#68 – Talking About Race, Culture, and Identity with Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi

Tell Me Who You Are Race Culture IdentityThis is the fourth and final podcast in our series on the theme of “story,” and I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to them as much as I’ve enjoyed recording them. As many of my guests have expressed, we are in between stories in education, and this is both a challenging and exciting time for us as we grapple with the barriers to change but also dream about the possibilities of what we might create together.

One aspect of the current story of schools that is especially important today revolves around our individual differences in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation and everything else that makes us unique. It’s important not only in the sense of how our school cultures embrace or reject our differences but, more significantly, how we build the capacity of teachers and students to talk about and embrace these differences. At a moment where research shows our public schools are more segregated and separate than ever, it may be the most important story that we need to revise.

To that end, by guests today are Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi, the authors of an amazing new book titled “Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing our Stories of Race, Culture and Identity.” It’s a powerful anthology of individual stories that they collected during a year-long “gap year” trip across all 50 states that started right after their graduation from high school. They interviewed over 500 people asking them simply “Tell Me Who You Are.” Let me just say, the stories are powerful.

In this podcast we talk about their journey, about how race and difference plays out in schools across the country, and what we can do to bring these conversations more fully into the classroom. If you’re like me, you’ll be struck by the honesty of teachers who freely admitted a weakness around how to create and facilitate cultures of understanding and acceptance in their classrooms and schools. Winona, now a sophomore at Harvard, and Priya, currently a sophomore at Princeton, are making it their life’s work to help with that.

Show Notes, Links, and More

For more on this podcast, head on over to our Modern Learners Community where not only can you get a list of links and show notes, but also where you can join 1,300 other educators who are having powerful conversations and taking part in all sorts of professional learning activities that will build your capacity to change your practice and the experience of school for your students.

And finally, if this topic is of interest, check our our podcast from earlier this year with Homa Tavangar and Eric Dozier from the Oneness Lab.

Thanks for listening everyone!

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Will Richardson

Co-founder of Modernlearners.com and Change School. Author, speaker, instigator, surfcaster, husband, and father to two amazing young adults.

Comments

  1. Tom Welch says

    Fascinating story of the learning journey of two powerful, motivated learners. So many insights about their quest to record stories of race, culture and identity and the need to share and hear those stories.
    I must admit that one of the most interesting things for me was to find that this project actually started during their sophomore year of high school and grew from there. Will asked if they were ever graded on the project . . .

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