Independent Schools, Institutional Whiteness, and Racial Socialization

Fellow: Megan Paulson, Instructor in History and Social Science

Focus Area: Equity & Inclusion

Project Overview

When tasked with exploring their own identity, white students traditionally are familiar with only three options in regards to racial understanding: colorblind, ignorant, or racist. Megan Paulson believes that independent schools themselves face a similar conundrum. While most schools have diversity written into their mission statements, meaningful, historical, institutional self-examination through theoretical lenses such as Critical Race Theory are still needed to adequately construct and implement a shared vision. Schools cannot move forward to a shared vision without talking about and understanding the ways in which white identity politics shape climate and culture in the microcosm of the independent school and macrocosm of the U.S. and the world. In her project, Paulson will seek to hone a workable, research curriculum that explores whiteness (as well as non-white identity politics) and the ways in which it shapes our communities.