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Oakland Unified School District

Core Racial Justice Workshops

Racial Justice, Equity & Healing Professional Learning for OUSD TEACHERS + STAFF

All Oakland teachers, school site staff, and central office staff are invited to experience the Racial Justice, Equity & Healing Workshop Core Series as we ground in our core values of Equity and Cultural Responsiveness and develop an antiracist school district that moves the work of racial justice forward in our schools.


The Pandemic of Racism: How Does White Supremacy Show Up In Our Schools?

Facilitators: Raquel Jimenez, Equity; Mara Larsen-Fleming, Health & Wellness

[ SLIDE DECK | RECORDING | Readings: Unconscious Bias In Our Schools / White Supremacy Culture ]

This is an overview of key tenets and frameworks of racial justice, equity and healing in Oakland schools. We build a common understanding of our shared legacy of oppression, white supremacy and its impact on our thinking, actions, and work as anti-racist educators.  As our young people lead the current movement for racial justice, let's ground in how schools have intertwined with centuries of racial discrimination. 

Disrupting the 4 C Cycle of Anti-Blackness

Facilitator: Quetzal Education Group is available to be contracted for this workshop.

Participant Level: Developing

  • Name and categorize 4 different types of expressions of anti-Black racism and anti-Blackness. Naming is important in order to disrupt when it happens. 
  • Identify expressions of anti-Blackness in their work and reflect upon our areas of growth. 
  • Practice some ways to begin disrupting these expressions in self and others.

Culturally Responsive Teaching In This Moment: Best Practices in OUSD

Facilitators: Lailan Huen, Equity + OUSD Teachers


This workshop dives into some of the key tenets of Culturally Responsive Teaching, and what that means for Oakland’s diverse students. We share existing best practice examples in our school district to share resources, inspire your practice, and ground ourselves in OUSD’s context while lifting up student and teacher voices.  We’ll have opportunities to reflect and plan what culturally responsive practices can look like during COVID-19 and the Movement for Black Lives and racial justice.


How to Be an Antiracist Educator: Everyday Race Consciousness & Resistance

Facilitators: Priscilla Parchia (Expanded Learning), Jarrett Austin-Thomas & Diana Iniguez (Talent)

SLIDE DECK / Workshop Audio Transcript ]

  • Develop critical consciousness to identify the ways in which racism and colonialism marginalize students and families. 
  • Build, reflect on, and sustain our  professional and personal antiracism work. 
  • Explore the practices and policies that perpetuate systemic inequity in your sphere of influence. Identify and  develop strategies to interrupt racist practices within your sphere of influence.

Intersectionality & Solidarity

Facilitators: Stephanie Noriega, ELLMA

Participant Level & Audience: Emerging & Developing Participants


Learning Outcomes:

  • Ground in our own intersectional identities to understand how we can stand in stronger solidarity with our students.
  • Explore how our biases and micro and macro aggressions show up in schools, and what we can do to address them.
  • Deepen our understanding of how intersectional oppression impacts Oakland students’ academic achievement, mental health and success in school - and what we can do in our roles to develop equitable practices to support them.

Black Community of Care: Addressing Racial Slurs & the 'N Word'

Participant Level & Audience: All, but primarily Developing

Learning Outcomes:

  • Deepen understanding of the history and contemporary reality of the N-Word, and its use by white and other non-Black communities.

  • Learn skills and strategies to engage your school community in assessing beliefs and socialization of anti-Blackness that are rooted in the N-Word and other derogatory racial slurs used to describe Black people, lifting up best practices from schools.   

  • Understand and apply tools and strategies to cultivate supportive and inclusive learning spaces for Black students, and begin developing strategies for preliminary implementation of ideas and concepts covered in this training to protect Black students from racial slurs on campus. 

  • Learn about school-wide examples of how to engage students, teachers, and administrators in cross-cultural dialogue to build a learning community centered on care, cultural pride, and justice.

"There is no racial justice without dis/ability justice":  The urgent need to center dis/ability and dis/abled students of color

Facilitator: Cintya Molina (Office of Equity)

Participant Level: Developing & Practicing ECE-Young Adult Staff


  • Understand how ableism grounds some current "antiracist" educational discourses and practices, how those discourses/practices harm dis/abled students of color, and how they undermine our antiracist work.
  • Identify the racist and ableist implications of specific terms commonly used in education.

Advancing Equity & Excellence Through Transformative SEL

Facilitator: Office of Social Emotional Learning  

Participant Level & Audience: Emerging & Developing Staff & Community Partners


Learning Outcomes:

  • Cultivate an understanding of Transformative Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) 5 Focal Constructs.
  • Learn how Transformative SEL lives in our classrooms and schools - and how it connects to your practice.

Advancing Equity Through Meaningful Family Engagement

Facilitator: Sara Nuño-Villa & Samantha Fenwick, Equity & Family Engagement


Building intentional relationships between students’ families and their schools is foundational to students’ success.  Families engaged as partners in their childs’ education helps to assure equity and access for all of our students. Every student in OUSD should have access to the tools and resources available to support their achievement. Historically, many of our families and communities in Oakland have not had good experiences with our institutions, including the educational institution. Our work as educators is to build relational trust by developing on-going structures at our sites for parent-teacher communication and learning, relationship building, and shared decision making. This workshop shares an overview of OUSD’s anti-racist family engagement framework and share some best practices for starting the year off with family academic partnerships.


Building Relationship-Centered Schools to Address Racism & Bias

Facilitators: Californians for Justice; Urana Jackson, Behavioral Health


Often when the subject of trauma is presented, the link between trauma and racism is hardly explored. It becomes apparent through understanding this link why relationships, addressing bias, and creating culturally responsive spaces are a fundamental feature for student success and well-being. Participants in this workshop have an opportunity to self reflect and explore practices needed to help students to feel safe, empowered and supported in our schools.

Healing Centered Restorative Justice 


Facilitators: David Yusem, Restorative Justice; Susan Andrien, Behavioral Health; Sandra Simmons, Behavioral Health


This experiential Zoom workshop covers the basics of restorative justice (RJ) with a healing centered and racial justice lens. Participants learn about the origins and rollout of restorative justice in OUSD and experience an online circle space. Attendees will understand the connection between RJ and healing centered practices that support the environment for teaching and learning. Participants will also understand how the implementation of restorative justice in OUSD is inextricably linked to racial justice. 

Equity Traps: Developing Mindfulness & Counter-Strategies 

Facilitators: Lailan Sandra Huen & Equity Team

SLIDE DECKRECORDINGWorkshop Audio Transcript ]

  • Explore common ‘equity traps’ in schools that are shaped by racist belief systems.
  • Develop mindfulness around how these show up in Oakland schools and how we can interrupt these behaviors.
  • Work in small groups to share experiences and develop counter-strategies to show up for racial justice.

Ethnic Studies 101 & OUSD’s Framework

Facilitators: Leah Aguilera (Ethnic Studies TSA) & OUSD Ethnic Studies Team


  • Overview OUSD’s Ethnic Studies framework, including pedagogical principles, and dialogue on implementation of antiracist and culturally responsive curriculum in classrooms and beyond.
  • Ground in student outcomes, performance assessment projects, and learnings in Oakland’s current context.

Trauma Informed Nonviolent Communication & De-Escalation

Facilitator: Susan Andrien, Racial Justice & Healing Taskforce + Hope Reimagined

Participant Level: Developing


  • Understand trauma through the lens of collective, racialized and historical.
  • Explore the physical and developmental impact of trauma.
  • Understand the stress response system and the escalation cycle.
  • Understand the intimacy barrier and the relationship to escalation and de-escalation.
  • Build skills to respond to crisis, including students and staff in a trauma response.