Not Light, but Fire

ebook How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom

By Matthew R. Kay

cover image of Not Light, but Fire

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Do you feel prepared to initiate and facilitate meaningful, productive dialogues about race in your classroom? Are you looking for practical strategies to engage with your students?

Inspired by Frederick Douglass's abolitionist call to action, “it is not light that is needed, but fire” Matthew Kay has spent his career learning how to lead students through the most difficult race conversations. Kay not only makes the case that high school classrooms are one of the best places to have those conversations, but he also offers a method for getting them right, providing candid guidance on:

  • How to recognize the difference between meaningful and inconsequential race conversations.
  • How to build conversational “safe spaces,” not merely declare them.
  • How to infuse race conversations with urgency and purpose.
  • How to thrive in the face of unexpected challenges.
  • How administrators might equip teachers to thoughtfully engage in these conversations.
  • With the right blend of reflection and humility, Kay asserts, teachers can make school one of the best venues for young people to discuss race.

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    Not Light, but Fire