“They Said What?!”: Responding to Students’ Questions about Racial Differences to Facilitate Racial Dialogue in the Classroom

  • 09/30/2022
  • 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Zoom
  • 450


Registration is closed

“They Said What?!”: Responding to Students’ Questions about Racial Differences to Facilitate Racial Dialogue in the Classroom

Live-streaming Sept 30th, 2022 10:00 a.m.- 12:30 a.m.

Sheri Atwater, PhD, PPS

Only $10 for members and $20 for non-members

Participants may earn 2.5 SCECHs for attending the live event and completing the appropriate SCECH's survey within two weeks.  A link to a recorded version will be provided to all registered guests.  You may register and receive a link to the recording up to one year after the live event. Please note, the recording will not be available until two weeks after the event.  As a result, participants can not earn SCECH's for viewing the recorded version.  


Well-meaning counselors, parents and educators often struggle to initiate and respond to race discussions with K-12 students, fearing that they may do or say the "wrong thing,” particularly in the current political climate. Yet children learn best when educators support students in understanding abstract concepts such as race and social justice in a developmentally-appropriate way.  This presentation illustrates how to talk to K-12 students about race while avoiding the “trap” of a color-blind racial ideology (Castro-Atwater, 2016). Through the use of illustrated vignettes, participants learn how to: 

  • use an anti-racist "Developmental Response Framework" (Castro-Atwater, 2008) to proactively facilitate racial dialogue in the classroom, 
  • respond to take the "teachable moment" about race, 

  • access free tools and lesson plans from Learning for Justice (LFJ) designed for race discussions; and

  • address the challenges and expected benefits inherent in this timely, important work. 

Dr. Sheri Atwater is Professor and Director of the M.A. Counseling Programs at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, CA, where she teaches courses in applied developmental psychology (lifespan), individual and group counseling, counseling theories and techniques, multicultural counseling, and advanced clinical techniques. Dr. Atwater received her B.A. from Stanford University and her M.A., P.P.S. Credential, and Ph.D. (School Psychology) from the University of California at Berkeley. Previously, Dr. Atwater has served as past President of the School Psychology Educators of California (SPEC) and as co-Principal Investigator for the Los Angeles County Office of Education's Student Mental Health Initiative. Dr. Atwater is also the creator and Project Director of the SUCCESS Coaching program, a multi-year collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she supervises graduate students as they provide individual clinical counseling services to elementary and secondary students.

Dr. Atwater’s research focuses on multicultural approaches in schools, and is an award-winning national speaker conducting training workshops and presentations on the definition and ‘myths’ of critical race theory as a systemic approach; how to foster effective culturally-relevant dialogue in classrooms and schools; and how educators can avoid the "trap" of color-blind racial ideology in communication with K-12 students.

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