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Protection, Resilience, and Survival: Activist Teachers of Color and Networks Combating Isolation and Racial Microaggressions

Mon, April 12, 9:30 to 11:00am EDT (9:30 to 11:00am EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Lives of Teachers Paper and Symposium Sessions


Teachers of Color experience isolation due to racial microaggressions and institutional racism throughout their careers, leading to trauma and higher levels of teacher turnover in the profession. In this study, we used a theoretical framework informed by the ‘pedagogy of activism’ (Catone, 2017) and scholarship on microaggressions (Sue, 2010) to explore how activist teachers of Color seek support to combat isolation and harm through participation in activist and racial affinity groups. We investigated the experiences of 26 activist teachers of Color from across the United States and found that racial affinity groups within or constituting teacher activist networks were key to creating healing spaces for coping with isolation. These findings have implications for sustaining diversity in the teacher workforce.