icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle


Partnering with Afrika

The most powerful learning experiences provide learners with both windows and mirrors - a concept developed by Emily Style and Rudine Sims Bishop. When students can regard themselves in mirrors and discover what lies beyond the familiar through windows, they effectively make meaning of the world around them - the beauty, complexities, challenges, and possibilities. 

Racialization has negatively impacted the way we view one another, making it challenging to see ourselves clearly and to recognize and value the histories, perspectives, and experiences of people who are unlike us. It also hinders our ability to sustain a truly just democracy where we contribute to the well-being of all people in our human family. 

The Open Windows, Open Minds Workshop Series provides participants with the opportunity to engage in racial healing and identity development work and instructional shifts that will equip educators to provide students with learning experiences that will lay the foundation for authentic learning partnerships and building a truly inclusive and equitable society. 

The opening verse of the poem Tired by Langston Hughes says, "I am tired of waiting, aren't you, for the world to become good and beautiful and kind?" We don't have to wait any longer. Together we can build learning communities that flourish because students are becoming socially responsible critical thinkers and changemakers.  As you plan professional learning experiences for your staff, let me know how we can help. 

Your Partner in Opening Windows, and Opening Minds, 

Afrika Afeni Mills

Although there has been significant exploration of the need for and importance of culturally responsive, sustaining, equitable and inclusive teaching and learning within the past several years, the focus is often on creating these environments and experiences for Black and Brown students. While it is essential for teachers to become culturally responsive practitioners, we don't often explore how racialization has negatively impacted White students, and the importance and benefit of creating and sustaining learning environments where White students learn to shift from centering their own racial identity to recognizing and valuing the histories, perspectives, experiences, interests, identities, and contributions of traditionally marginalized people. 

Open Windows, Open Minds: Developing Antiracist, Pro-Human Students (2022) will build on Rudine Sims Bishop and Emily Style's concept of Windows and Mirrors to explore why learning to appreciate the experiences and perspectives of others is essential for White students, and offer an approach to teaching and learning that will equip White students as informed, empathetic, inclusive global citizens who genuinely value diversity and will actively engage in dismantling systemic inequities, as well as what White antibias, antiracist practitioners wish they had known when they were K-12 students.