Learning for Justice: Solidarity as Social and Emotional Safety

“In relationship with organizers for justice, educators can co-create radically different experiences for students to feel and be whole in their classrooms.” — Riley Drake, Ph.D. 

In this new LFJ article, school counseling professor Riley Drake, Ph.D., outlines a model of social and emotional learning. Drake explains that “‘feeling safe’ is contextual,” especially for Black and Brown children whose needs are often overlooked in our nation’s classrooms. Relying on community partnerships, promoting mutual aid to foster solidarity and advancing restorative justice are strategies educators and other adults can employ to increase children’s feelings of safety and well-being. 

In this excerpt from the article, Drake describes how a teacher enlists the help of local organizers: 

Solidarity as safety was an approach Staci used in collaboration with Imani, Jada and Nova to honor the experiences of students familiar with and vulnerable to structural harm. By listening to children’s lived experiences, Staci recognized a fear of policing and punishment. Rather than dismissing students’ fears or silencing and “regulating” emotions through a decontextualized calming technique, Staci sought community wisdom in efforts to transform the source of the harm.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s