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Multi-Day Institute:
Virtual IREL 2021 / Interrogating Internalized Racism in Ourselves and in Our Practice

Presented by Sonja Cherry-Paul and Tricia Ebarvia

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#IREL21: Interrogating Internalized Racism in Ourselves and in Our Practice

Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul and Tricia Ebarvia, in collaboration with Heinemann PD Services, are offering two virtual #IREL21 institutes focused on racial equity, social justice, and anti-racist pedagogy.

Each #IREL21 institute is a week full of interactive multimedia content and engagement. Throughout the week, engage in a flexible combination of live and self-paced opportunities to engage with other educators through cohorts led by a team of experienced literacy leaders. During cohort discussions, participants will deepen their understanding of institute concepts and materials, while forging connection and community with others. All activities will be hosted within the event's dedicated online PD platform, with session recordings and materials available for 60 days.

What does a classroom, a school, or even a society, that is 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 not only guide our students through this time, but to empower them to be an antidote to divisiveness and a voice for justice.

Anti-racist, 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 both virtual #IREL21 institutes, 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?

Virtual Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy - Interrogating Internalized Racism in Ourselves and in Our Practice (July 12-16, 2021)

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 critical race theory, racial identity development, anti-racist pedagogy, culturally relevant and sustaining pedagogies—and the implications for teaching students
  • Listen to podcasts that address key concepts of the institute and respond to essential questions
  • Engage in conversations with cohort members in order 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
  • 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 anti-racist 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), as well as 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

Keynote Speaker: Tiffany Jewell

With Facilitators: Colleen Cruz, Shana Frazin, Chris Hall, Aeriale Johnson, Jess Lifshitz, shea martin, Henry Miller, Anna Osborn, Min Pai, Tiana Silvas, Keisha Smith-Carrington, LaMar Timmons-Long, and Michelle Yang-Kaczmarek

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

Pricing Information

Tuition is set to cover only out-of-pocket costs for this event. Residual revenue, if any, will be donated to a not-for-profit organization selected by the #IREL21 co-presenters.

The tuition fee for this institute is $129.00 per person and includes the following:

  • a digital resource collection designed specifically for this institute
  • a personalized certificate of attendance
  • 60-day access to the event content and discussion forum.

Event Videography

Heinemann will record all virtual events, including full-group and breakout sessions where your camera and microphone may be turned on. This recording is kept secure and will only be shared with you and your fellow attendees. Your recorded image and audio will not be used in any other way.

Accessing a Virtual Institute

Logging in and participating in an online Virtual Institute is easy. A series of emails will be sent to the address you provide on your registration form to confirm your enrollment and provide information and a link to access the secure Virtual Institute site.

Upcoming Dates & Locations

07/12/2021-07/16/2021 - Eastern Time (ET) - Virtual Institute, Online

Register Now:

Availability: Available When: 07/12/2021 - 07/16/2021 Where:
Virtual Institute

Eastern Time (ET) - Virtual Institute, Online

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