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Multi-Day Institute:
In-Person IREL 2022 / Interrogating Internalized Racism in Ourselves and in Our Practice

Presented by Sonja Cherry-Paul and Tricia Ebarvia

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#IREL22: Interrogating Internalized Racism in Ourselves and in Our Practice

Not sure what to expect at IREL? Hear from co-founders Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul and Tricia Ebarvia in conversation with author Donalyn Miller about the urgent need for educators to come together and stay engaged. Watch Now

Related event note: A separate virtual institute is being presented August 1-5, 2022. Please see Virtual Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy - Understanding Systemic Racism: Society, Schools, and Classrooms for details on this additional event.

Heinemann PD Services has collaborated with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul and Tricia Ebarvia to host the Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy (IREL) since 2020. This year, we are thrilled to announce that funding for the in-person institute is made possible by the DC Public Library Foundation. The #IREL22 institute focuses on racial equity, social justice, and antiracist pedagogy.

Join a community of educators taking the necessary time to reflect deeply on their practices and work for transformative change in their classrooms, schools, and communities. Attend the week-long institute at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C.

What does a classroom, a school, or even a society actively and deeply engaged in freedom look like? As bell hooks reminds us, when we push against, and beyond boundaries, we get closer to the practice of freedom.

Yet teaching to transgress—to fulfill the promise of democracy—can feel like a daunting, if not impossible, task given today's current social and political climate. Too often, fear—as manifested through overt and systemic racism and xenophobia—has placed a stranglehold on our ability to communicate with one another honestly and responsibly. As educators, we have a responsibility to guide our students through this time and empower them to be an antidote to divisiveness and a voice for justice.

Antiracist, anti-bias work, however, demands critical reflection and action: How can we ensure that our educational practices are not just inclusive but equitable? How can we use our power and position as educators to transform systems, whether those systems be our individual classrooms, districts, or greater communities? How can we help students read, write, and speak up for justice?

During #IREL22, we'll discover the possibilities for students when equity is the foundation for our literacy practices and explore ideas that bring us closer to addressing the overarching question of these institutes: How can we use reading and writing to advance social justice?

Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy - Interrogating Internalized Racism in Ourselves and in Our Practice (July 11-15, 2022)

Racism is pervasive; no one is unaffected. This institute will focus on the ways in which racism lives in all of us. By identifying our own personal relationships with race and racism, we can then disrupt and dismantle the ways that our literacy practices may harm students and work towards a liberatory personal and professional approach to learning.

Throughout this week, participants will*:

  • Develop an understanding of racial identity development, antiracist pedagogy, culturally relevant and sustaining pedagogies—and the implications for teaching students
  • Choose from and attend a variety of workshops led by experienced facilitators
  • Engage in conversations with cohort members to make the learning immediate and specific to distinct contexts
  • Learn and practice strategies to navigate conversations about race, racism, and anti-racism with colleagues and students
  • Read a variety of texts by #ownvoices authors and consider how they can be used in the classroom
  • Attend a special keynote session with a guest speaker and/or author
  • Explore writing activities that can help students develop their voices in culturally sustaining ways
  • Leave with a plan of action for how to interrupt racism personally and professionally

*Agenda subject to change.


Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul's research and work stem from an unyielding commitment to anti-bias and antiracist pedagogy and practices in K-12 schools. She is an educator, a curriculum developer and author of several books for teachers, and she has adapted Stamped For Kids. Sonja is the Director of Diversity and Equity at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP) at Columbia University, the host of The Black Creators Series, and the Senior Advisor of the Heinemann Fellows. Connect with her @SonjaCherryPaul and

A co-founder of #DisruptTexts, Tricia Ebarvia advocates for literacy instruction rooted in equity and liberation through critical literacy. An educator with 20 years of experience, she teaches and serves as department chairperson at Conestoga High School in Berwyn, PA. Tricia serves on the advisory board for the West Chester Writing Project (NWP) and the Center for Anti-racist Education (CARE). A 2016-2018 Heinemann Fellow, Tricia is the author of a forthcoming professional book on anti-bias literacy instruction. Follow her @triciaebarvia and at

Founded in 1985, DC Public Library Foundation is a 501c3 that enhances the DC Public Library system resources and programs to promote literacy, workforce readiness, and cultural engagement for all community members. The Foundation administers and manages a variety of restricted and unrestricted funds in the form of donations, bequests, trusts, and foundation and government grant awards. DC Public Library Foundation is committed to providing all DC residents with the vital resources they expect while focusing on new programs that specifically address the inequities in learning and access that currently face our community, and the Foundation is dedicating its efforts to help achieve these goals.

Who Should Attend?

  • Classroom teachers of grades K-12
  • Literacy/instructional/tech coaches
  • Reading/writing/technology/media specialists/librarians
  • Special educators
  • Administrators and district leaders
  • Teacher educators (homeroom, resource, etc.)
  • Authors
  • Equity teams

Tuition and Schedule Information

The tuition fee for the in-person institute is $259 per person and is made possible by the generous support of the DC Public Library Foundation. The in-person institute will be scheduled from 8AM to 3PM daily, Monday to Thursday, July 11-14, and 8AM to 12PM on Friday, July 15.

Event Videography

Please note that during this event, photography, audio, and video recording may occur. By attending this event, you agree to be photographed, filmed, and/or recorded and give permission for Heinemann to use your likeness in any promotional and/or marketing materials. If you do not wish to be photographed, filmed, and/or recorded, you must see a Heinemann facilitator or staff member to sign an opt-out form, and have your picture taken for identification purposes. Failure to do so will assume permission has been given to use your likeness in any marketing and/or promotional materials.

Upcoming Dates & Locations

07/11/2022-07/15/2022 - Washington, DC

Register Now:

Availability: Available When: 07/11/2022 - 07/15/2022 Where:
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
901 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20001

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