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Journey to Justice: A Critical Race Theory Primer

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The Journey to Justice: A Critical Race Theory Primer—a joint initiative between Ms. magazine, the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) and the Karson Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice—includes articles, essays, lesson plans, an annotated bibliography and a COMloquium conversation that addresses and examines the perils of teaching critical race theory from kindergarten to college settings.

As NWSA, Ms. and the Karson Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice developed this series on critical race theory (CRT), we reached out to educators and organizers across the country to contextualize the perils of teaching CRT within schools, ranging from kindergarten to college settings. As of September 25, 2021, 11 states —Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Utah—have passed legislation primarily restricting truthful education and limiting the critical thinking process of students in public schools and higher education. Approximately 24 states have introduced similar legislation, which has been fueled by misinterpretations of the misuse of CRT.

This CRT series will provide you with first-hand accounts and informational tools to understand the tenets of CRT and its proper implementation. Our series topics include: the legal and policy initiatives around CRT; the statewide bans in Iowa, Texas, Tennessee and Utah; school district level restrictions; a government official’s perspective on the statewide ban; mothers’ understanding of how the legislation limits children’s engagement with social justice and the need for children (and adults) to have tools to understand racism, discrimination and other topics that allow for an anti-oppressive education; and more. Additionally, we compiled a CRT annotated bibliography.

Coming to terms with the truths and injustices of yesterday and today are necessary to understand how identities are woven into the fabric of our nation’s story. We look forward to this journey to justice with you.

Setting the Stage

Lesson Plans

Hear Directly from Educators and School Leaders Navigating CRT Bans

View the full digital Ms. critical race theory archive here, and track the “Journey to Justice” CRT Primer companion op-eds as they go live weekly on here.

Annotated Bibliography

Critical Race Theory in Education

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This bibliography annotates the major entries and scholars within the field of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and its saliency within the United States education system. CRT contains a rich variety of perspectives by multiple scholars across a variety of postsecondary contexts to include legal scholars, sociologists, historians, and educators. Each entry provides a brief summary of the reference, how it contributes to the body of literature for CRT, and its application within the educational realm. 

The following articles, books, empirical studies, and scholarly works provide a holistic perspective on the educational inequalities within the American education system and its historical roots in the oppression of people of color. This bibliography was created to assist readers in cultivating their knowledge base of CRT within educational policy, leadership, and system effectiveness and expand their understanding of the complex, technical, and adaptive issues facing oppressed people(s). 

Moreover, this bibliography will help educational officials within the education system to develop an understanding of how to integrate CRT in the learning environment and bolster academic participation with underrepresented, marginalized, and privileged populations in K-20 education.