REAL (Racial Equity and Learning) is a Northampton Education Foundation–funded project that brings together Northampton public school teachers, staff, students, and caregivers to fulfill the project’s mission: support and strengthen our school community by developing an intentionally anti-racist culture. Those of us involved seek to deepen our understanding of how race and racism operate in Northampton public schools, and to work together and across our community to create a school district that actively opposes racism and promotes racial equality.

We are committed to doing the hard, messy, and necessary work of digging into how the domination of whiteness and white privilege shape the foundation of the educational system (and other systems) in the U.S. We are committed to making choices that challenge the centering of white experiences in our schools, and that reflect ways of thinking and being that foster racial equality.

Part of the NPS community? Share our commitment to an anti-racist school culture? Join our group—and spread the word!

Past Events

REAL Conversation Group
November 18, 2019

NPS parents and teachers gathered to discuss the impacts of race, racism, and whiteness in our lives and in our school district.


REAL Conversation Group
May 14, 2019

REAL’s first conversation group brought together NPS teachers, parents, students, and community members. Participants watched a couple of short videos (Robin D’Aneglo on white fragility; a look at Freedom Schools), then engaged in a thoughtful discussion about how related issues play out in our school community.


REAL General Meeting, with guest Alice Levine
March 3, 2019

Local educator and social justice advocate Alice Levine, who is currently working with Northampton’s elementary school librarians to implement the NEF grant–funded Reading into Diversity program, led a gathering that included discussion on some of the children’s books she’d brought to share with the group.

As background, Reading into Diversity facilitators intend to use literature to help NPS students, staff, and parents/caregivers develop a more nuanced understanding of the perspectives of peers and neighbors from a diversity of backgrounds. Levine has put together an extensive list of books, a number of which will be purchased for the local elementary schools, that enable all of our district’s students, including students of the global majority, to see themselves reflected in our libraries, classrooms, and curricula. Facilitators will also provide teachers, library staff, and parents/caregivers with strategies for engaging kids in conversations about topics raised in/by the selected books.


REAL Story Share
January 27, 2019
JFK Middle School

At our second story sharing event, participants shared their experiences of race in the school district and thoughts about what a school district without racism might look like. People were also invited to formally record and submit a story to the REAL collection.


REAL Story Share
March 18, 2018
JFK Middle School

At our first story sharing event, people from across the district—students, staff, teachers, and caregivers—joined together with trained facilitators to talk about their experiences of race and racism in Northampton public schools.