Reflection is Action: The Struggle for White Educators to Balance Internal and External Anti-Racist Efforts

  • Elizabeth R Shulman Evanston Township High School
Keywords: Educational institution, Ethnicity, Racial identity, Political development, Psychological development, Jewish


This is a personal essay that will explore the different types of anti-racist initiatives that she, a white Jewish woman, observed in a high school in which she taught for ten years. A group of colleagues formed a white racial dialogue group based on self-reflection. Some members of the group later split and started their own group centered around action. A critical look at the efforts of these two groups will show the barriers and stumbling blocks that can develop when attempting to implement and maintain effective anti-racist initiatives in educational institutions. This essay will also discuss the importance of institutional support at the highest level for anti-racist and racial identity work to succeed. We all come to this anti-racist activism from different stages of psychological and political development. Sustaining these efforts requires a commitment to making shifts both internally and externally.

Author Biography

Elizabeth R Shulman, Evanston Township High School

Elizabeth Shulman received a Masters of Education from Loyola University in Chicago, as well as a Masters of English Literature and Hebrew at Hebrew University. She currently works as an English teacher at a high school in Evanston, Illinois, and is a tutor and test prep consultant for Whole Mind Education.

Creative Works & Self-Reflections