Can You Love Them Enough to Help Them Learn?: Reflections of a Social Justice Educator on Addressing Resistance from White Students to Anti-Racism Education

  • Diane Goodman Adjunct Faculty- SUNY-New Paltz
Keywords: Race, Class, Oppression, White Supremacy, Education, Teaching, Strategies, Youth, College


In this article, I reflect on the question “Can you love them enough to help them learn?” as a social justice educator. I offer my interpretation of what it means to “love people enough to help them learn” and discuss what this orientation may look like in practice, especially in reference to reducing resistance from white students to anti-racism education. Some of the challenges and nuances of this approach are addressed. While this article focuses on anti-racism work with white people in formal educational contexts (classrooms and workshops), this orientation can be applicable beyond these parameters. 

Author Biography

Diane Goodman, Adjunct Faculty- SUNY-New Paltz

Diane J. Goodman, Ed.D. has been working on racial and social justice issues as an educator and activist for over 30 years.   She speaks, trains, and consults nationally and internationally with a wide range of organizations, community groups, schools and universities. She helps individuals and organizations build consciousness, competence and confidence to create equity and inclusion.

Diane has been a professor at several universities in the areas of education, psychology, social work, and women’s studies. In addition, she was the Director of Human Relations Education and the Interim Affirmative Action Officer at the University of Rhode Island.  Diane is the author of the book Promoting Diversity and Social Justice: Educating People from Privileged Groups, 2nd ed. and other publications.  Her website is

Creative Works & Self-Reflections