Continuous Learning for Antiracist Curricular Change (CLARCC) Fellowship
The Fellowship in Continuous Learning for Antiracist Curricular Change (CLARCC Fellowship) seeks to create lasting antiracist curricular change through bringing together faculty and students in a process of facilitated self-reflection, peer learning, and culture change.
Running in two cohorts from August-December 2023 and January-May 2024, the CLARCC Fellowship will further the Department’s achievement of its REDI goals.
Fostering a culture of self-reflection, learning and continuous improvement to support antiracist curricular change in the Department.
Strengthening the capacities of Department faculty to review course content, teaching methods, and other educational activities to reflect antiracist theory and practice.
Documenting and demonstrating successful experiences in adapting course content, teaching methods, and other educational opportunities to antiracist principles.
Building consensus and momentum across the Department for additional efforts to become a model of antiracist education, such as additional required courses or concentrations, additional professional development opportunities for faculty, new recruitment, etc.
What is antiracist curricular change?
Antiracist curricular change (ARCC) seeks to widen the circle of power and opportunity in education, increasing students’ sense of belonging and providing them with pathways to counteract injustice in their lives (Greene 2020, Garneau & Browne, 2017). ARCC entails deliberate action to center racial equity in both what we teach and how we teach it, recognizing that without such action, our courses and classrooms will naturally reflect the implicit biases and racial hierarchies of the society in which they exist. As such, ARCC seeks to counteract the effects of structural racism in education through deliberate changes to the social culture of schools and universities. Evidence shows that antiracist change can also have positive effects on other dimensions of diversity, such as gender and class, if it adopts an intersectional and integrative approach.
Like any process of antiracist change, ARCC is designed for educators who recognize the need for diversity, equity and inclusion but find it difficult to truly integrate these concepts into how they operate and work. The core of ARCC is a critical examination of power, privilege, rank, and culture in a curriculum, including in both the subjects we teach and the classrooms we teach them in. This examination centers the racialized and Indigenous people who are historically most affected by racism, while also recognizing the parallels and intersections between all forms of oppression. It encompasses all relationships that exist in the classroom, including those between students and teachers, students and other students, and students and the material and experts they are exposed to. By its nature, ARCC is a gradual, uncomfortable, and emergent exercise, meaning that its end result is not predictable, and the expectations of those participating will change along the way.
The core of the Fellowship is the development of a personal contract or commitment to embed antiracism into work with DPPHS students. These personal contracts provide each fellow with an opportunity to design and implement a “passion project” that reflects their commitment to antiracism in public health education, with the guidance of mentors and the political support of CLARCC and Department leadership.
Two cohorts of 6-12 faculty and staff fellows will be selected in July 2023 (for the August-December cohort) and December 2023 (for the January-May cohort), During the 5-month period of the fellowship, each fellow will engage in independent work geared towards two objectives:
- Self-reflection on the meaning of antiracism in education and where they are in their antiracist journey
- Development of a personal commitment to embed the principles and practice of antiracism within their work with students
The fellows’ work will be guided by a CLARCC Toolkit that is currently being developed by the faculty and staff coordinator in consultation with a Reference Group. Fellows will work through the exercises in the Toolkit independently and on their own schedule. As they work through it, they will be supported by:
- 1-1 coaching
- Peer-to-peer learning
- Facilitated group learning
The combination of these diverse platforms for interaction and learning is designed to help build a culture of continuous and mutual learning within the cohorts and eventually the Department. The sharing of experiences and reinforcement of successes is anticipated to generate a positive feedback loop that encourages wider participation, while also enabling courageous conversations that reward participants for working outside their comfort zone.
The CLARCC Fellowship formally began in January 2023 with the creation of a faculty-student Reference Group to guide the development of the toolkit that will be used by CLARCC Fellows. The Reference Group has been developing the toolkit through a series of monthly meetings and will conclude its work in time for the first cohort to begin in August 2023.