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The study and understanding of racism through academic-community partnerships, research, and dialogue are important areas of focus and effort in co-creating a decolonized educational system. However, considering the structures within higher education―the internal forces that also perpetuate certain and exclusive forms of learning, teaching, and engagement ― is vital to social innovation. ​​​​​​​

Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968) acts as a central text in critical pedagogy and critical community engagement. Paulo Freire argued that learning is never neutral, it either reinforces inequities or it challenges them. What remains most impactful of Freire’s work today is the belief that education can and should be liberatory. He states: “The starting point of education is the cultural, ideological, political, and social context of the students.” If we recognize this reality in the design of a course, learning becomes inclusive, representative, and engaging to all the identities and experiences of its learner community, both on and off-campus (see its application to community-engaged learning at Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity).

The resources below are provided to consider how course design and anti-racism work together, with a specific look at community-engaged learning. Community engagement’s modern origins has direct connection to social justice initiatives of the 19th and 20th centuries, but this does not bar it from contributing to a racialized system of education.

This is a living list that will be added to overtime.


Contextual Pieces

Change-Oriented Case Studies


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