The Advent School donates at least $25,000 to teaching conference that claims “all members of this society” participate in “racism and white supremacy”
The “2022 National Anti-Racism Teach-In” conference claims to be “a national anti-racist conference and global movement designed to identify, analyze, and challenge racism and white supremacy.” The “sponsor prospectus” document for the 2021 conference explains that “this explosive gathering provides a productive space for attendees to explore the foundational history of racism and bias and recognize the presence of racism in ways that are often overlooked.” Several schools and organizations are listed as sponsors, including The Advent School in Boston.
The Advent School is listed as a “Champion for Change” tier sponsor for the 2021 conference as a result of donating at least $25,000 to the conference. Sponsors at this tier receive several benefits for the conference, including “headline logo placement throughout speaking program,” “special recognition from the podium during Opening Session,” and “opportunity to give 2- to 3-minute remarks during Opening Session.” The “sponsor prospectus” document for the event explains that “this year’s conference is hosted by Tufts University and The Advent School in collaboration with other national partners and sponsors.”
The event’s document further explains: “The support of our sponsors helps to make this monumental event possible and funds our broader mission to promote anti-racism, racial literacy, inclusivity, and social impact across the U.S. and around the world.” The document states that at the conference “educators, business and organizational leaders, and other conscious citizens gather to learn how to bring an anti-racism approach into classrooms, curriculum, business environments, communities, churches, and other areas of daily life.” Previous presenters have included political authors Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds, as well as the creator of the “1619 Project” Nikole Hannah-Jones. The Advent School is once again listed as a “Champion for Change” sponsor for the 2022 conference.
The 2021 document additionally lists the programs that take place at the conference. These programs include “teach-ins,” “symposiums,” “workshops,” “interactive digital gaming,” “educator connect,” and “affinity group breakouts.” Affinity groups are a type of group that segregate people based on their characteristics, which often include race and sexual orientation.
The agenda for the 2022 conference includes an “Indigenous Land Acknowledgement” and an “Identity Consciousness Workshop” because “building an identity-conscious practice means realizing that who we are informs and impacts how we act, interact, and how we see the world around us.” Another program at the conference is titled “Leading and Sustaining Anti-racist/Anti-bias Work.” The agenda for the conference explains that a goal is to “explore common pitfalls of DEIJ curriculum planning, and the necessary work required to ‘Maximize the Partnership’ and ‘Trust’ between administrators and educators.”
Another program at the conference is titled “Bringing My Whole Self | Hip Hop and Creative Expression.” The agenda explains the event as “using the language of Hip-Hop expression and creativity, award winning spoken word artists, poet, professor of Hip-Hop culture, and qualitative educational researcher, Tony Keith will discuss the importance of his journey and how he learned to boldly bring self expression, diversity, and selflove to racial justice work.”
The conference’s website has a page of “vision and core principles.” The conference’s website explains that “racism and white supremacy exist today and all members of this society are active participants in it” with “no exceptions.” The website lists the following principles:
- History is important. Anti-racism requires a clear understanding of historical racism and white supremacy. It is crucial to see this history not as separate, but as a foundational element of American history.
- RACISM is the NORM. Racism and white supremacy exist today and all members of this society are active participants in it. No exceptions. Owning this truth, and recognizing the presence of racism in ways that may be easy to overlook is crucial.
- Anti-racism is our RESPONSIBILITY. The work of anti-racism, based in the knowledge of our past and the recognition of our present, requires intentional, deliberate action. We must challenge, check, and change our equity systems and structures for equity everyday, and this requires a life-long commitment. It is the work to actively engage in dismantling systems of racism and white supremacy.
The 2022 National Anti-Racism Teach-In conference is virtual and split into two parts. The first is called the “Teen Experience” and took place on August 5, 2022. The second is the “General Conference” and took place August 11-12, 2022. Potential participants could buy tickets for the conference on EventBrite from $99 up to $275. The EventBrite page was promoted with several tags, including “#black_lives_matter” and “#criticalracetheory.” Both tags represented the phrases “Black Lives Matter” and “Critical Race Theory.”
Additional schools that sponsored the 2022 conference included “Harvard-Westlake School,” “Brooklyn Friends School,” “Dana Hall School,” “South Shore Charter Public Schools,” “Tenacre Country Day School,” “The Winsor School,” “Atrium School,” “Episcopal High School,” “The Putney School,” and “Boston Public Schools.” Organizations listed as sponsors included “Truist,” “Earthjustice,” “David Rockefeller Fund,” and “Encounter Telehealth.”