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Multi-Day Institute:
Virtual IREL 2022 / Understanding Systemic Racism: Society, Schools, and Classrooms

Presented by Sonja Cherry-Paul and Tricia Ebarvia

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#IREL22: Understanding Systemic Racism: Society, Schools, and Classrooms

In collaboration with Heinemann PD Services, Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul and Tricia Ebarvia are offering a virtual Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy (IREL). The #IREL22 institute focuses on racial equity, social justice, and antiracist pedagogy.

This week-long virtual institute is 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. Participants will deepen their understanding of institute concepts and materials during cohort discussions while forging connections and community with others.

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 virtual #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?

Virtual Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy - Understanding Systemic Racism: Society, Schools, and Classrooms (August 1-5, 2022)

This institute will focus on the ways in which racism has been embedded throughout history and in every societal institution, including schools. We will unpack how racism has become institutionalized, with a specific lens towards literacy practices, including curriculum and instruction.

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
  • Learn from guest literacy leaders and anti-bias, antiracist educators through podcasts, webinars, or other multimedia
  • 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

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

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 #IREL22 co-founders.

  • The tuition fee for the virtual institute is $159 per person and includes a combination of live, synchronous workshops as well as self-paced activities in order to maximize flexibility for participants. Live sessions are recorded and available for 30 days.

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

08/01/2022-08/05/2022 - Eastern Time (ET) - Virtual Institute, Online

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Availability: Available When: 08/01/2022 - 08/05/2022 Where:
Virtual Institute

Eastern Time (ET) - Virtual Institute, Online

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