After receiving the first 30 stories, the REAL coordinating committee grouped them into broad categories, or themes. Next, students from the JFK Students of Color Alliance (SOCA) read each story, weighed in on the themes, and identified sub-themes. They submitted (and categorized) additional stories as well and had the opportunity to add their own themes.

Breakdown of themes:

  • Educational Challenges (e.g., lack of diverse curriculum and staff, racial disparities in student discipline)
  • Race & Identity (e.g., racial stereotyping, downplaying racism)
  • Lack of Understanding (e.g., denial, good intentions gone awry, social justice rhetoric without action)
  • Whiteness (e.g., white supremacy, white fragility, behaviors and beliefs of white people as the norm)
  • The Future (e.g., representation, inclusion, freedom, hope)
  • Hurt & Exclusion (e.g., invisibility, racial bullying, microaggressions)
  • Actions & Strategies (e.g., brave leadership, brave teaching, not being silent, more training)

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