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Day 1: Getting Ready


The following suggested materials are a way for you to familiarize yourself with the format of this self-guided curriculum.

Let’s start by examining the xenophobic messages and oppressed realities of communities of color in the U.S. during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Racism is a system of oppression that results from a combination of prejudice and power, and it produces institutional structures and social practices that deny equity to people based on race.

As a recent example, accompanying the spread of COVID-19 is the spread of anti-Asian, anti-immigrant, and antisemitic messages and incidents, as described in When Xenophobia Spreads Like A Virus.


Multicolored wheel with three layers of emotion.


Explore the Feelings Wheel: There is a wide range of emotions that you may feel as you explore these topics. All possible feelings are valid reactions, and this wheel can be used as a tool to help identify how and why you are feeling a certain way. The Feelings Wheel includes 130 different feelings with a focus on negative emotions.

To use the wheel:

  • Start with one of the seven core emotions and then work your way out to dig deeper into its derivatives. Or identify a higher-level feeling and track it back to the core emotion.
  • If possible, keep a journal of the emotions you experience as you explore the different topics. Here are some questions to help start your reflections:
    • What physical reactions do the article and the interview generate?
    • How were your mood and your behavior affected?
    • Why am I feeling this way?


Set clear intentions for yourself. Intention setting is about directing our attention in a very particular way. When we are the leaders responsible for setting a safe, respectful and dynamic learning environment, then it is important that we be the first to pause, reflect, notice and ask ourselves questions like:

  • What is happening around you?
  • Who is at the center of the stories we see? Who is at the margins?
  • Who do I need to become to create space for all stories to be shared, to show up in meaningful ways?*

* Ivette D. Murrel, 2018, “The Power of Setting Intentions, Using Restorative Practices, Theater, and Art for Healing and Social Justice.”


Review the  Glossary of terms for Racial Equity Tools  from  Racial Equity Tools .