A University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) professor, the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska, and local teachers are teaming up to bring anti-racist theories and practices to Omaha-area classrooms.
Kerry-Ann Escayg, Ph.D, a UNO education professor, is facilitating the spring 2021 Professional Development for All series. The three-webinar series, free and open to all area early childhood teachers and professionals, is designed to give educators tools to address inequities and foster collaboration as they teach and care for students of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
Escayg is moderating the first two sessions of the three-session series, and will serve as the featured presenter in the third session May 26. During her session, she will talk to and listen to teachers as they describe how their teaching practices and future goals help build an anti-racist classroom and society.
Other featured presenters include Terry Husband, Ph.D., of Illinois State University (March 24) and the Buffett Institute’s Dalhia Lloyd (April 28).
“Teachers (who participate) will acquire a deeper, complex understanding of systemic racism, anti-racism education, and the ways in which individuals and institutions can implement anti-racist practices…and foster a long-term commitment to racial equity in education,” Escayg said.
Early childhood professionals who participate in these free webinars are eligible to receive in-service certificates approved by the Nebraska Department of Education. Attendees are encouraged to attend all three sessions if possible. View the March 24 webinar and register for the two remaining webinars here: buffettinstitute.nebraska.edu/our-work/pd-for-all.
Escayg is also hosting a more intensive anti-racism education series for a small group of Douglas and Sarpy County early childhood educators who applied to be part of a new Buffett Institute teacher cohort. The cohort’s teachers and child care providers will earn UNO college credit or in-service credit as they learn from Escayg during an eight-session virtual series focused on anti-racist practices and equitable learning opportunities in the classroom.
“In an anti-racist early childhood or elementary classroom, the classroom environment, curriculum, and teachers’ pedagogies support the positive development of Black children’s racial identity, while also cultivating an awareness of and resistance to racial injustices,” Escayg says. “An anti-racist classroom, however, is a product of an anti-racist school context – and, more broadly, an anti-racist school district.”
Meet Dr. Kerry-Ann Escayg
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.