Amid Attacks From Right, Racial Justice Curricula Gain Momentum in Blue States

“There is a divide between places where teachers have the leeway to teach the truth about history and culture, and places where teachers can’t do this even if they want to,” said Wayne Au, a professor of education at the University of Washington-Bothell and an editor at Rethinking Schools, a 37-year-old quarterly publication devoted to promoting social justice. “People have been physically threatened, so there is not always the space for teachers to do anti-racist education. But when states pass legislation that supports multicultural learning, it gives teachers room to create curricula. It also gives them the official backing to do work they know is for the common good. Of course, developing curricula can be complicated and state-approved materials are often safer than we want, but they’re a start.”