September 2020 | 6:00pm-10:00pm EST
This Archaeology of Self Intensive will resemble a self-care retreat that will invite participants to perform excavations on themselves as it relates to justice, bias, and stereotypes they hold about others, and ideas on various forms of self-love. It will combine writing exercises, mindfulness practices, a dive into history, and touch on the components of a racial literacy development model as a sustainable approach to justice work, especially in relation to building equitable education systems and futures. Practitioners at all levels of awareness and from all disciplines are welcome. This will be a special gathering to be in community to do powerful and sacred self-reflection as many transition into teaching or consulting positions in the early fall. A safe and brave container will be created for participants to do deep healing work and, when appropriate, connect with others to learn about different strategies and approaches.
In essence, many organizations--including businesses, schools districts, higher education institution--are responding to the current events in our world as “ the moment to do something.” These organizations have begun to develop or intensify their DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accountability) initiatives. Sadly, many of these initiatives will remain as “a moment” for many of these institutions and for the people who take up the work within them. This will happen, in part, because the institutions will take a systems approach without working deeply with the hearts and minds of those who design the systems. These individuals must do deep self work around anti-blackness, homophobia, religious bias, and oppression. We envision this intensive and immersive experience as a catalyst for people who want to go deeper and as a support those who want to deepen their understanding. We look forward to holding space for you.
We will send all participants the Zoom access details as the date draws near.
Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz: www.yolandasealeyruiz.com
Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz is an award-winning associate professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focuses on racial literacy in teacher education, Black girl literacies, and Black and Latinx male high school students. A sought-after speaker on issues of race, culturally responsive pedagogy, and diversity, Sealey-Ruiz works with K-12 and higher education school communities to increase their racial literacy knowledge and move toward more equitable school experiences for their Black and Latinx students. Sealey-Ruiz appeared in Spike Lee’s “2 Fists Up: We Gon’ Be Alright”, a documentary about the Black Lives Matter movement and the campus protests at Mizzou.
Dr. Angel Acosta: www.drangelacosta.com
For the last decade, Dr. Angel Acosta has worked to bridge the fields of leadership, social justice, and mindfulness. He completed his doctorate in curriculum and teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. Angel has supported educational leaders and their students by facilitating leadership trainings, creating pathways to higher education, and designing dynamic learning experiences. His dissertation explored healing-centered education as a promising framework for educational leadership development. He continues to consult for organizations like the NYC Department of Education, UNICEF, Columbia University and others. Over the last couple of years, he has designed the Contemplating 400 Years of Inequality Experience--a contemplative journey to understand structural inequality. He's a proud member of the 400 Years of Inequality Project, based at the New School. He is also the Creative Director at the NYC Healing Collective, a community initiative amplifying people and insights at the intersection of healing, wellness and societal transformation.
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