School News Network: GRCC’s Mursalata Muhammad contributes to antiracism glossary, assisting educators

GRCC English professor Mursalata Muhammad smiling.

A School News Network feature – GRCC English professor Mursalata Muhammad is among a group of college educators amplifying voices of people of color in creating a 48-word, 18-page antiracism glossary, with examples of experiences in their own lives to support the definitions.

From “acculturation” to “tone-policing,” the Antiracism Glossary for Education and Life was developed by a team of eight scholars who are involved in a group called Colleagues of Color for Social Justice. The glossary is published in the Spring/Summer 2021 edition of the Journal of College Academic Support Programs.

The goal of the word list is to serve as a tool to explain terms related to attitudes, behaviors and policies that impact people’s lives, particularly within academia. The authors say it could be useful for educators and those working in classrooms, administrative roles and educational equity programs.

Muhammad said she sees its potential as a go-to reference in employee and teacher education — a way for those who work with students to become aware of the words, definitions and impact.

“I see this glossary as something much more for teachers and people in the profession, but not something to give directly to your students,” she said.

So far, the co-authors have been asked to share the document at their institutions. Muhammad is planning on presenting it during an upcoming staff learning day.

The glossary can also serve as a foundation on which future publications can expand. The plan is to continue adding to the document, said David Arendale, associate professor emeritus of History in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

“It’s a living document,” Arendale said. “I could see how this could be a part of an ongoing conversation on race and learning with faculty and staff at an institution.”

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