In Spring 2021, I completed an instruction internship at ZSR as my capstone field experience for UNC Greensboro’s Library & Information Science master’s program. Creating an antiracist pedagogy research guide was one of the capstone goals I set with my site supervisor, Amanda Kaufman, ZSR’s Learning & Instructional Services Librarian.
I want to acknowledge the fact that this guide is not free from bias. As a white person, I inherently used a white perspective when developing this research guide about antiracism. When selecting resources for the guide, I made a conscious effort to to decenter whiteness and instead include resources created by BIPOC whenever possible. I also consulted ZSR’s EDI committee, who provided helpful feedback on the guide. Feedback is vital to a project such as this — the guide is not definitive or exhaustive, but a starting point for further research and action. If you have feedback or suggestions, please submit them to this anonymous Google Form (this form is also linked on the guide itself).
What is antiracist pedagogy?
“…[A]nti-racist pedagogy is an intentional and strategic organizing effort in which we incorporate anti-racist approaches into our teaching as well as apply anti-racist values into our various spheres of influence. …This is an ongoing process that strives for institutional change, and requires the collaboration and support of anti-racist educators across disciplines,” (Kishimoto, 2018, p. 551).
One of the core tenets of antiracist pedagogy, and antiracism in general, is the importance of individual and collective action. Reading and self-education certainly have their place in the lifelong journey to becoming antiracist, but this should not be your only step. According to Nicole Cooke (2020), “Just reading is not engaging or absorbing the key points and demands of anti-racism. Just reading encourages performative gestures of outrage and solidarity, and perpetuates the actual problem of systemic oppression.” So, while this guide does provide several resources for self-education (as is the typical nature of research guides), I felt it was also critical to include resources for taking action, both on the WFU campus and the greater Winston-Salem community. These resources can be found on the guide’s homepage.
Hopes for the future
As stated above, antiracist pedagogy necessitates action. It is my hope that this guide serves as a helpful starting point for those at Wake Forest interested in understanding and implementing antiracist pedagogy. Practicing antiracist pedagogy is just one component of a (hopefully) larger societal shift to antiracism. I am appreciative of the opportunity to create this guide, and hope it aids in meaningful change. Again, I encourage users to anonymously submit suggestions and feedback for the research guide to this Google Form.
*This article is currently unavailable through ZSR, but it is on a list to be purchased as soon as possible. For now, this link directs you to the article’s abstract.
Cooke, N. (2020, June 19). Reading is only a step on the path to anti-racism. Publisher’s Weekly. https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/libraries/article/83626-reading-is-only-a-step-on-the-path-to-anti-racism.html
Kishimoto, K. (2018). Anti-racist pedagogy: From faculty’s self-reflection to organizing within and beyond the classroom. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 21(4), 540-554. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13613324.2016.1248824?journalCode=cree20&
About the author
Olivia Patterson (she/her) is a recent graduate of UNC Greensboro’s Library & Information Science master’s program. She earned her BA in Sociology from UNC Asheville in 2018, with minors in U.S. Ethnic Studies and Mass Communication. Olivia is actively seeking academic library employment in the southeastern United States. For more information about Olivia, including her resume, research, and contact information, you can visit her website or follow her on Twitter @OBPlibrarian.